Category Archives: visual poetry

Pain

At
the apex
of pain, my spirit
slips  to  a  safe  place;
watches  curtains  billow,
plucks daisies, thinks about cake,
then loses its kindly grip.

Always, when I fall,
I land on the
k
n
I
f
e
.

Each slash feels like
the worst

~ the final ~

the killer
c
u
t
.

I stagger to my feet,
disguise the festering gash across my face
so it looks like a smile.

Each time
I tell myself it will never
happen again.

I
t
will never happen
a
g
a
I
n
.

.

I was going through my poetry with a view to polishing up the best of it so I can submit some to literary magazines – that old chestnut; anybody who knows me well will be aware that I usually end up getting my knickers in a twist and losing confidence.

Oh well…

This poem shocked me, bringing back the memories, although none of it seems real now. I’ve edited it slightly – changed it from 3rd person to 1st person. Was that a good or bad idea? I originally wrote in the 3rd person in order to suggest it wasn’t about me – to separate myself from it. My gut feeling is that my original idea was better. Any suggestions?

Am I nearly there yet?

.

©Jane Paterson Basil

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Seasonal Fruit

child-559407__340

.
                             Green leaves
                        rise through the earth
                    unfurling from embryonic seeds
                   instinctively reaching for the sun
                      while  nature  nourishes
                           each blind need

               
               Kittens
         cavort in  a garden
          playfully pawing
               petals

                                         Butterflies
                                    brighten  the  meadow
                                trusting their delicate wings
                               flitting to land on pink lunches
                                    as  they  battle  each
                                       rushing breeze
             
                 Eagles
            alight on trees
       flying free, soaring high
        ignoring blossoms that
            bloom and die

                                         Tall trees
                                  broaden their branches
                                  preparing to reproduce
                                      before leaves
                                           fall

                             I
                           hefted
                      my  gaining  weight
                 across  transmuting  phases
             of embryo, kitten, butterfly, eagle.
             I have played out the part of tree.
              Finally  acknowledging  mortality
               I liken it to a seasonal fruit
                  whose roots must wither
                     to make room for
                       fresh plants
                         to bloom
                           and
                            g
                            r
                            o
                            w
                            .

While this poem has only a tenuous connection to it, it was inspired by something my brother copied down many years ago. I think he heard it on the Sonny and Cher Show. Maybe it was set to music, maybe not. Snatches of it often play in my mind, and yet I can find no record of it anywhere. It speaks of the ego of youth – the feeling that the world is yours, and you can do anything. Here are a couple of stanzas:

Look at you, look at me,
standing ten feet tall are we.
Look at them, look at us
wondering why they make such fuss.

Look at me then look again
and maybe you’ll remember when
you stood this tall and knew it too,
and the whole world turned to look at you.

Does anyone recognise it? It would make my day if I could get a full copy.

Also, I’d really appreciate an honest critique of my poem. I’ve been battling with it for days, and I’m still not sure whether it works. You can pull out all the stops; if it is weak, I’d prefer to know.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Private Show

WARNING! DISTURBING CONTENT
hqdefault

.

………………daddy
………………….daddy holds
……………………daddy holds a
…………………….daddy holds a private
…………………….daddy holds a private show
……………………………….holds a private show
……………………………………….a private show
………………………………………private show
………………………………………………show

………………………………………………..uncles
…………………………………………..uncles come
………………………………………..uncles come and
…………………………………. ….uncles come and pay
……………………………… …..uncles come and pay to
…………………………………uncles come and pay to see
………………………………………. .come and pay to see
…………………………………. …….  …and pay to see
…………………………………  …………..pay to see
………………………………………  ………..to see
…………………………………………………..see

………………………………………………….my
…………………………………………………my poor
……..;;……………………………………..my poor life
………………………………………….my poor life bleed
………………………………………my poor life bleed away
……………………………………poor life bleed a
……………………………life bleed a……………w
………………….bleed a…………..w…………….a
………………………….w………….a……………..y
………………………….a…………..y
………………………….y
……………………………………………………………..away
………………………………………………………………………

.

Written for Michelle’s Photo Challenge, this poem is designed to be uncomfortable and difficult to read, to cause visual distortion, and to shock, since the subject matter is horrific.  

©Jane Paterson Basil

Bees Without Stings

honey-bee-23.jpg

The fat
greedy corporates
flash .curious .glances .down
from windows in the sun, briefly resting
between counting money, sacking the hungry,
closing another factory and relocating in a practical,
poorer, thus more economical land where folk must work
hard hours .for a plate of rice .to keep their families alive.
The .fat. greedy corporates .show their .gleaming teeth.
They .see us .humbly .buzzing .to fulfil .their needs
that .we ..may .receive .the .least .sustenance.
It. may be. that .they .think. we are .bees.
The .fat, .greedy .corporates’ .bellies
swell. .They. know they .rely. on
our .minds and muscle, .yet
care not for our welfare,
and ..every ..week
they .steal
our
h
o
n
e
y

.

honey-bee-1.jpg

.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Pain in the Butt

aleavemealone

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

Equal

scales-310962_1280

.

frozen between
two small tasks

unable to decide which to prioritize
weighing each, .judging them equal

then, for an instant, .figuring this one is more pressing
before changing my mind, thinking the other more fun

arranging, .switching, .rearranging
struggling .to come .to. a..decision

until finally
I do neither

.

~0~

.

The Daily Post #Rearrange

©Jane Paterson Basil