Melita White

the poet

Melita White is an Australian poet, writer, and spoken word artist. Her blog, Feminist Confessional, features feminist poetry, essays and personal non-fiction pieces in a confessional style. Melita is also a composer and a classically trained musician, and loves making all kinds of things. Her creative work is a form of activism, and she enjoys examining and debunking gender constructs, as well as focusing on topics such as the #MeToo movement and domestic violence. Her writing has featured in anthologies from Rhythm 'n' Bones Press and Indie Blu(e) Publishing, and various places online.

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the poems

When God Was a Woman

00:00 / 01:36

When God was a woman
there was no God
There was only you and me and many other humans besides
and there were animals and trees and rivers both wide and skinny

and spans of land and oceans deep and crystals and sand

and stars and comets and heavenly bodies galaxial
When God was a woman the moon presided
and the sky and weather and seasons
were full of infinite knowledge both intimate and beyond

When God was a woman
there was no God
and power filled each entity
and no one thing dared
take from another
what was rightfully theirs
And all had food and tenderness and air and water

and learning and life and respect
and there was enough of all of these things
because there was no God
to rule or to punish to preach or to take or destroy or to flood

or to incite us to rape or to kill or to conquer (in the name of God)

and all was exactly as it should be
and there was love and balance and the Earth was just so
Only ever as it should be
Always
When God was a woman

Sardines

00:00 / 00:33

Bodies silver similar bodies
Firm and plump they lie in a row
Synchronised swimming silver sequins
Similar bodies headless whole
Salty sparkly oily striptease
Turn my key and open me up
Slippery cold skin to swallow
Exhale life and crunch my bones

Zoë means life

00:00 / 01:53

To my friend Zoë
whose name means life
who is a poem
much richer than this
a love letter
a witch’s dictionary
sage of all that is known or felt

Zoë
a Dada dandy
my surreal sister
humourist
in the face of death
she touches up my pain
with the tiny brush of absurdity
dials up the light
on my chiaroscuro
until we howl
and the bitter tears of joy
run over round cheeks

Zoë stands and faces
and says fuck you
to the things
that should be fucked well off —
she is soft rose velvet
blue glimmers of giggle
plush cushions of cuddle
sharp spikes of valour
she is my chainmail armour
and it is lined with cashmere


she is my posture straightening
my cradled soul weeping
my voice heard
and my anger multiplied
she is my mother and my other and my brother
she is every soul’s lover
she is 12
and 15
and 20
and 46
and 87
she is timeless
and ageless
she is a living ancestor
the ground and the feed
the seed and the sun
the rain when it came
she is all that she knows
and she knows like no other

Zoë means life —
happy birthday

Publishing credits

When God Was a Woman: Whisper and the Roar

Sardines / Zoë means life: Feminist Confessional

© original authors 2020

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