Distant Island


Beautiful she was,
though not
in a classic way; her eyes
might have been wider, her chin
was out of scale, her skin sprayed
with bigger freckles than her face
might have wished,
and she was shy,
yet those choked silences
foreshadowed mad acts of bravado
that tricked the eye.

We perceived a mystery
whose unpinned list of incongruities
expressed a vast forest
breathing beneath an ocean of leaves.

Boys reached, stretching
to scale the trees they envisaged,
thinking to straddle her misconceived branches,
to examine her seasons and keep count
of her rings.
They touched thin air
that felt like sun-kissed silk
which leads one into warm caress,
then melts and shrinks
and burns the flesh.

Girls snubbed her;
unnerved by the contest,
puzzled by her unerring and erstwhile
unwanted conquests,
they would have preferred to drag
her roots
from the earth.

Watching the confusion,
she sighed, knowing the sea was too deep.
She was a distant island; though waves
may lap at her slipping shore,
they rarely landed
at her core.


Word of the Day Challenge: Bravado

©Jane Paterson Basil

31 thoughts on “Distant Island

    1. Indeed, quite beautiful — but with the necessary caveat that it was more beautiful as a poem than as a novel. Really, we must not encourage Jane to waste her efforts trying to write a novel. Obviously, she’s a poet, not a novelist. Anyone can see that.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. She is an awesome poet, but I wouldn’t go as far as saying that. I write poetry because it is a great way to express myself on my blog, and because I refuse to post entire chapters or large excerpts of my novels and/or screenplays that nobody has the time to read.

        Obviously, Jane is a talented writer and poet. She can continue doing both. And perhaps she can sell her novels someday. She needs to follow her heart and do what she loves most. I would never suggest what she or any other writer should do.

        Have a great day. Please continue to encourage her. Her writing deserves that. Great talking with you. Have a good weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. LOL Your first comment totally confused me. Geez, I can’t sop laughing, I automatically related it to my own experiences with my short stories and novels some which have poems connected to them.

            So, don’t think you’re the last to know. If anything, you were the last to know I am a buffoon. At least we agree on her beautiful poetry.
            Have a great weekend Paul.

            Liked by 3 people

            1. I’m sorry you fell into Paul’s trap.! We at U.N.C.L.E. have been following him for some time now. He’s a secret agent for T.H.R.U.S.H. – a very dangerous man who is trying to weasel state secrets out of you.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. The Man from U.N.C.L.E was my favorite show at one time. I even got my art tutor to print up some “secret identity cards” so I could form a club. But alas! Only Dennis — my only friend — would join me. Everyone else mysteriously joined the T.H.R.U.S.H. club!

                Liked by 1 person

  1. I must say, Jane, these obvious attempts on your part to write a novel are neither commendable in you, nor to be encouraged by others. I daresay, you invariably come off as having written more of a striking or exceptional poem than a novel, Jane. Really, perhaps you should consider redirecting your efforts towards poetry. I mean, novels are all very nice and fine, but not everyone has what they take, you know. Yet, you do indeed seem to possess some talent for the poetic form, if you know what I mean.

    A mystery is “a vast forest breathing beneath an ocean of leaves.” That’s shiver down the back material it’s so beautiful and true.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jane, it’s 4.00am here, as I lay in bed reading your incredible poem. I am enchanted by your metaphorical piece and how exquisitely your words flow over your fascinating island, so very creative, and I’d love to meet her. 😊 💛

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A beautiful poem, Jane. So poignant in your last stanza where you speak of the distance that remains between the “island” and those who encounter her. “They rarely landed at her core”. So few people really try to understand others on a deep level without trying to “change” or “control” them in some way. Thank you for your poem.

    Liked by 2 people

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