Tag Archives: perfection

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



I am the most beautiful woman you have ever seen.

You all gaze at me with envy in your piggy little eyes. I know you all long to be as lovely as me, and as successful. You assume I have done nothing to earn my place.

Do you really think I was born like this?

I dispise your ignorance.

My voyage to perfection cost me a lot of pain and expense. I itch where scars lie hidden. Even my ears have been re-modelled.

I have to be careful what I eat, which means that I can’t have anything that I enjoy, but live on vegetables and fruit juice instead.

I had to leave my friends behind, because they didn’t fit in with the image I was trying to create.

I want to be loved, but no man can match my beauty.

Now you know the secrets of my success you may think you can try to replace me on my pedestal, but I warn you not to try. My nails are sharp, and my teeth are like daggers.

Before my transformation, I sat naked in cold classrooms while students sniggered and sketched my undercooked folds. But now, glossy magazines testify to my physical allure, as my eyes slant sexily towards you from the newsagent’s rack.

I sat in grubby pubs drinking cut-price lager, but now I put my lips to champagne in glasses which I never drain.

I went home to a scruffy flat which I had worked hard to make cosy. Now I have three homes; they are all light and airy, and full of extravagent emptiness.

I rummaged around charity shops and car boot sales, enjoying the bargains I picked up. Now I shop in exclusive boutiques, and yet nothing has the value that it did when I was poor.

My friends used to rush up and hug me. Now the people I lunch with air-kiss me.

I used to be happy. Now I’m cool.

I get lonely.

But I can’t find my way back.

© Jane Paterson Basil