Broken Sancturay

A return to some of my own verse. Please respect my copyright:

Broken Sanctuary

Broken sanctuary

Jerusalem to Salem,

Seats of a Sovereign She,

Axis of the sacred sphere

Salem; a place of safety,

Broken by the men of fear,

Sister did we think us free?

What malice lead us here

To exile we did not will to be?

Our harm is not divine decree,


Those who class themselves pure enough to stain,

Pierce us with hatred, yet name us as the sin,

In that ill-conceived demand we wear their shame

As blood upon garments cling to memory and skin,


The sun has set upon the moon,

The whole made incomplete

All women lose their earthly power

When rope loops neck, lifts feet

From sacred earth at darkest hour,

This not wisdom of long lost Saul,

No, for with cruelty to wise women

Jeru-Salem, bought to war, did fall,


A covenant broken, sisters unsafe,

Yet did we learn the difference

Between misogyny and faith?

With blame still cast by inference

Mistrust like manacles chafe,


The healers and weavers killed or scattered

By those word-twisters who distort belief,

Across traditions, each linked circle shattered,

In ripples, herstory repeated, veiled in grief,

Those taken by so called witches’ hammer,

Midwives, medics, sacred circle weavers

Murdered in odium’s unholy clamber

In acts that soiled the name ‘believer’;


Harm to women inscribed as a deep cutting sin,

For Jew, Muslim, Sikh, Hindi, Christian brother

Who are taught genders are equal, all are kin,

Value their sister, daughter, colleague, mother

As any who feel the great spirit move within,


Yes, many of faith of every creed & colour

Venerate the feminine within the one,

As winter, spring, autumn need summer –

The vital balance, luna to the sun

Peoples of all lands do honour her;

The breath of being since all begun,

Her name, exhaled prayer, Shechinah,

The first breath of the Mighty All One,


It is not faith that teaches us to fear

Womanhood; the flame’s reflection;

The curve of earth that holds us near;

Man needn’t fear nurture or protection,


So, I say there is no space in faith for hate,

All equal in an almighty inter­­-breath of being,

Those who try to justify violence are too late

Love loosened up the gate, we are seeing,


Once upon a time to come

In a sphere returning,

When all our exile is done

In a world no longer burning …

This story will not find its end

Until we repair our sanctuary

Hand in hand, Salem to mend

To heal the scars of herstory,

And call one another ‘friend’.


Antonia Zenkevitch 2014