Weekly Write: “To women who have never known Amazonia” by Liza Wolff-Francis

To women who have never known Amazonia

Dear endangered curves,
Dear blossoming then sagging breasts,
Dear shoulders in wait,
Dear curious vulva,
Dear fairy tale princesses and your witches,

There is a landscape not impossible
for freedom of women.

Trees of proud limbs,
where leaves whisper poems to sky.
Earth savory, fingers to lips.
Its scent in rain
like the imagination of clouds,
fog over trails of fern and animal,
brisk air in nostrils, inside cheeks
like the creation of taste buds,
in lungs, stomach, and toes.

An interpretation of paradise,
this place holds always
the possibility of disappearing,

Weeks, months, lifetimes
of us working beside each other,
sharing space under day and moon.

It took time for us to get here,
and it first meant leaving
those places where we start out
at the bottom, to create a world
where women are the hive
and also the bees.

Where, you might ask, is a place like that?
Where women are valued for who they are,
not for what they can give?

Not for babies we can birth,
or how we can serve you,
or for the stars between our thighs,
and not for our lullabies.

There is only one place I know.
I would tell you to come
if I thought it was safe. If I thought
I could spell out clear instructions
on how to arrive, if I thought you
would easily arrive alive, I would tell you.

Dear doubter,
Dear captive woman,
Dear woman lost to patriarchy,
Dear body in danger,
Dear self, seeking safety,
Dear traveler,
Dear imagination,
Dear world changer,

If you want to come and can make it here,
this is your invitation.

With love,

Liza Wolff-Francis is a literary artist with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College. Her writing has appeared in Steam Ticket, eMerge, Minute Magazine, Poetry Pacific, Edge, and on various blogs. She has a poetry chapbook out called ‘Language of Crossing’ (2015, Swimming With Elephants Press).

 

 

“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2020 Anthology.

Click here check out the 2019 Anthology:  Trumpet Call; a Swimming with Elephants Anthology available for only $12.95.

Weekly Write: “A Missing Love Letter” by Liza Wolff-Francis

A missing love letter

lost, hidden under a flower
when the moon was a mouthy
revolutionary, its paper unfolding

from yellow petals, its words,
a design meant only for you.
All of the cyclones of this life,

sharp curve hip of color and line.
The words we hear and don’t,
the sound, the noise, all of it

is the outbreath of the deflection
of the moon when it is full.
Its waves are the ways we call

each other, the footprints of stories,
drip paint scrawl, as if we try
to understand each other through love.

I loved you once
and as my letters to you were lost,
so were our moments.

 

 

Liza Wolff-Francis is a literary artist with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She was co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival and on the 2008 Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team. She has a poetry chapbook called Language of Crossing (SWEPublications).

 

 

 

 

“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2020 Anthology.

Click here check out the 2019 Anthology:  Trumpet Call; a Swimming with Elephants Anthology available for only $12.95.

Weekly Write: “Seed Memory” by Liza Wolff-Francis

Seed Memory

“The future of food must be reclaimed by women.”
Vandana Shiva

Most farmers in India are women,
wrapped in wheat-soaked
pink and yellow under
the dome of cerulean sky.
Spiced recipe, a moonlit field
growing thousands
of women who will harvest
cycles of hunger.

Stale breadcrumbs scattered,
high-priced seeds pressed
into palms, the scratch
of their patent like an allergy.
The threat of death in the dirt
under fingernails at sunset,
labor’s brief hiatus.

When the memory of a seed
no longer recognizes itself
in the till of the crop, in bent
backs, calloused hands,
the dance of sun and rain
and careful tender of land,
a woman’s freedom
has already been
bought and sold.
This, they say, is all
in the cost
of going forward.

Mornings await,
heat heavy in the soil,
in the thunderous
voices waiting to hatch.
Hold on to the seeds.

 

Liza Wolff-Francis is a literary artist with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She was co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival and on the 2008 Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team. She has a poetry chapbook called Language of Crossing (SWEPublications).

 

 

 

“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2020 Anthology.

Click here check out the 2019 Anthology:  Trumpet Call; a Swimming with Elephants Anthology available for only $12.95.

