Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Alphabetical, male or female?

For dversepoets.com today, Mary and Kelly have challenged us to write from the opposite sex's point of view. What is it like to write a 'gender-bender"?  I found this difficult and ended up with more of a conversation piece...it is confusing to me how and who decides the names of natural disasters or masculinity or feminine names of events or things.

Winds blow across the bar

swathing through a town,
clouds gather from afar
spiral to the ground
To name a ship or car,
female in its sound;
for train or a dog star,
masculine is found

Hurricanes with gender,

howling like a hound
nasty stormy weather,
actors in the round,
Katrina not tender;
named chaos abounds
Malicious to tether,
stop clowning around

Mountains and volcanoes
press for presidents;
nymphs from the sea know those
kings, queens, both sexes
Glaciers and rivers flow,
planets androgynous,
Alphabet to and fro
or anonymous


  1. Oh that name, yes I wonder too.. why can it be we prefer to give female names to weather? Maybe it's the temper?

  2. Ha, yes, I have often wondered how these things/events etc. came to be named one way or another... and even the moon, I usually refer to is as "she" but also think of the man in the moon...lots to think about for sure.
    Thanks for playing along!

  3. Gender designations do vary, perhaps reflective of the gender assigning it. I think of Mt. Rainier as male, but my wife refers to it as feminine; ditto for our vehicles, mine is Zukeman, hers is Minnie. But don't forget Hurricane Andrew; even weather can swing both ways. Ships are female, even if they have masculine names; Naval vessels have male names in America, female in England; go figure.

  4. This is amazing.. such depth & wisdom in this piece :D

    Lots of love,

  5. I wonder how they give names for calamities but I think its on rotation, smiles ~ Male or female, maybe its based on a whim ~

  6. So true...it does seem like the names for these disasters are gender bending sometime. I remember when hurricanes used to be only female, but now it seems they can be either!

  7. So very true...I've often wondered about how names are thought up to name specific events, storms, etc. Except I do know that recently Target (the department store) decided to do away with signs in their stores that designate toys and such as gender specific. I thought that was pretty progressive of them. No more trucks and GI Joes just for boys! :)

    1. I had to reply to this because it made me smile! I had trucks and cars growing up as well as chemistry sets, telescope, and an air rifle. I still have my full Erector set as well. I didn't like dolls and they found that out when they would find it with a note or something to the effect of, Santa, if you gave out of toys for little girls, please give her this. It hasn't been taken out of the box. By the time I was seven, they gave up on the dolls although I adored the little working stove and me-sized pots and pans. :-)

  8. Tornadoes.. lonely storms
    without a name..
    twirling twirling
    they huff
    and puff
    and die
    in rampage
    murders before
    committing suicide

  9. yeah - it is weird sometimes how they choose the names - and i imagine it's not nice for a person to carry the name of a devastating storm

  10. The latest hurricane on this coast is Joaquin - so not only are the weather folk naming the storms for men but now also doing Hispanic names! How times have changed since Hazel. This was quite an interesting "wondering"poem. I find it easier to write from my cat's point of view than from a man's, grin. He does still surprise me but in a good way.

  11. I love this take.
    I laughed when I heard "Joaquin" for the first time, yesterday. Who does name these things?

  12. What is of male gender in one language is sometimes female in another. If you are multi-lingual, it's a pain keeping track :( Therefore, I love English, it's gender neutral. :) Refreshing take on the prompt.


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