For Thursday Doors.
For Thursday Doors.
To win a beauty pageant is a kinky dream.
You want to be the biggest fish in a manmade stream.
You’ll be closely examined both for charm and beauty,
then questioned for your aptitude in fulfilling your duty
at shopping malls and other places where you’ll be on view
displaying what fine work your folks did creating you.
That you’re a lovely model is not up to debate.
What an excellent product they managed to create!
Compared to all the others, you simply glow and shine.
You have that extra element we find hard to define.
Is it a special need to please or is it blind ambition?
Or did you simply need the cash for your college tuition?
We rather hope it is the last prompting your pageantry,
so after one year on the runway, you’ll be able to break free
to live a normal life down here, milling with the crowd,
for when you’re up there, special, hobnobbing’s not allowed.
Jostled by the hoi polloi, your royal crown might tilt,
or there is a danger it might be revealed as gilt.
Not a thing of value. Just a pretty piece of junk.
A perfect metaphor all of this “glamor” to debunk.
Beauty is as beauty does the adage tries to tell us,
yet who we are is not the thing that pageants use to sell us.
You are a perfect object standing up there on a shelf,
made to please our eyes and ears. Not to please yourself.
Indeed, you’re slim and lovely. Your smile has its charm.
You simply look enchanting there on the emcee’s arm.
You will be fluffed and feted and put out on display.
It won’t be free, this privilege that you have won today.
But remember, please, when you’ve done all you’re told to do
that you will come down off that stage and simply live as you.
The prompt words are free, dream, pageant and kinky.
We demand perfection in so many things––
performances most flawless, cars that sport no dings,
trophy wives to greet us at the door each night
with Ivory complexions and bodies toned just right.
My kid’s an honor student, your child a beauty queen.
If we have other children, they are more rarely seen.
In our quest for perfection, somehow the TV
Has become our standard for reality.
Silicone injections in our lower cheeks,
surgery reducing our stomachs, thighs and beaks.
If we’re not born perfect, thank God that we can buy it.
Every ordinarily attractive gal should try it!
I heard there was a sale on for tummy tucks and lifts––
promoting them as valentines and other midlife gifts.
And so I declared myself my own valentine
and began to plan a body that was really really fine.
I started with love handles and worked up to my neck.
‘Til I’d made a total rehab out of this old wreck.
If I had been born perfect, I’d probably be blue.
I would have had to figure out something else to do.
Perhaps I would have learned to make those statues on my shelf
instead of concentrating on adjustments to myself!
This poem is a spoof––no tummy tucks yet. When I was growing up, there was a feature in the “Reader’s Digest” entitled “The Perfect Squelch.” In it, they would share perfect examples of verbal “one-up-manship.” Now that’s the kind of perfection I can appreciate. I’d love to hear your examples of perfect squelches you’ve made or heard in the comments section below. I also have a “perfect photos” piece I’m working on, but I’ve run out of time as I have a birthday party to go to, so come back later for the photos I meant to accompany this poem.
(Photos above? Before I was a natural girl! Poem below? Fifty years later.)
Underneath this hairpiece, I am a natural girl.
It’s just that blogs are waiting, and I haven’t time to curl.
I haven’t put on makeup for a month or so, but still
there’s no one here to see me as my daily prompts I fill.
I don’t need any lipstick, for my lips have grown too thin
to find a place to put it, plus I don’t know any men
around to help me kiss it off and so why put it on?
That’s why when my friends see me, they think I’m looking wan.
I no longer wear foundation, for it clogs up in the cracks.
And that’s not the only makeup that my face so lately lacks.
I cannot wear mascara, for my dry eye medication,
every time I use it, sends eye makeup on vacation.
I’m growing out my bangs and so no need to shape and pluck.
My eyebrows don’t show anyway, so I say what the fuck!
Without the rest, why take the time to make eyelashes curl?
Lately, by default, I am a totally natural girl!!!
Why We Believe
I think the reason why I believe is probably at the root of it the reason why we all believe in something. It is just such a miracle that anything exists and that I get to be a part of it. What are the chances out of the entire universe that I would be born at all, let alone born to the time and place and parents that I was? And what are the chances that I would be healthy and have the benefit of an education and that I would find the courage to live the life I want to and continue to have that courage into my sixties and I hope my seventies and eighties and nineties.
I can understand why it would be hard to continue to believe in the magic of life if one were ill or abused or confined or physically handicapped, yet people do continue to hold onto every scrap of existence. Life is such an incredible thing and to not appreciate it when we have every reason to appreciate it is such a waste.
There is so much cruelty and oppression and greed and poverty and disease and sadness in this world. Yes, we do what we can to fight it, but an additional and very important way to fight it is to be as productive and happy as we can be. Polarity demands its opposite and the world changes for the good by holding onto as much of the positive as we can. Living it. Promoting it in others. Helping each other. Good mothers and fathers do this every minute of every day and those of use who don’t have children can do it by trying to be surrogates for those children and those adults who need our care and help. This help may be given in an organized fashion by volunteering and donating or by the way we treat others in our every day life. We can be observant. We can be helpful. We can be as kind to each other as possible, given that we are human and feel anger, fatigue, frustration and hopelessness.
At the end of the day–even the worst day–we get to choose whether to give up or to continue to believe, and even if the choice is to give up, we have one more chance. I think dreams are messages and reminders we send to ourselves–little boosts encouraging us to listen to that deep part of ourselves that will always believe, even if it has to go on without the support of our conscious minds. It is the part we get to when we write or draw or paint or dance or sing or play an instrument. That is the importance of the arts. They connect us to our beliefs.
So when I find myself floundering, whatever time of the day or night, my easiest way to find a reason to keep going is to do what I’m doing now. To write. Or to make art out of whatever I find around me. For in this aspect, art imitates life. It is simply looking around for what we can find around us and making the best of it. Someone once says “It is the job of the artist to take the detritus that the world creates and to hand it back to the world as art.” That is exactly what I do in my “found art” collages. And this, at the end of the day, is enough for me to believe in.
Click on any one of the images to enlarge and enter gallery. Can you find “Lord Love a Duck,” a pheasant, frigate birds, the ballerina, puffin, a seal, a sea bird, wild pig or “Found Heart?” I just realized I left out my favorite, so I’m going to add it below.
The Prompt: In Reason to Believe, Bruce Springsteen sings, “At the end of every hard-earned day / people find some reason to believe.” What’s your reason to believe?
Islas Ballestras: Peru’s Galapagos
Sometimes where land comes together with water, that land is an island; and in Peru’s Ballestras Islands, it furnishes a wonderful preserve where millions of penguins, boobies, gulls, seals and other animals are able to live in a protected environment.
To see Cee’s incredible panoramic coastline view and other photographers’ work, go HERE.
the sound of ease
not much to slip into
or out of
sand between toes
and other cracks
released in sleep
to gritty sheets
grinding our sleep
and clogging up washing machines
long gone the days of high button shoes
and the shoe horns that went with them.
give way to bikinis
to nude beaches
half of the world
and swinging breasts.
taking the place
as stays are tightened
the other half
burqas and Jimmy Choo
in freedom found
found too slowly
find release in