Monthly Archives: December 2016

Pain in the Butt


What do you see when you look my way?
You see a sweet lady who’s a modern cliche.
She walks with apparent confidence and sway,
long locks hinting at a faint tint of grey.
Her face reveals traces of a prettier day,
and her curvy body shows no obvious decay
– one whose sell-by date may be a mile or two away.
You think I may savor the game you wish to play.

Well, get this mate, a lady’s what I ain’t,
I’m a woman with a history, so you’d better show restraint.
If I told you my story, it would put you in a faint.
But that is my business, I don’t wish to aquaint
you with the finer details of each tiny taint.
I’ve finished with my sinnin’, though I’ll never be a Saint.
If you wish to woo me, I must insist upon restraint.
I have a bow, some arrows, and a tin of war paint.

Stop sitting in my kitchen, drinking endless cups of tea,
describing all the things that you pretend to be.
Can’t you see it’s hard to tolerate your tiresome company?
You’re wasting your time with your fake empathy.
Don’t touch this body; get your hand off my knee.
You have to understand that I need to be free.
You simply don’t appeal, and here’s my final decree:
You can’t win my passion and you can’t have me.

This is an update of a poem I wrote some time back.I was going to submit it to a concrete poetry contest, and, with this in mind, I spent hours shaping it into an image, only to find that  my image editing tool no longer had a particular feature which would have enabled me to make the wording clearer. Unless I start again, I won’t be entering it after all, but it’s kinda pretty, so I’m posting it here – having edited it slightly, yet again.

©Jane Paterson Basil


The Wall



I thought that I had built a wall, but maybe it built me.
I reckoned I’d erected it from pure tranquility,
but it was fake and now it just illuminates the pain.
If I can’t climb around it, I may never write again.


The wall within my fantasy was built from pretty thoughts;
all sorts of handsome ramblings my idle mind had wrought,
re-arranged and written down, in designer verse with rhyme;
fond tales of winter madness, and dancing summertime.


The words stretched out like daisy chains across my living room,
I heaped them up in courses, to shield me from the gloom.
Each inch of clever phrasing became a brick in the wall.
Like blinds, they hid the daylight, and brought me to my fall.


I falsely thought I’d built a wall, but maybe it built me.
I reckoned I’d erected it from pure tranquility,
but it was fake and now it just illuminates the pain.
I have to beg my brighter self to let me write again.


I must have written this at some point over the past couple of months. I‘m feeling better now,  but it seems a waste to leave it rotting in my documents.

©Jane Paterson Basil



living room
clocks don’t tick.
to stand still,
while I pretend
that there is no tock.
hang, my lights,
my many glittery bells,
giving the bright impression
that my life, and my family are well.
I will find a way
to chase away lost days:
catch up with the relentlessly
shifting, silent clock of turning time.
I will wrap the treats my  family really need,
though few of them are found in humble retail shops.
Here’s a list of all the gifts I want to give: health, happiness,
love, love,
love, love,
love, love,

©Jane Paterson Basil

Too deep to reach


offers drugs.
Maybe soon, I say.
All at once, I understand.
I have been hurled so far,
so hard, that I have sunk
to the very depths.
I am curled on
the sea bed.

I try to speak;
explain my feelings,
but nothing emanates
except silly, silent bubbles,
rising up through dark water,
to blub and break on the surface
far above, where cheating sunlight
hints at the fib of brighter tomorrows,
where rippling faces gaze, concerned,
and gentle hands stretch toward me,
but I am too deep to reach,
too deep to reach.



©Jane Paterson Basil

A bigger deal


I know your every whim should be my top priority;
your youth implies importance; you’re a bigger deal than me.
You’re short of cash? I’d better dash off with my debit card,
and get your dosh; it doesn’t wash to tell you times are hard.

I may not have enough to pay for eggs and milk and bread,
but I must aid you, as you claim a price upon your head.
You state your case as if you lie, but why should I complain?
I’m probably mistaken, due to water on the brain.

You said you needed thirty, but now sixty’s not enough
to dole out to your dealer; your afraid he’ll cut up rough.
If he don’t get ato least a ton he’ll fracture both your knees;
So here you go now sweetie, I’ve a thousand, take it please.

I shouldn’t be so greedy, I shouldn’t need to eat.
I needn’t spoil my Grandsons with some silly Christmas treat.
I shouldn’t be so selfish, you’re a bigger deal than me;
I know your dirty drugs should be my top priority.

<> <> <>

Before my friends get the idea that this is still going on, I should explain – it was written for a contest which required a sarcastic poem. In the end I didn’t use it.

©Jane Paterson Basil

The scratched and pitted door


in this dim-lit pit
— where whispers mock my wish for hush —
lies a scratched and pitted door
— ravaged by cracked captives claws —
whose rust-locked hinges have no plan
to shift and set lost victims free.
I pray the rotting, oaken door
may swing aside for me.

Dampened cobwebbed arches
— dragged low by weight of foetid flies —
offer falsified, feigned promise
of an end beyond the rise.

Ducking ‘neath the grubby silk
I grimly beg the tainted troll
who locked me in this dread hell-hole
“Please speed me to my goal.”
An ochre silence fills the lonely space.
No gentle voice consoles, no crash resounds;
the walls don’t split to let in light and set me free.
I know within my clogging soul
the answer must be “No.”

With heavy tread I stumble on,
that I may gain my liberty.

©Jane Paterson Basil

I ain’t no angel


I ain’t no angel, don’t deify me;
I’m just a doll at the top of your tree.
You could call me an idol or a plastic toy,
dut don’t deify me, you foolish boy.

I’m a fallen saint, my spirit ain’t mine;
a twisted sinner of my dad’s design.
I’m not the author of this pointless game,
but an reluctant player that you can’t tame.

Go away, vamoose, just leave me be;
I’m not the woman you think you see,
and what is more, I don’t need a man;
Are you too dull to understand?

If I was lonely, I wouldn’t choose you,
I despise the annoying  things you do.
I don’t need your gifts or your charity;
It’s time you learned that you can’t buy me.

Your conversation is utterly absurd;
I die a little more at your every word.
Your efforts to console just bring me down;
I wish you’d desist from coming round.

How would you feel if you knew
I sit in the dark just to hide from you?
If I see your number I silence the phone;
I don’t want your company; leave me alone.

Your lack of intellect is driving me mad;
it’s obvious you’ve lost what sense you had,
with your layabout body and your lazy brain.
Please go away, before I go insane.

I’ve tried finding kindly words to say,
I’ve tried being surly and hiding away,
and since you encouraged your mind to go to seed,
I can’t write a letter as you say you can’t read.

I’ve done all I can to make you see
That I don’t want you and you don’t need me.
Your determination has dragged me down low;
I’ve run out of methods for telling you to go.

I aint no angel, why’d you deify me?
I’m just a doll at the top of your tree.
You could call me an idol or a plastic toy,
but stop deifying me, you foolish boy.

©Jane Paterson Basil