Photo by Jane Lund.

This week our table reaches around the world. March 8th, 2016 is International Women’s Day. It’s not just a day for women to speak up, but for all genders to raise their voice for equality for all.

We’ve gathered plenty of voices for today’s buffet. Ones that certainly will inspire. And like every Poetry Potluck, we encourage you to post one of your own inspiring, equality promoting poems in the comments section.

We also invite you to visit to learn more about how you can participate in this year’s International Women’s Day.

Here are some youthful voices from around the world in a short video from the World Youth Organization.


Next on the table:  “Daughters” by Lissie.

In support of International Women’s Day on March 8th, Lissie’s new song ‘Daughters’ is available for ‘pay what you want’ purchase from 1st – 15th March, with proceeds donated to charity: water. Click here to donate and get your download of Daughters – and help share the message with Thunderclap –


Here, we have an amazing reading by Jihan Williams from International Women’s Day 2013


Lastly, a poem I wrote many years ago. I finally read to my mother a few weeks ago. With tears she told me, “you should try to get that one published. Don’t stop tying to get that one publish.” I’ll publish it here.

Out of a Quilt

Maybe the frost, or the notion of winter,
how we’d light the fires, burn the dead pines-
I can’t explain exactly why…

I wanted the leaves to crumble in my hands.
The breeze to chill my face, red, so I could run
to the cover of a quilt my great-grandmother
made, last century. I know she felt the same.
By the links, the chain, the little hand stitched
design. Winter was always a good excuse to
stay inside, to hide. And October was a welcome
to the calm, the quiet time.

But the sun is burning holes in my blanket.
The snow has let go and the wind is warm
wanting me to plant seeds, tend to the weeds.
April’s opening the windows and doors,
flooding the streets with bees and dreams
and birds breaking in their wings. While all
I’m wanting is a cold gray cloud excuse
to cover my hands in mittens again.

But what I get is a light rain reason that spring
gives me to go outside. And I know why. Not
with words or a pretty rhyme. It’s not something
that easily defined. Hands and Time. I know it
by my mother’s eyes as I walk outside, carrying
in my body and in my blood all her deepest dreams.

I shiver in the sunlight, worried by what the men
told me about what happens to a girl when she
gets old and the roomers they’ll tell if I spend
too much time outside, in my own mind.

I could have married into a place to hide,
but instead I’m standing bare handed,
half-way out in the front yard and I can
hear them laughing. One small flat foot
in front of the other. Hardly knowing why
I’m walking. Warmed only by the thought
that I am going to where my mother has
never been
and that because of her
I can.
– Ann Kestner

Well it’s quite a full inspiration buffet today. I’m hoping you’ll all be bring some wonderful dishes to the Poetry Potluck.

 (Click here to learn more about our weekly Poetry Potluck and Inspiration Buffet.)