[EXCLUSIVE] “Woman, Arise!” by J.C. (First Place Winner—World Poetry Day Competition 2021)

J.C.’s “Woman, Arise!”, a poem about the empowered transformation of a woman rising from her past, is the First Place winner of the World Poetry Day Poetry Competition 2021, initiated by Grassroots Future and co-organised with Cha, Peel Street Poetry, and Spill Stories. Find out more about the competition HERE.

by J.C.

They may have stripped you of your jewels and dimes
Broke you or broken into you a thousand times
They may have been happy to see your demise
Who you are, they may not anymore recognise

You may have lain among the pots
Your blacks and bruises like dirty dots
Been with you like birthmarks, or Dalmatian spots
But are cleansed and washed by the LORD Jesus’ touch

For in you is a piece of the Divine
A blueprint, in your being, intertwined
Destined to rise, rise again after a fall
Persist to your call though for a moment you crawled

Crawled to the branches of your trees
Fed on the greens as you felt the breeze
And, hang on there, for it wasn’t long
Your wings are growing, you’re being transformed

You are no longer the lesser version of you
“Old things are passed away, all things are become new.”
You have power over the demons that tried to shatter you
For greater is He who is for you than he who is against you!

Break forth, Come forth, Arise!
From your cocoon, from your cave, or your grave
Like a silver-winged dove or a lovely butterfly
Woman, you are His element of surprise!

Paola Caronni reads “Woman, Arise!”:


J.C., with the help of the Justice Centre, revives her poetry while in displacement in Hong Kong. Her first published work, “One Woman’s Plea”, under a pseudonym, was published in the anthology Translating Migration: Poetry as Inclusive Dialogue in August 2020. Her poetry not only calls for empathy but also seeks to restore an abused woman’s dignity and value, something that becomes elusive after the abuse. Recovering from multiple traumas, she wants to change the narrative of her life and her daughter’s future by empowering herself—spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, and, hopefully, occupationally and financially. On Tuesdays, she can be found on hiking trails connecting with nature.

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