All posts by janebasilblog

About janebasilblog

Jane sits around and writes a bit, then she does some other stuff, then she sits around and writes a bit more, then she eats something. Sometimes, at night, she goes to bed.

I Will be Safe

I built my mansion from moonlit bricks,
painted it with pale rays of dawn,
created terraces and lawns
bordered by dwarves of nature’s ornamentation
to afford unscathed sight from here to the horizon.

I live in solitude,
play silent movies in my mind,
warm these tired hands on gaps between grey matter,
my muslin shroud
became a rippling gown
that flutters with grace.
My swish and swirl emulate a silvery darling
from yesteryear’s screen,
my hair rests in whimsical wisps,
the tilt of my chin apes inborn dignity.

Gleaming walls recede in awe,
trusting authenticity,
ignorant of my history.

Even beneath these palatial ceilings
I feel tall.

“I
am safe,” I tell the echoing rooms,
“no corners to cut me, no rugs on which to slip and break,
no stove to sear my skin.”

No fire, no ice,
no storm within these sturdy walls.

The drapes shiver;
their drifting folds whisper a warning;
“There is danger beyond our weft.”

A slight figure approaches;
this midnight ghost has tricked the sun into shining on him.
Cloaked in the clothes that he chose two decades ago,
he droops on the lawn, his false frame shaking,
his face describing hunger, grief.

“Mummy, mummy, please,
it’s cold outside,
please love me,
please don’t leave me to die.”

He looks like my child,
moves and sounds like my only son,
but an ogre has invaded his soul.

I try to say, “Go away,
leave me alone,”
but my throat closes, allowing only choked shreds
of ragged breath.

I cannot close the windows; their hinges stray,
leaving a gaping space
with no fingerhold, no latch, no lock
to keep them closed.

Like a lisping snake, he slips through the gap,
then, like a demon displaying its teeth,
his figure expands to the height of six feet.

I race through my tainted haven,
bare feet slapping smooth cedar floor,
course words chasing me, describing obscene hate.

I find no corner in which to hide,
no wardrobes, no outsized drawers.
No leaden bolts nor wooden weight
to press against the doors.
No clear escape
from the raging, shapeshifting monster who grows
with every step that he takes.

My only hope is outside.
I will plant my toes between roses,
feed the dirt with grated love
to cultivate my thorns.
In the garden, my organic armour will grow.
My dress will get torn. It will fall away,
but my petals will glow and fade to be replaced
in synchronicity with the seasons.
I will regain my freedom.
I will be safe.

.

©Jane Paterson Basil

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The Tears I Waste on You

You besmirched this mother’s love
with every chunk of scum that you could scrape up
from the murky lanes.
You crushed me with the weight of waste
until your insults filled my soul with so much pain
that I could no more bare to gaze upon your face
or glance into your eyes, or hear the lies
that dripped from lips whose smiles
once brought me mindless joy.
I’ve closed my door and turned away;
no more can you abuse, manipulate
or scream your dirty words of hate at me.
The tears I waste on you
will all be shed in secret and in shame;
I will never let you see them,
for if you did you’d use them as you do;
to stuff my shelves with toxic space and steal the gain.

I’ll dance in gardens where my finest flowers bloom;
admire their colours, breathe their sweet perfume.
I’ll tell my friends the sturdy stems have healed my wounds;
they do not need to know I ache for you.

The day might come when empathy sinks through your skin;
should that blazing dawn arrive
I recommend you pray that I shall be awake,
and furthermore that I
shall clearly recognise the change.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Thank You, Litterman 6

I would like to publicly thank Litterman 6, for pulling me out of my torpor by sending me a marvelous response to a poem I wrote some months back, entitled Litter.

Read this and weep – or laugh – or snore; whatever lights your boat or floats your candle.

A *minasqual amount of McDonalds packaging is carelessly disposed of by uncaring consumers who by the way are PIGS your response to the problem is a brain dead poem that excludes the other offenders Keep working on it at least you are one that CARES as I do
Coming soon to all Mc Donald’s Location is an new tool that will make it easy, fast and the safest way to collect-contain-control the trash that gets away I know because I invented it Watch out for the Litterator our super heroes LITTER AVENGERS and our mascot EZZY our Litterator Gator ” BE HAPPY DON’T WORRY’

*I assume he means miniscule.

