Women Poetry: Dr. Meenakshi Mohan, USA

Exclusive: Women Poetry: Edited by Padmaja Iyengar-Paddy
Meenakshi Mohan

I am many Medusas.
I have lived beyond centuries being born and reborn many times --
history has not bound me in its limited pages.

I am many Medusas in pain and peril -- an innocent beautiful girl-child, 
but my own father abates my identity against my brothers,
they are your privileged pride, father, to carry your name. 
There are many Acrisius who do not hesitate to cede
the existence of their daughters or granddaughters. What is their crime? 

Yes, I am many Medusas in many forms --
when the lustful eyes of men disrobe me,
when I suffer in the hands of my abusive husbands,
when I, a victim, become a villain, 
when you, Poseidon of the patriarchal society, remain a hero.

I am many Medusas – your savageries have turned me as an 
outcast, ugly, with coiled snaky hair instead of my silky ringlets. 
I live alone in my world of dead men turned to stones with my wrath.
There are many Perseus who kill me to become heroes.

I have suffered enough from your sadistic brutality time and time again --
today, I rise like rage in the marbles! Yes, I am many Medusas,
I come to revive the world where women live fearless with pride and dignity.


once a ravishing beauty with blond, silky curls,
men eyed you with lust, women were jealous.

You lived with tranquility in your pious world as a priestess,
then came Poseidon mutilating your sacred world.   
A rape victim, you lived your life in shame as an outcast,
jealous Athena instead of defending, punished you with epithets and curse, 
deprived you of your charm and turned you into an ugly Gorgon,
and your silky hair ringlets into hissing serpents.

Then you came to know Acrisius, a cruel father
who set his own daughter adrift on the sea to die.  
You became a victim of Perseus’ deceit as he killed you to earn his glory.
Poor Medusa, you suffered enough atrocities in men’s world.

It is time to wake up and rise. 
Rise, Medusa, rise - daughter of the sea --
let your strong billows and white-crested waves crush the stones on your way.
Let your wings earn your much deserved freedom. 
Even millennia later you remain the icon of women’s pride and strength.
Rise, Medusa, rise.

Prof. Meenakshi Mohan, Ed.D. is an educator, art critic, children's writer, painter, and poet.  She has taught at universities in Chicago, Boston, and Towson University in Maryland. She has published widely in the academic and creative areas. She has been listed twice in the Who is Who Among American Teachers. She authored two children's picture books, The Rainbow in My Room and The Gift, and edited Tamam Shud, Poems of Kshitij Mohan. She is currently on the Montgomery County Library System's Advisory Committee in its Potomac, Maryland branch. She is on the Editorial Team for Inquiry in Education, a peer-reviewed journal published by National Louis University, Chicago, Illinois.

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