The Speeches

I watched in awe at what I saw,

I felt a sense of calm;

from words thus spoke,

would angst revoke, spreading like a balm.

Four years of mounting anger, combined with growing fear, 

were lessened with each word I heard, the danger much less clear.

A growing sense of purpose, a vast internal sigh,

I felt I had a voice once more; no more would I decry.

The poison of deluded minds, insanity ever-present,

I felt freedom seldom mine; now could I dissent.

Accustomed to a monotone, my ears picked up the new,

tones of excitation and the words that rang so true.

There were years that I was witness to a growing disenfranchisement,

of many so deceived by blatant aggrandizement;

by autocratic propaganda, echoing times to me, of moral deprivation.

When evil striped identity from millions in a nation.

Democracy shone from every vote

in every eye, and dare I quote:

“Let us be the nation we know we can be.”

I felt these words were so well said and indeed included me.

Decency, good values, abundantly expressed;

a forgotten sense of value, I suddenly felt blessed.

I felt my eye begin to fill, 

and tears on my cheeks did spill.

I’d longed for years to hear the voice of clarity and reason;

it seemed to me that what I’d heard were undoubtedly those of treason.

I am grateful beyond these words, to let the nation lay,

in the hands of those who love it well, and this I have to say,

Let there be a peace of mind, spread far across our land,

respecting each for whom they are; let rational minds up-stand.

Janice Konstantinidis.


Roe v. Wade

Who dares to tell me what to do
with my body.
My body.
Any woman’s body,
Who among you decided that you were
the omniscient ones who knew
all about me and my right to own my body!
Who among you will take care of the
child you fought so hard to have me bear?
Will you feed the child, educate, and keep them safe?
Will you give me assurance that I will have employment
to give a child all they need at any point
in their development?
Can you assure me that my mental health will remain
The Supreme Court of the United States has taken over
my body.

Six people with the effrontery to believe they are wiser
than I am in this very personal matter.
How dare six of nine Justices tell me and millions of
other women that we should give birth to a child,
come what may!
Who granted you the power to make this decision?
Was this matter not dealt with in 1973?
Conservative religious zealots that you are.
Convinced that human life is superior to any
another life form; moreover, convinced that
a fetus that is unable to sustain life outside
the womb must be protected at any cost.
A retrograde stand was taken by six moronic
people. A mindset that has plunged us into
an abyss of despair,
How dare you!
Conservative religious connivance on the
part of certain Justices of the Supreme Court
of America has snaked its way into the lives
of women who thought they were free to
decide about pregnancy.
An archaic mold which, if not stopped,
will darken the lives of other groups than
We must stand up. We must fight.
You will not tell me/us what we/I can do
with my body.

How dare you!

The Clearing

The Clearing

There was a special place at the end of the orchard, where a small clearing with a clump of young trees, that hovered just above the creek. 

The child loved to come here. She loved the joy she felt when she saw the sun filtering through the wattle trees, the green mosses in the grass, and the bitter smell from eucalyptus. She’d run her hands across the heath bushes, absorbing the texture, and taking in the sight of the perfection of the tiny flowers.

The scene was one she loved beyond her level of comprehension or ability to describe. 

Her affinity to the clearing was such that she wanted to be part of it; to eat it, to take it all inside her so she could own it.

Some mornings she’d run to it, taking great care not to dirty her polished shoes, she wanted just a glance before school. At weekends, when she’d finished her chores, she could stay longer. 

Some days, the early frost lay white on the moss, steam rising from the tips of the leaves as the sun warmed them. The child would look in wonder.

Afternoons in spring, were a source of amazement to her. The wattle was a glorious yellow. She watched as the sun caught the color’s refractive glow as it shone on the new spring flowers.

Other times, in the summer, she’d lean against a tree in the clearing, peeling off the bark carefully, crisp in her small palm, yet yielding to her touch. 

The bright pink wild fuchsia which grew all along the creek bank, caught the sun’s rays as it filtered through the canopy of the higher trees. An abundance of watercress, waited to be picked by eager little hands. 

In the dead of winter, the child braved a walk to her clearing in rain boots, squishing her way through the mud and deep undulations left by the tread of tractor tires. It was hard going. The sleet beat against her small body, plastering her hair on her head, the wind chilling her to the bone. 

The rain and wind played havoc with the trees, bending them over, their branches whipping her, as she scurried under for protection. The roar of the creek was loud, the waters high and dangerous. Once, she saw a dead calf caught up in the debris. She felt disgust and fear at the sight of it.

 When the weather at the clearing was fierce, she drew strength, understood the relentlessness of the seasons; admired the bravery of her clearing as it stood firm. 

In spring, her breath stood still in her throat, at her first glimpse of her trees, cloaked in a mist, that was as damp as the tears in her eyes. Shivering, she touched the leaves, at times licking their moisture. The quietness surrounded her, blanketed her, bringing a feeling of peace she seldom felt.

She loved the times when she lay still on the moss on the ground. Birds landed on branches, oblivious to her. She became one with the clearing. The bird’ s chatter pleased her; sometimes she’d stifle a giggle at her daring. She’d watch as they rubbed beaks on her branches, enjoying her hospitality. She was privy to their preening and exchange of banter. Their feathers made a perfect contrast to the infinite shades of green that surrounded them.

The child would think about her clearing at night in bed. A huge surge of comfort would fill her mind and body. In a thought, she was there safe and free.