she watched them

Started by biolaephesus, February 22, 2018, 03:49:02 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


faces from the village
held down by brutal hands
frozen by fear
closed her eyes at the fierce pain
heard their grunts
torn and bleeding
they took turns and cackled
like hyenas in heat.

Rejected by the clan
she closed her eyes
slid in the village pond
drowned in the ocean of shame

Mark Hoffmann

Hi Biola

You certainly don't shy away from tackling the big topics do you!

I can see what you are trying to achieve with S1 by giving fragments of information rather than describing the scene, but it doesn't quite work IMO.

Take L1 - I guess the implication is that people are watching, but the way it runs into L2 it takes a while to figure that it is not the faces that are being held down.

You have a picture in your head, but when you read your own work, put your self in the readers head and start with a blank canvas - is the writing paining the picture you want it to?

I'm also not convinced by the hyenas - though I know nothing of their habits. Assuming they are like other mammals, the females will come in heat so how is that relevant? And do they really take turns - perhaps so? Or is it just the cackling that refers to the hyenas?

Frozen by (with?) fear is a cliche.

S2 has more potential and I'd be tempted to try writing from there and hint at the rape as the reason for her demise. Obviously S2L1 is all tell and to me you miss an opportunity to show how that rejection is carried out.

Is the downing metaphorical, or would women commit suicide in these situations? If the latter, then again I think that makes a more interesting story than the rape. Rape is despicable, but blaming the person who was raped, almost feels worse.

Writing humour is the hardest thing since sliced bread.

The Severed Hands of Oliver Olivovich
UK -
US -

FB Author Page -


Hi Biola,
I too understand the images in your poem as fragmented impressions. I think this would work better in first person.

faces from the village--
held down by brutal hands
frozen by fear
I close my eyes at the fierce pain
hear their grunts.

Torn and bleeding--

they take turns
and cackled like hyenas.

Excuse the messing around with your writing--I couldn't help myself :) I could imagine the familiar faces hovering over the N and I can imagine the ending as quite believable.


It does not matter if you know it, but you and Indar have become my mentors here. I took a deep sigh of relief when I read your comments.
First, you are blamed for getting raped. this was a village gang rape and the faces were those of the village touts.  In my part of the world, no matter who raped a female, the family rejects you so it is best not to mention it, but this is worse, she knew it was known that she was raped. Her husband promptly rejected her, she could not return to the family house either. I meant the men laughed like hyenas. If I had just one would not catch me just writing about it.