In the past they burned us,
because they thought we were witches.
Just because we knew what to do with herbs outside the kitchen
because we knew how to dance, how to seduce, how to pray.
Because we moved with the cycles of the moon.

In the past they burned us alive
because they knew that we are witches.
So now we cast spells with our mouths
pieces of our hearts spill out.
It is incredible, the power of a woman
who is not afraid to say ‘no’.

No we won’t sit any longer while you ponder on our rights.
On our rights to give or not give life.
On our rights to make another woman our wife.
On our rights to be safe, to get paid an equal wage.
To have a voice, in a place where we might make a change.

It is incredible, the amount of ways they have slayed just to keep us small.
If they could’ve they probably would’ve burned us all.
But they couldn’t with fire so they did it with words.
Laid down laws to determine the amount of our worth.
They kept us in contracts.
They separated our circles.
Erased us from pages
and made labour saving devices our saviors.

It is incredible how quickly knowledge can fade.
How much effort was invested to lead us astray.

But we will not  come quietly.

Well, there’s another thing they tried to take away.
Our rights to exclaim our orgasms ecstatically.
We will not come quietly.
We will open our mouths and let our spells spill out.
Cast poetic prayers into the night so that every woman
can hear the howl of her sister’s delight,
reminding her that her voice deserves to be heard.

Let her jaw drop. Let her shame stop.
Let her body scream under the self pleasure of
what it means to be a woman who can speak freely.
You see words, they carry meaning.
They have fooled us for so long that ‘no’ means ‘yes’.
So much so that I’m almost impressed.
Except I finally discovered they’re right.

So I’ve claimed back that ‘no’ as mine.
Because every ‘no’ I throw against their forces
is another ‘yes’ I retain for my own self-worth.

It is a spell cast for my own protection.
It is incredible, the power of a woman
who is not afraid to say NO.

And this old witch?
I’m done with broomsticks.
I’m done with ‘know your place’.
This witch knows that some knowledge
just won’t fade.
That every woman is my sister.
Through the hubble and the bubble
and the toil and the trouble
we grow stronger
when we cast our spells together.

We entered the fire.
Now we rise from the ashes
and we are holding our candles
and lighting our matches
until the night becomes lighter
and our voices can grow
because we have remembered
we are witches
and we have learned to say ‘NO’.


Fleassy Malay


Listen to Fleassy speak her poem ‘Witches’ here

She’s incredible!

I’m with Her… and Her and Her

Women's March on Denver
Women’s March on Denver

Lots of women are online today lecturing the women who marched in one of the Women’s Marches across the country. Apparently, lots of women feel the need to dictate to other women exactly how they should protest… even telling them not to feel happy about a peaceful march, insisting that the peace and joy the marchers experienced was all bogus because the crowd was “too white.”  Lots of women are also lecturing other women about the best way to support minority women. Lots of women are judging and guilting and dismissing other women today…  Is this really helpful?!

Sorry ladies, but you don’t get to define me. You don’t get to dictate what my protests look like. You don’t get to guilt me simply because I’m a middle class white woman. You don’t get to tell me what kind of sign to carry or hat to wear when I protest. You don’t get to dismiss me because I marched with a smile and didn’t scream in rage and burn shit. You don’t get to poo poo my commitment because I don’t protest the way you do.

I will choose when and how I take political action. I will choose when and how I speak out and act. It is MY choice, NOT YOURS!

When one group lectures another about how to behave and how to feel, it sounds suspiciously like old patriarchal Bullshit to me – even when women do it to other women.

EVERY woman needs the space to take political action and express herself in the way that’s most appropriate to her WITHOUT being judged and lectured by other women – and that includes white women from the suburbs!

We won’t fix this mess by telling one group of women to shut up and stuff their feelings, their needs, their wisdom in order to serve another group of women who now take precedence.

We want change, right? Real change? That requires creating a space where ALL women can dialogue with each other and be heard with respect and love. That’s true inclusivity.

“The language by which we have been taught
to dismiss ourselves and our feelings as suspect
is the same language we use to dismiss and suspect each other.”

~Audre Lorde


“My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you.
What are the words you do not yet have?
What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day
and attempt to make your own,
until you sicken and die of them,
still in silence?

… And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty
that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth.
And that is not speaking.”

~Audre Lorde
feminist poet