Editor’s Note: Isiri…a way 

"Oshun" by Bunty's Banter. Yoruba Goddess of love.
“Oshun” by Bunty’s Banter. Yoruba Goddess of love.

What then are the barriers to love if we weren’t raised to know love? What if every conversation was filled only with the knowledge of suffering, the tedious undermining of spirit and irreconcilable pain? As a species, we speak so often of a need for love, and thus it is a provocative assumption that we as humans generally share in its understanding. But for so many, from all walks of life, torture and abuse began the first time they set eyes on a planet filled with a wonder that was all too quickly shattered by cruelty. For so many, narcissism, selfishness, censure and volatile control were cloaked in love’s façade. There is no easy medicine for the residual harm done, the savage wounding that leaves discernible scars, evidenced in our interactions with life. Yet I suggest that within ourselves as well as nature, there is a touch, a holding to be accessed even when humans decline.

Anthropologically speaking, the unknown dynamics causing tension and competition on the human sphere are ever in dispute. Across a great span of time; women not exclusively, but most certainly, have been oppressed as a group. And adding the dimensions of race, class, caste, age, and religion to name some; women have had a hard time of it. So what does this have to do with truly feeling, knowing love? Well, assuming as I do, that the struggle for equality, space, freedom from battering and molestation, freedom from poverty and fear of societal exploitation and repression, freedom from the ordering of gender, identity, sexuality, belief system and humanity, freedom from enslavement… assuming these freedoms are the purview of those proffering brilliant visions for a peaceful world; then to invoke these desires, prayers, these goods, we have to know love, I mean what it really looks like. To get there, we must be willing to go there; unearth, create and recreate the philosophies that have hindered our personal and community development, giving sway to the nurturance of the human and the planet above all material addiction.

Complex conversations are the province of love, and in this issue, Malkia Charlee NoCry, with impeccable analytical

Sheshat, Kemetic/Egyptian Goddess of Wisdom
Sheshat, Kemetic/Egyptian Goddess of Wisdom

skill, helps us finely tune and decode the Femficatio. Offering as well her beautifully crafted and lilting feminist poetics in “I Believe Arethusa is My Mother”; she navigates us on a course that leads to the wholeness, protection, intelligence and clarity that is the agency of love. In her Perspectives, Helene Ruiz’s edgy art teaches us about the abstract beauty of dreaming minds. And through her vibrant colouring and shaping of eclectic forms we discover an unconventional means of interpreting reality, the understanding that art is birthed from dark and light – another way into love. Angela Martinez Dy’s lovely and engaging verse conjures a seemingly pastoral existence of women’s oppression in “Holy Train”. Tathagata Mitra’s short-story “Intelligence” deconstructs the landscape of male-female relationships for the young lovelorn in Calcutta. And in this issue I offer a brief glance back at the women poets of the Black Arts Movement, in “A Vintage Blue”. Their poly-tongue fire-light reminds us to ever praise the myriad dimensions of our woman beings!

This one for the  non-credited women philosophers who have created Geo-spheres of rational and intuitive knowledge since antiquity.

With The Spirit of Optimism that Love Demands

Kamaria Muntu

*Isiri is a Yoruba word which literally means the act of opening up or activating the head or (consciousness) –  (the head being the highest point) Definition: Oduntan G. Bode

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