I am a mosaic


I am a mosaic, a work in progress
shiny tesserae and old bits and bobs
press against the core of me,

artists and wannabees, wasters and laymen
added crocks of blue china, rough chips of clay
to this humble monument to error and chance
others, through destructive intent or carelessness
knocked off corners, pressed dents into the surface

I could have been more selective, assertive and wise
I could have chosen better materials,
better accessories to adorn this mosaic of life
I could have refused the scraps of kitsch,
the cheap reproductions, produced
by abusive regimes

like a Rorschach inkblot printed in blood, this mosaic has beauty
and it tells a different story to each soul who views it
to some I seem strong, a few think me feeble
others see a victim of circumstance

and now I try to paint honest pictures of all of my parts
exposing the secrets beneath age-dulled glaze
I invite you to take one, or several or all
examine them singly, in groups
or sling them away

you may draw any conclusion or none
you may respect, despise or pity me

I don’t mind, but I readily tear out my heart in portions
in the hope that if misfortune wears a hole in yours
you may find a bright tessera which fits


©Jane Paterson Basil


8 thoughts on “I am a mosaic

    1. Thank you. I managed to mislay this comment and have only just found it again. I’ll take a proper look at lovecorners tomorrow, when I’m not falling asleep, and see what I can come up with.


  1. “So far as I can see, nothing good in the world has ever been done by well-rounded people. The good work is done by people with jagged, broken edges, because those edges cut things and leave an imprint, a design.” (Harry Crews) You’ve certainly left an imprint on mine, friend! {{{Jane}}}

    Liked by 1 person

        1. We do, and we are. It breaks my heart to see people who are on the streets because they had no-one to tell tham that.
          And it lifts my heart when people escape from the streets. I have a friend in this block of flats who survived the streets for 6 years, “sustained” vodka. One day he woke up and decided he wanted to live. He poured the voddy into the river, and sweated and trembled his way back into the world. Even now, 3 years later, he has weeks when he wants to die, but he never picks up a bottle.
          He had to find out for himself that he was unique and priceless, but just in case he forgets, I make a point of reminding him at least once a week.

          Liked by 1 person

      1. What a wonderful story. You could write a book about your apartment building. Of course you’d have to change the names, but how interesting it would be! Maeve Binchy got rich doing that with people who frequented a tavern called Quentin’s. She was one of your own.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m afraid that most of the characters would have to be fictional, or the stories may need to be about people who don’t really live here – although a woman who has been married (and widowed) four times, told me the funniest story about how her husband died, although when I repeated it to my family I was greeted with shocked silence. It must have been the way she told it.

          Liked by 1 person

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