My alien brain


Today I peeked
  beneath the thin disguise of my brain
    hidden neatly in its protective cranial bone
      thinly skimmed by this freckled skin
and I realised it was true: I am the alien.

My smiling lips quivered, exhausted
  from sixty years of translating peculiarity
    into ill-perceived phrases to be slung
      innocently to the uncomprehending winds,
while I failed to perfect the unfamiliar language,
  being too foreign to hear the subtle lilt of earthlings,
    too inexperienced to successfully chisel myself 
      to fit into a round peg;
a beginner trying to conceal the screaming difference
  which so discomfitted my peers and neighbours,
    and only my conscious mind was deceived
      into thinking it could become that which, 
it now transpires, is normality.

©Jane Paterson Basil


19 thoughts on “My alien brain

    1. Well… erm… (shuffles uncomfortably, stares down at feet) I was walking along the road yesterday, on my way to see my VDF (I can do abbreviations too – that’s Very Dear Friend) and I was thinking about how alienated I felt all my life, until I joined WordPress… erm…. sorry… (risks a shamefaced glance at Calen’s face and realises with relief that she’s smiling – you are smiling aren’t you…?)

      Liked by 1 person

        1. LOL! It kind of looks that way when I leave the house. I suffer from intermittent bouts of agoraphobia, which i refuse to give in to, so when i finally pluck up the courage to leave the house I dash up the road as if I am running away from home, and arrive at my destination exhausted and wobbly. I expect it looks hilarious!

          Liked by 1 person

  1. I often feel out of step from other people. Other women seem alien, buying clothes and shoes and loads of make up and enjoying having their hair and nails done – weird. I don’t like soaps or X Factor, which makes me doubly weird, apparently.
    I think weird can be very, very good, Jane. Be happy with it. Celebrate your alien nature 🙂

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    1. I do these days, but it was difficult when I was a child. I suppose it didn’t help that I went to school in a rural village populated by people whose ancestors were all buried in the graveyardd beside the church. They were pretty insular…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I just so enjoyed the rhythm and pace of how that poem reads Jane – the indents seem to give that little extra pause space after the line breaks at those points. I’ve never heard you reading your poems but there’s a voice inside my head that I imagine to be yours as I’m reading! And for all we know, decades or centuries into the future, history will tell that all the supposed ‘normality’ of our mainstream society was sheer madness 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I write a poem I read it out loud several times, and I sometimes indent in the hope that it will give a flavour of the way I recite it, because I think it clarifies the essence of what I’m trying to say. I’m pleased that you get it – either I’m doing something right or you’re very perceptive, or both…


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