Randi W. Stebbins

Several careers, countries, and languages have shaped Randi’s writing, teaching, and coaching. She writes at the margins between science and society, logic and love, and sound and poetry. Her work has appeared in the exhibitions We are Ós/Þetta er Us (Reykjavík and Akureyri) and Art Gamers (Iceland and Poland), at cultural events, and in the publications CV2 (Canada), Swooping in and Pulling Out (Iceland) and Ós-The Journal (Iceland). Randi is a founding member of Ós Pressan and served as the chair of the board of directors from 2015 to 2018

These poems are from her collection “Femeditation”

Pearls before Swine

You called me cow
You called me pig
You called me dumb

You said I’m a slut
I’m a whore
I’m a cunt

You called me bitch
You called me meat
You called me ho

You said I’m a skank
I’m a pussy
I’m a bimbo

None stuck, so
did you really think I would stop if you called me a radical?


You have the POTENTIAL to go FAR in life
When did I turn away?  Embracing
The words
The hype
            Get good grades
             Earn $
             Become what we want
The words became me
I inhaled and didn’t breathe out again
Little puffs would escape
On hikes, in the middle of cities, dancing in clubs
being with myself and my loves
PUFFS that left too much space
I inhaled lungs full again – a sure path
SET on the road to potential – turning the right way
            A wisp
            A sigh
            A frozen morning dragon gust
Leaving pockets to fill
I breathed potential but my asthmatic lungs can’t fill
The air is thinner and the bronchioles constrict with potential triggers
            The sunset
            The early coffee with friends
            Connection, beauty and silence
            Creating space and releasing the inflammation
Here is the spark of love
            Of knowledge, of being needed, of being useful, of wisdom
STILL the sighs exhale into clouds of words that I have inhaled, rushing to escape
             Good girl                     education
                           Smart girl                    hard worker
              Disappointed               potential                     quiet
You never reached your full potential
My lungs are empty, gasping with this new atmosphere, not sure what to do with
              Rich, deep, clean, true air
NOW I know
              I will never reach my full capacity for
              Love, creation, happiness, joy, beauty
The more I inhale, the more I can exhale and never feel empty
My lungs are open to the air flowing in and out
SURE that there will be an endless supply and each alveoli will expand with each inhalation.
This is my full potential.

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