Poems and Other Myths:

A collection of spoken word poetry by women from Asia.


Rochelle D’Silva


All her life she had been someone else's life

Someone else's hopes

Wrapped up in someone else's version of pretty

Held together by obligation

All her life

She had seen but never spoken

Had questions she never asked

Told truths she didn't believe in

Head to toe

She was someone else's disappointment



Preconceived notion

When I met her

She has resolve written all over her face

It glimmered in the sunshine

It hid beneath the dark circles

Under her eyes

She always had more plans

Than sleep

More worry than gain


Than anyone else I had ever met before

She climbed branches

Skimmed knees

Buried trinkets and treasure

Made maps

Of you are here

And this is where you want to be

Maps that changed

As forcefully

As her plans did

She had always been someone else's life

Someone else's problem

Someone else's find

When they found her

She wasn't pretty

She had resolve

Marked furiously all over her body

Clenched fists to mark her territory

She was the bravest woman I have ever met

She is the decisions

I make

Without regret

She is unapologetic

No i will not let you

She is holding my hand

With every fuck you

She is places I will see

Betrayals I will forgive

Darkness I will not run into

She is resolve

In the tip of my pen

In the quiet of my soul

In the many shades of woman

That will someday make me whole.


I don't know, but they did it. They've done it before and they did it tonight and they'll do it
again and when they do it - seems only children weep. - (Atticus Finch)

I have recently been blessed with a niece

I look into her eyes

And see absolute good

And I'm scared

That this world isn't

The best place to

Raise a child

Someday someone will

Make her feel small

Or unworthy

Try to chip away at the certainty in her soul

Tell her the world is not her oyster

Teach her to discriminate based on

Religion, race, sexual preference

Geography, food, clothing

Status, education, accents

We have labelled everything you see

And now that we have names for everything

And everyone

Our knowing slowing weaned away

By prejudice

We laugh at people falling face forward in the street

And do not blink at young children

Smashed against rocks

Covered up in white sheets

We need movies to entertain us

Music to give us hope

Books to titillate our fantasies

Terminal illnesses to remind us we are human

Accidents to remind us life is not fair

So many reminders everyday

Why is your sense of self so inflated

That it only fits you and the

People you deem fit

See this makes me angry

And anger is counterproductive

She is looking at me as if

I am the embodiment of love

And I want more than anything

To be the best possible me for her

But too often I have found myself in situations

That do not adequately represent me

Skimmed the surface of policies

That seem to speak for me

Shrouded in the comfort of my

Mild pro-active-ness

My sometimes angered

Sometime reactive-ness

I am guilty

Of forgetting to extend empathy


I have an opportunity to stand on pedestals

To tell you

That your stereotypes upset me

Boat people, curry munchers, bogans, black, yellow, brown, white

Human - people - we all have the same innards

The same blood

The same fallacies

There is tar in your food

Plastic in your clothes

Wool over your eyes

And apathy in your



I try to put her to sleep

She has teddies and toys

But she is fascinated by my hand

The simplicity of doing this -

Followed by shrill laughter

Sooths my soul

Do you remember when you were too young

To know what it meant to be corrupt

When lying/cheating/death still horrified you

See we didn't all start out this way

Angry, jaded bystanders

Hope is so simple in this moment

Just ask yourself one question

When a child looks up at YOU

Do they see the potential for good?

Are they looking at the face of possibility

or will you raise them

to shrug shoulders

believing that nothing ever changes

that one voice doesn't matter

that the only thing guaranteed

is that we are helpless

do you feel helpless?

because I tell you now you are not

your actions can affect an entire generation

social justice is an necessary

as upgrading your smart phone

redefine activism

wear it on your sleeve

pass it on to friends


that every kind deed

every brave voice

every action that shows dissent

is part of a bigger evolution

and no revolution

can every be won

by maybe

so say


I will be better

I will be brave

I will not let you warp my idea of justice

I will not speak softly

I will remember what it means to be free

and I will soar