The Best Literary Writing About Mothers and Motherhood

Mosaic by Margie Shaheed

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Mosaic Front CoverReviewed by Lorraine Currelley

Mosaic is a wonderfully written collection of poems, where our senses bear witness. Poems are poetically weaved to passion, experience and craft. Margie Shaheed sculpts life. Her poems are full and rich with colorful imagery and phrasing. Her usage of language is clear, precise and free of struggles to embrace their meaning. You don’t read her words, you breathe them. Mosaic will resonate with its readers. There is an unspoken trust between author and reader. We join on this journey of joy and pain. There is always
something new to be discovered in her writing. We’re invited to become a part of her exploration.

Excerpts from Mosaic


Moon-colored candles cast black shadows on yonder wall of women
dancing fiercely. Bantu hips sway and gyrate to syncopated rhythms
of fluorescent lights and icy chrome. The path outside the canal
leads to village cultures which have faded into each other. A mosaic
of orderly chaos. Sun-dried hair lies well on the head anointed with

The heart of the woman is filled
with children and bullet holes
like the Rwandan woman’s belly is filled
with everything
Except food
Except blood
Except embryonic fluids
and the Valentine baby is stillborn.


Carved in Pain: When Love Hurts It Kills
for Jessica Tanay Andrews (1989-2010) and Marissa Alexander

Marissa Alexander
a prophetess, knew
what happened to Jessica
could happen to her too
so she armed herself with a gun
what else could she have done


to: S. Lewis for knowing

I Am the Woman who sings, not like a bird
but like Billie, Ella, Ruth,
and Bobbi’s flute.

I Am the remnants of an April shower.
My iridescent colors of orange, blue,
green and gold ignite the skies with brilliance,
forcing the sun to glow.

I Am Moon Mother.
Mother of Rivers.
Through my womb of light and water
I gave birth to the universe.

I Am the constellation of cultures,
black pearl of the sea.
Grains of sand are my face.
I alone order time and space.

My body is that of a fertility doll
spreading seeds over the earth,
spawning centuries of creative Woman’s work.

Flowers sprout from my breasts,
where honeysuckle nectar flows.
Under my watchful eyes,
new dawns unfold.

Yes, I Am the Goddess
for whom the stars
sing and clap hallelujah
In celebration of my wondrous self.

I bleed life to all.

Long after reading Mosaic, we are left feeling empowered, strengthened and emotionally rich. This happens when life beckons us and unafraid we take hold freely.


Lorraine Currelley is a poet, writer, educator, Pearls of Wisdom Storyteller, mental health and grief and bereavement counselor. She’s the Founder/Executive Director of Poets Network & Exchange, Inc, a safe, positive and supportive space for poets and writers at all levels.; where she facilitates poetry and creative writing workshops, produces featured poetry readings, literary events, open mics and a scholar lecture series. She’s the recipient of S.P.A.R.C. (Seniors Partnering with the Arts Citywide Residency Grant 2014) and the 2015 NYPL Arts for A Lifetime Residency Grant.


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