March-8

 

..

.International Women’s Day – March 8

 

A Century of Our Struggle!

by Surjeet Kalsey

 

100 yeas of struggle:

women of the world marching on

continuously marching on

and keeping their struggle alive

for equality, respect and dignity!

Yet the destination is far far away

there were thorns and stones on the path!

Marching through centuries on the rough road

our hearts ache and our feet bleed with blisters.

 

Somewhere on the way we are lost!

As if we fail to feel the pain of another 

of our own and stand against each other

making to feel insulted and ridiculed

in front of others in the crowd.

Still marching on the never ending path

women hold hands and many banners

marching endlessly together!

Sometimes we feel that we fail

ourselves, our own struggle, and

we ourselves squeeze our own blisters!

Shamelessly, nothing moves forward

we are still on the margin, we are

still being stoned, still being raped

the violence has not stopped

seems as if we have failed ourselves

and we are blamed for. The society,

the history, the trends, the attitudes

are still chanting Manu Simriti….

A century long history of our struggle

will continue to end our sufferings

Our  sacrifices will continue to get freedom

from prejudices and offerings of humiliation.

Struggle will continue, March on! March on!

Voiceless Women

by Surjeet Kalsey

 

Yes, they are still sitting there

quietly waiting for someone

someone will come

and inscribe their fate

on their foreheads

or a stream of passion

would sprung up from within

or a straw would become a pen.

 

Women are sitting in the house

as if they are sitting on the street

without its floor without its door

but walls are still their retreat

 

Voiceless women live in this house

within these four walls

without its door, without its floor

quietly they wait for someone

would come and spread out

earth under their feet.

 

The tale they wanted to tell

that has become aged, stopped.

The tale is circling within circle

from ages and their voice is not heard

their eyes are lit like lamps

on their wrinkled faces – waiting

waiting and waiting someone will come.

Their story is being written in their wrinkles

they will bury their story with their bodies

or a straw would become a pen

or they would remain voiceless even in this age!

United We March!

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Farmworker Women

Farmworker Women

(Dedicated to all those women  working in the BC farms)

Women come and work in
the wide spread BC farms.
Smiling and energetic they come
from the land of Punjab
educated, uneducated, married
unmarried young and old
all become slowly and slowly
hard-working farm labourers!
 
From the land of the five rivers
soon women arrive to Canada
they work in the farms every where.
Many of them are attracted to
Fraser Valley ornamented with
sharp rich colours of raspberry,
blue berry and strawberries.
 
Brides take off their gold and silk
come wearing  t-shirts and jeans
with soft henna coloured palms
women come with holding babies
women with pre-schoolers
women with grandparents
women with old in-laws and
some with old parents
and aunts and uncles
women with large families.
Women work around the clock
their hands work non-stop
in the fields of raspberry
blueberry and strawberry.
Women pick mushrooms
cut broccoli and sprouts
marshy land is under their feet
under the rain of pesticide
their hands get blisters
their feet get swollen
their eyes become watery
they breathe on fumes
and their arms, necks and faces
get infected with killer pesticides.
Working the soil they become soil.
Women work day and night
their hands work non-stop.
Longer hours more than dawn to dusk
women work and get tired
come back with aching feet and hands
when are taken back to their homes
in a stuffed van of a contractor
where they can not even breathe.
Working women, labourers, they just work !
 
They come back home late at night
tired and then they start home-shift –
cooking for their hungry children
for their men, for their large families.
they wash everybody’s dirty dishes
and do everybody’s laundry.
Women take care of everybody
– crying hungry or sick children
Women look after everybody’s needs
remain unaware of their own needs
women go to bed vary late
after everybody’s gone to bed
and after making preparations
for everybody  tomorrow’s work
and they have to get up very early
before the first ray of the sun rises
and get ready to go to the farms again.
 
Farmworker women are brave- Zindabad!

by

Surjeet Kalsey (1985)