Weekly Write: “I have seen the ocean once” by Liza Wolff-Francis

I have seen the ocean once

its monstrous size hummed
over earth, its tides pulled
my body like wind pulls
at the wings of gulls.

Its water melted into sand
and I sank into it, becoming
for an instant, one
with ocean and land.

I saw to the end of our planet
like it was the future, sun
glistening on the blood
of earth, waves on and on.

My mother said we must
take inspiration from ocean,
as a force as ongoing as time
and none who try to conquer it

will be able. I loved the cool
melt between my toes, the rinse
and cleanse on my hands,
my face with its grit,

salt on my tongue, like it
would eat me. Part of me
wanted to let it, but that is not
why we could not stay there.

My mother brought me there
to understand how my body
also holds an ocean, one they
also want to conquer.

Closer to the ocean,
there is more danger, she said,
because conquerors come
and ocean and earth can only

fight them off sometimes.
On days when it rains here,
I remember how each drop
of water acts on its own,

how water stays together
as a force. I feel ocean move
inside me and how I bleed
and dance with the moon.

To protect ocean
is to protect my body.
Crabs scurry away from it, hide
from it, run to it, to become it.

Gulls dive, hunger calls them
like the moon calls my tides,
all of us salt and sand
and ocean blood running alone

before the earth’s edges
as if ocean were the part of us
we had felt inside us
but only met once.

Liza Wolff-Francis is a literary artist with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She was co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival and on the 2008 Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team. She has a poetry chapbook called Language of Crossing (SWEPublications).

 

 

“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2019 Anthology.

Click here check out Parade: Swimming with Elephants Publications Anthology 2018 available for only $10.95.

Available on Kindle Unlimited: The Language of Crossing

Now available on Kindle Unlimited:  Language of Crossing by Liza Wolff-Francis.

Click here to view Kindle Unlimited as well as find buying options for the paperback.

Liza Wolff-Francis’s Language of Crossing is a collection of poetry that mirrors the true heart-stories along the US/Mexico border. Giving face, voice and humanity to all those who make their way across fronteras, her work is that of a necessary endeavor. She writes of a reality that must be ignored no longer. It is the struggle, strife, and violence that is endured by those who flee their country in hopes of a better life. Her poems, brutally honest and minute, rouse compassion as all good poetry must and begs the question of accountability. Language of Crossing is a political outcry, a finely tuned collection of endurance of a people, and a passionate advocacy for all to take notice. Wolff-Francis is a real activist planting poetic prayer flags across the vastness of a desert.

Featured SwEP Author: Liza Wolff Francis

Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC would like to reintroduce to you to Liza Wolff Francis.

Liza Wolff Francis’s chapbook, Language of Crossing, was published in the fall of 2015 by Swimming with Elephants Publications, LLC.

Liza Wolff-Francis’s Language of Crossing is a collection of poetry that mirrors the true heart-stories along the US/Mexico border. Giving face, voice and humanity to all those who make their way across fronteras, her work is that of a necessary endeavor. She writes of a reality that must be ignored no longer. It is the struggle, strife, and violence that is endured by those who flee their country in hopes of a better life. Her poems, brutally honest and minute, rouse compassion as all good poetry must and begs the question of accountability. Language of Crossing is a political outcry, a finely tuned collection of endurance of a people, and a passionate advocacy for all to take notice. Wolff-Francis is a real activist planting poetic prayer flags across the vastness of a desert.

 

Liza Wolff Francis’s chapbook, Language of Crossing, from Bookworks ABQ

or order from Amazon or Barnes and Noble today!

Already own a copy? Please write a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Goodreads, or submit a review to swimwithelephants@gmail.com for publications on this site.

 

Liza Wolff-Francis

Liza Wolff-FraLizaHeadShotncis is a poet and writer with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She was co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival and a member of the 2008 Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team. She has an ekphrastic poem posted in Austin’s Blanton Art Museum by El Anatsui’s sculpture “Seepage” and her work has most recently appeared in Edge, Twenty, unseenfiction.com, Border Senses, and on various blogs. As a social worker, she has worked with Spanish speaking immigrant populations for twenty years. She wrote the play “Border Rising” from interviews with undocumented Mexican immigrants in Los Angeles. She currently lives in Albuquerque, NM.