My body and I

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Let’s face the facts, body:
I’ve never really liked you.
I don’t think of you as being a part of me,
‘we’ aren’t one but two.
My own worst enemy.
Perhaps unfair but undeniably true.

I ‘divorced’ you at seven;
Told you were too big by a ‘friend’.
Sure, it was cruel of them;
Bringing my self-consciouslessness to an end.
I was never so innocent of vanity again,
My container mattered, I had to comprehend.

It wasn’t all bad, often I failed to remember
I was supposed to wish you a match
For the model images, svelte and slender.
But once awoken it was hard to detach
From that important element of my gender:
My body was supposed to make me a catch.

I confess, I haven’t treated you well,
I stuffed you with chocolate and cheese.
Ate too much junk and allowed you to swell
Beyond limits society told me would please.
So at times I starved you in attempts to quell
The increasing mass that caused me unease.

You’ve been scarred, scalded and strained,
Bloodied, beaten, burned and bruised.
But every injury that was ever sustained
I always interpreted as a sign of abuse
Of the malicious way you caused me pain.
I blamed you without sympathy or excuse.

My mental and physical couldn’t be united.
I had ambitions for us you couldn’t supply,
My catwalk ambitions went unrequited,
The skinniness I desired you couldn’t satisfy.
It was your fault I couldn’t be dieted,
Your cravings that stopped you from being an ally.

At various points I’ve wished parts of you changed:
Bigger and smaller, lengthened and shortened.
If I could I’d have gladly had you exchanged
For anything I felt to be less of a burden.
It’s really little wonder we became so estranged
When so many requests upon you were importuned.

But I’ve begun to realise, in this relationship of ours,
That I’m the reason things haven’t been great;
It’s because of me that everything soured.
And now I want to move from this cycle of hate
To embrace you again, move forward empowered
To stop being hung up on issues like weight.

It’s about time I offered you some gratitude
Some recognition that really you are a miraculous thing
Something more than a meaningless platitude
About how things could be worse so I shouldn’t be worrying.
Grudgingly grateful for your functionality is a little screwed,
Sure, you aren’t broken but there’s more that you bring.

In reality most don’t see you as a monstrosity,
Humanity doesn’t see you as an anomalous blip!
And for those that do think us quite the atrocity,
Well they deserve nothing more than a finger to flip!
Despite my obvious and unjust animosity,
Together we’ve had a pretty good trip.

You’ve been my constant companion and plaything.
Together we’ve jumped and danced and entertained.
We’ve glided in the air and done other things hair-raising,
We’ve completed a half marathon after we trained.
There’s really no doubt you are simply amazing
So I’m sorry that our relationship has been so strained.

And now you’ve achieved the best thing of all,
As you worked so hard to bear me a daughter,
Before she moved from my belly to the cradle
So much changed as you made room for the squatter.
It was a supreme feat and I’ll forever be grateful.
So what if my waist expanded and breath became shorter?

And as our baby entered the world,
I thought of all the things I wanted for her.
When I think of how her future will unfurl,
I desperately hope body image won’t be a self-saboteur
Because it’s so evident she’s the most perfect girl
I hope our flawed relationship won’t be transferred.

So today, my body, I make you this vow
No longer will I look at you with disappointment or spite
I promise to love you as you are now
To accept that whatever shape you are it’s really alright
So however you change, whether you become lean or round
I’ll love you, my body, and cherish you with delight.

And hopefully, from my example, our girl will learn
That how you look really isn’t important,
I’ll show her we are happy and, with any luck, in turn
Her unity with herself will not be surplanted,
Who she is and how she looks will be of little concern
And she’ll love herself without taking her body for granted.

 

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‘Twas the night’ – L’escalade

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Twas the right time of a year for a repost – Happy Escalade Geneva and all who sail in her!


