Tag 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

Penning Cliches

She had long feared 
that one day, she may 
run out of words.
She envisaged
a 
 gradual
   loss, 
       an 
          increasing 
                inability 
                    to find 
                       the perfect 
                        adjective or verb;
                        a vague mental
                       disability resulting from over-use,
                    as if each word
                 was eroding.
              Words she rarely used, such as
            hiatus 
            and touchy
             would be 
                the first to go.
                    Complex words words like
                       deferential 
                         and predisposition
                          could soon follow, 
                          although 
                         and, if, and but
                       might stay with her 
                    until the end, 
               since they struck her as
       indestructible.

.

I read through what I’ve written, dismayed by my lack of logic. It would not be the least-used words that would vanish first. I begin again.

She had long feared 
the danger that 
 one day 
  she might run out of words. 
    She envisaged a
       gradual 
           loss, 
                 an 
                      increasing
                            inability 
                                to find
                                   the 
                                    intrinsic 
                                    adjective or verb,
                                   as if the less used words 
                                 had been suffocated by 
                              the airless space
                          in the attic of her brain.
                       She had not been 
                      ready for this uneeasy
                      feeling 
                       that someone
                          had crept in 
                               and stolen them,
                                       like a thief in the night.

.

I sigh: “Crept in and stolen them, like a thief in the night.” Is this to be my fate; to end my days penning cliches?

It comes to us all in the end.

There I go again…

.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Vanity

bigbum-tiledformat.jpg

I can’t believe I spent so long on this…

bigbum3

I hope you won’t think
that I’m fishing for pity, or some reassurance;
I could not bear the idea of that,
but a burning issue is seeking attention,
and it’s worth a mention,
so this is the thing, you see;
I just no longer like being me.

I hate to confess the breadth of my reasons,
and I can’t blame the troubles that came my way,
or the way my life has generally been,
so nobody else is to blame;
it’s only because I am me.

I will put it succinctly:
I no longer
respect myself.
So I will be brave
and straight to the point,
as I stand here before you…
stripped to the hips.

Does my bum look  pretty,
is it pert and flirty?
Do you think it is priceless
or simply  blown out and flabby and big?

It wasn’t a bad poem to start with, but I had to make all sorts of changes to force it into the shape of a woman’s body. Sometimes, wrecking a poem can be time-consuming and gruelling work…

©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

Gifts

christmastree480

In
this
lonely
living room
clocks don’t tick.
Time
pretends
to stand still,
while I pretend
that there is no tock.
Festive
decorations
hang, my lights,
my many glittery bells,
giving the bright impression
that my life, and my family are well.
Tomorrow,
I will find a way
to chase away lost days:
catch up with the relentlessly
shifting, silent clock of turning time.
I will wrap the treats my  family really need,
though few of them are found in humble retail shops.
Here’s a list of all the gifts I want to give: health, happiness,
and
love, love,
love, love,
love, love,
endlessly.

©Jane Paterson Basil

A Fish And A Dish

canvas6
dish 1

What is life, if; full of care, we have no time to play with this amazing tool.

A few days ago, Lynn Love made a comment below one of my posts, to the effect that if she tried to stay up late writing, as I do, she would end up typing the word ‘fish’ over and over. I was – erm – inspired to – um – compose this – uh – visual poem, and I dedicate it to Lynn. If you haven’t already discovered her work, I recommend you check out her brilliant blog.

Important Announcement
Making it Write will shortly be posting a mature and sensible post.

© Jane Paterson Basil