Tag Archives: contrasts

Beauty and the Psychopath


The earth’s surface
spans five hundred and ten square kilometres;

its Imperial reach
is one hundred and ninety-six point nine miles;

if every human stood still for one minute
and studied the scene
we might see hunger, iniquity, pain;

we might witness
every kind of suffering

~ this world is too complex to be forever kind ~

yet if we could gaze
with a cleanly aesthetic eye

devoid of empathy
for the frog crushed beneath the boot,

we might find beauty in every millimetre;

we’d envisage beauty
in every razor blade, in every frightened face,
in every tainted pool
that seeps through limp uniform
to sink into the rusting battle field;

it’s easy to appreciate a sunset
or the wavering boughs of a willow tree,

but tucked in a desert

in the arid waste where death exalts,
as, throwing back his cape

he rides the rays of  an allegiant sun
that roasts flesh from hollowing bones, leaving skulls to fade
in shifting hills and sandy vales

there is enchantment, whether scanned
from the height of an aeroplane, or gleaned
through a microscope
as we peek at the secrets of a single grain.

and on a motorway

on a wide tarmac trail
which breaks meadows in its wake,
snaking city limits, displaying the detritus of terminal mishap;
twisted metal, stains left by fractured death
and splattered brains

we find banks piled with riotous harmony
where flowers despised by tidy garden rules
are gems that shine on nature’s winsome breast.

In an iniquitous hidden room

in a bolted cell of jailor’s shame,
dank with acrid stench of psychopaths
intent on tearing sacred, private silk,
raping, molesting, shredding flesh in a hell
where madmen claim the purity of sin
where sadists taste their sour disgrace,
and relishing it, declare it sweet

the stolen one shudders,
her hair matted with filth and tears,
an innocent born with the essence of perfection,
a woman
who grew from woman’s womb.


This poem has veered a long way from its original intention, but I went with the flow – which suggests that I might be getting back on form 🙂

Note to self; it would require two people for it to work as an orated poem.  Stanzas written in black would be best spoken in a gentle tone; those on the right, by an increasingly threatening one. The purple line in the middle would be spoken in duet.

©Jane Paterson Basil


people collage.png

I refute the claim that women are from Venus, while men hail from Mars.

We’re polished and dull, we’re soft and we’re hard, we’re bulging with muscle and struggling with lard,

we’re hale and we’re and limping, we’re funny and lame, we know we are different, we’re sure we’re the same,

we’re straight, we are bi, transgender and gay, we’re proud to be naked, and hiding in shame,

we eat bloody meat, we’re veggie and vegan, we’re natural and painted, we’re humble and vain,

we are angry and calm, we’re anxious and easy, we sleep on the street and we weep in casinos,

we’re corny, authentic, pretentious and true, our shoes are from Primark and we wear Jimmy Choos,

we’re starving and sated, we’re sharp and we’re hazy, we work long days and we’re hopelessly lazy,

we’re careful and rash, we’re modest and brash, we’re African royals and poor white trash,

we explore raw truth, we ignore firm facts, we adore all life forms, we dislike dogs and cats,

dragons are inked on our arms and our backs, we think that tattoos are a foolish fad,

we’re sober and addled, we’re happy and sad, we live off-grid and we’re techno mad,

we’re chatty and silent, we’re sleepy and wired, we have logical minds and our brains are fried,

we’re a boon and a pain, we’re loose and we’re rigid,  we long to be sexy and wish we were frigid,

we’re crazy and sane, we’re brave and we’re timid, we’re plain and we’re frilly, we’re friendly and chilly,

We ruthlessly purchase the latest fashion, we buy ethical goods with fervent passion,

we’re shy and bold, romantic and cold, we stay ever youthful, and we are born old,

we ardently pray and deny blind faith, we’re natural and painted, we’re clean and we’re tainted,

we keep our secrets, we kiss and we tell, we’re fresh and we’re fragrant, we have a bad smell,

our teeth are even and gleaming and white, they’re rotting and buckled, a horrible sight,

we forego possessions and shop ’til we drop, we never eat chocolate and we never stop,

we’re left and we’re right, we freeze, hide and fight, we’re endlessly clever and not very bright,

we’re givers and takers, we’re makers and breakers, we’re overlords, underdogs, lawyers and bakers,

we’re fragile and robust, we’re slow and we’re fast, we live for the future, we’re stuck in the past,

we’re open and trusting, we hold our guard, we’re cruel to the core and kind to the last,

we’re subversive cut-throats and trustworthy friends.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again:

all this can be true of both women and men…

………………………………………except Jimmy Choos may not fit a size 10.


©Jane Paterson Basil

Greed and hunger


far away
a child starves
while the fat ones
bemoan their perceived poverty
filling their faces with too much food
covering their vain tattoos with the latest fashion
before going home in their fuel-guzzling metal monsters
to rooms so stuffed with luxury goods
that their essential electronic toys
have to be produced in

tinier than
the starving child’s

<> <> <>

Written for The Daily Post #Miniature

©Jane Paterson Basil