Twas the night of midwinter, when all through Geneva,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a beaver,
The washing all hung, by the chimney with care,
In hopes that come morning, dry clothes would be there,
The children were nestled, all safe in their beds,
While scents of hot soup, filled their sweet heads,
And Madame in her bonnet, apron in her lap,
Had just settled down, for a long winters nap,
When out on the walls, there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed, to see what was the matter.
Away to the window, I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash,
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the lustre of midday to object below,
When what to my wandering eyes should appear,
But enemy troops, in formidable gear,
With the Duke of Savoy, so lively and quick
I knew in a moment, this was a devilish trick.
In blackened armour, they scaled the walls,
As they clambered, and scrambled, and planned our downfall.
Now musketeer, now canoneer, now pikeman, now fusilier,
On scoundrel, on crook, on rascal, damned villains!
To the top of the outer wall, to the foot of the inner wall
Now dash-away, dash-away, and damned you all!
A sentry alerted that all is awry,
Having met with alarm, emits a loud cry,
But up to the money gate, the rapscallions they flew,
With an armoury full of weapons, and bad intent too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard from the gloom,
A rattling, and clattering from our little room,
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Away from the kitchen, Mère Royaume came with a bound.
She was dressed in night wear, from her head to her foot,
And her apron, tied round her, had remained put,
A cauldron of soup, she turned to with a knack,
And engaged in removing it from the hot rack,
Her eyes, how they darkened; her brows, how creased,
Her lips were drawn tight, her anger unceased,
Her bare little feet scuttled across the floor,
As she emerged from the kitchen door,
The lump of her pot, she held tight with gritted teeth,
And the steam it encircled her head like a wreath.
She had a broad face, and little beads of sweat,
From all the effort were making her wet,
She was determined and grim, a right angry old elf,
I started when I saw her, in spite of myself,
A wink of her eye and a twist of her head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread,
She spoke not a word, but went straight to her work,
And from the window, her soup she upturned, with a jerk,
From the enemy below a cry soon arose,
Rising up through the night, we heard their woes,
The brigands at bay, burned by the soup, gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle,
But I heard Madame exclaim, as the enemy fled from sight,
“Happy Escalade to all, and to all a goodnight!”
© Courtesy of www.1602.ch

© Image courtesy of http://www.1602.ch

 


With credit to Clement Clarke Moore’s “‘Twas the night before Christmas” poem which inspired, and provided some of the lines, for my parody.
You can find l’escalade Part 2 here.

The world is different today

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The world is different today,
Old joys sit in the stomach,
Like a stone that has started to weigh,
Dragging us down in the dark.

The sun does not shine as bright,
And yet the shadows still draw in,
Trying to drown out the light,
Spreading the darkness within.

The world is different today,
The air is harder to breather,
Life is that much less gay,
Wonders are harder to believe.

The day is not so warm,
A fearful cold nips at our hearts
And fierce gales howl towards
The sanctity of a warmer past.

The world is different today,
The clouds threaten our skies,
Sombre thoughts steal our play,
Truth is besmirched by lies.

A heaviness pulls us down
As though stuck in a deep mud.
It is harder to move forwards now;
Our shoes have turned to lead.

The world is different today,
The hours are too short,
Night too quickly chases day.
Bad dreams cloud our thoughts.

The day has lost its shine,
The world seems drab and dull,
An emptiness pervades our sight,
A sadness chips at our soul.

The world is different today,
But tomorrow it will be different again,
Dawn brings another day
And what’s left of today will not be the same.

The world is different today,
But darkness does not last,
Hope always finds it way
And this day, too, will pass.

The Hallowalphabeteen Rap

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A is for aliens and abductions galore
B is for blood accompanied by guts and gore

C is for claws clutching at skin
D is for devils lurking within

E is for evil, driving you mad
F is for faeries, the tinkerbells gone bad

G is for grim reapers following in your wake
H is for hauntings, making you shake

I is for invisible dangers concealed
J is for jumping when these threats are revealed

K is for knock, knocking at your lonely door
L is for lonely when all your friends are no more

M is for murderers looking for their next kill
N is for nightmares freezing you still

O is for owls sweeping through the night
P is for predators hiding out of sight

Q is for quaking as your fear is found
R is for rats scurrying overground

S is for spiders hanging from threads
T is for teeth to tear you to shreds

U is for the undead eating your mind
V is for vampires, not the sparkling kind

W is for werewolves, howling at the moon
X is for x-rated, showing at theatres soon

Y is for yelling for someone to help you
Z is for zombies, behind you…boo!