Is it a bird, is it a bee, is it a troll, or is it a sincere man whose main ambition in life is to eradicate litter? I dunno, since I, apparently, don’t have two brain cells to rub together. However, the one brain cell I do possess is unusually hard-working. Forty years ago – long before recycling programmes got underway – I knew that the solution was not to throw all our toxic plastics and polystyrene in a green box so that the council could sling it onto landfill sites or incinerate it. What we needed to do was to stop producing and purchasing the waste and to re-use what we can – for example, glass bottles, which should be returned to drinks factories to be refilled.

I applaud dear Mr Litterman’s efforts to tidy up our planet. He’s performing an essential function. It’s sad that after so many years of recycling we haven’t moved further forward, but as long as we continue to waste our resources and stamp carbon all over the place, the Litterman family are the nearest we’ve got to saviours.

Perhaps I owe my readers an apology. My poem focuses entirely on McDonalds. It fails to mention any of the other culprits. It also ignores car emissions, poverty, starvation, war, suicide and the mess brought about by misuse of drugs. These too, are serious issues.

And ingrown toenails. With the correct trimming technique, they are a largely avoidable problem – or so I’m told.

However, it would appear that, like me, Litterman has a vendetta against McDonalds, since he, also, seems to be targetting them with his ‘new tool’. Or am I deliberately misunderstanding him, as he did me?

If you are reading this, Litterman 6, I’d like to thank you again. As many of my readers know, I have overcome many difficulties my life, but my experience of the past few months drew me into such a deep depression that I was unable even to compose my usual brain-dead poetry, and yet your amusing message has pulled me back into orbit. You have saved me. Is it too soon to tell you I love you? Should I wait until you have invited me to view your private blog?

I’d like us to be friends. We could have so much fun hurling veiled insults at each other across the ether.

On a serious note; although you come across as a single-minded half-wit, I accept the possibility that you are a genius.

But that sliver of suspicion doesn’t stop me from grinning as I hone my disposable plastic knife.

©Jane Paterson Basil

No Pain

Last night

rotted by toxins

the branch broke.

I would not have believed

that all these years of ache and tears

could be so briskly whisked away

by the last straw,

yet today

the wound

leaves no pain.

.

I haven’t posted here since the first of January; my depression has been so severe that I didn’t feel able to write. Suddenly, big changes have come into force. This post is to reassure you that I’m still breathing, and the air is clean.

©Jane Paterson Basil

 

 

The New Year Game

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Fat from festive meat
we rise from fusty beds
to saunter through the samey sales
displaying goods that we would like
and tacky trash that we don’t need
all for half of last week’s retail price.
We storm heaped halls with gastric greed
to raise our weighty store of treats,
selecting children’s food that children shouldn’t eat,
and children’s drinks that children shouldn’t drink,
adding trendy fizzy wine
in case a neighbour calls in by surprise.

As we display this toxic waste
on tables laid with paper plates,
we flick away mistakes we made in 2 0 1 and 8
and soon we celebrate the dawning of
the final slice of this decade.

Around the globe
at spaced-out times, midnight strikes.
While fireworks flash
and mobiles hum with messages of risen love
and bloodstreams pump with liquid cheer
we raise a long-legged crystal glass, and toast
the birthing of another year.

Another year, and still
next morning dawns the same as yesterday.
We wake with hopes defiled by stiffened bones and aching head,
to ascertain how easily our drunken vows
can be returned to barren dust,
to join the wasted lore of history
that sweeps,
ignored,
along the planet’s turgid crust.

Sober now, we recall
the calendar is just a tool
that helps us map the time and organise our lives.
The opening page contains no magic cure,
and yet we fling last-minute dreams
of global health and lasting peace
toward a blurry breeze each New Year’s Eve.

But if we eke out all our vows
freeing them to thrive throughout our lives;
if we strive each day to turn away from pricking pain
and reach for solidarity;
if we close our eyes to our own gain and focus on another’s needs;
if we try, at every opportunity
to make our world a kinder place,
I believe we will succeed.

.


<<@

My New Year wish for everyone:

May we all find ourselves in a kinder place in 2019 and throughout our lives.

May we all share the kindness.

<<@


 

©Jane Paterson Basil