Shaded memory

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Bleak, black, blocks of wood, writhing limbs
Pinned against the blue-grey, sea-shades of the sky
Where honey flavoured fingers of the sun
Unfurl their stiffened joints
To caress the ground beneath
And pour out affection on luminous blades of jade

A solitary figure, knock-kneed and balanced by a stick
Pulling a zipperless coat tight, with the one spare hand
Thrusts himself forward
Wading through the tempest
Into a bullion beam
Where dust mites dance around his head in lazy jubilation

Gnarled hand, grips tight, around gnarled wood
Whitewashed, waxen hair, molded to his head by rain
Gleams radiant in the beam’s glare
Rheumy eyes determinedly focus
On the aged oak tree ahead
Standing as it has since before his grandfather’s grandfather’s days.

Wood, darkened by the rain and scarred by the decades
Yields to the old man’s touch, tracing the time long-past, where
Now ancient, heart and letters
Were once painstakingly etched
Into the timber’s flesh
And bittersweet memories further blur already clouded eyes.

 

An Image of Youth Unbroken

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In memory of Megan Biddle


Whilst we live, you are immortal;
Apart from us but a part of us for ever more.
To you minutes and hours take no toll,
But march on us, unwanted and unasked for.

Like a flower pressed between
Two perfect sheets of glass and frozen;
You are free of time and yet trapped within,
An image of youth unbroken.

Unconcernedly the world keeps spinning,
Pulling us further and further from you;
It cannot erase what once had meaning,
But takes from us what we never knew.

Grey hairs will never leave their trace,
Although years dispense us this aging gift;
Wrinkles will never crease your face,
But fold in ours the dates you missed.

And when we are blurred, and fade away,
And are extinguished one-by-one,
Your memory will burn bright until the day,
That final flickering image too is gone.

When we too are liberated from our time,
Then you shall move from this eternity into the next;
Today’s sorrow will be redefined,
And we shall be reunited for all the rest.


On Monday I received the terribly sad news of the death of my parent’s neighbour, Megan. Megan was an eighteen year old woman I had known since she was a little girl. Her mother used to babysit for me and my brothers when we were small and when they moved next door to my parents house some years later I had the opportunity to babysit Megan and her brother Jack. It had amused me to think maybe someday she would babysit my children.

I knew Megan as a happy girl, full of love and life and laughter, like her whole family. Whilst I did not know Megan well as a young woman, having moved away by this point, I never saw her without a smile on her face and believe she grew up in the same spirit of happy adventure I knew when she was younger. It is overwhelmingly sad to think that she is no longer with us and I cannot imagine what her friends and family are suffering.

Her friends have organised a paypal collection to raise money for a commemorative bench, festival-style bands to remember Megan and for anything remaining to go to a charity Megan would have liked.

If anyone would like to donate you can do so through Paypal to the email address:
alice-rose.brooks(a)hotmail.com *

*replace the (a) with an @ – Writing it as above limits the likelihood of that email address getting spam.

The Christmas Eve Wrap

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Where’s the scissors?
Where’s the tape?
Where’s the paper?
Where’s the crepe?

Where’s the bow?
Where’s the string?
Where’s the ribbon?
Where’s the trimming?

Where’s the box?
Where’s the bag?
Where’s the wrap?
Where’s the tag?

Where are the presents?

Where are the scissors - bp image

 

Where are the presents?

Where are the presents!
How did I forget?
Which shops are open?
What can I get?

Where is my coat?
Who can give me a lift?
Where are my shoes?
Can we be swift?

Does this go faster?
Can we up the speed?
What did everyone want?
What does everyone need?

Who needs a gift?

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Who needs a gift?

Who needs a gift!
Did we make a list?
How many to buy?
Who have we missed?

Can this be an offering?
Could this be a prize?
Is this a present?
Is this the right size?

Where is the till?
Have we enough time?
Is it possible?
Are we going to be fine?

Where is my bag?

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Where is my bag?

Where is my bag!
Where is my card?
Where is my purse?
Why’s there a guard?

What will we do?
Have we nothing to give?
How will we manage?
Can it still be festive?

Can we still be happy
Without any stuff?
Could being together
Really be enough?

Will it still be Christmas?

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Will it still be Christmas?

Will it still be Christmas!
With family and friends,
It’s love, not presents,
On which Christmas depends.

We don’t need gifts,
Under the tree.
Just a little cheer
Between you and me

So if you were expecting
A little something,
Don’t be disappointed
When you get nothing!

Will it still be Christmas - bp image

 

Merry Christmas everyone!