Tag Archives: Self-image

Oldest Friend

 


Oldest Friend

She is my very oldest friend—I met her as a child.
Then she was the feisty one while I was shy and mild.
Diametric opposites, still we are never parted—
one of us the loner, the other open-hearted.

She makes friends everywhere we go. I’d rather be alone.
For all my hermit tendencies, she stirs me to atone.
She thinks up the parties and though loath to go along,
I give up my solitude to join the social throng.

We have coexisted throughout a lengthy life.
I thrive when I am single. She wants to be a wife.
When we are together, one must devour the other.
One at a time we make the choice: single girl or mother?

One succeeds the other  in  a continual chain.
As soon as one’s exhausted, the other shows again.
Our relationship is infinite. Neither can break away.
While she drinks all the shooters, I am the one to pay.

When I am the diligent student, she shares in all my glory.
I get to write the manuscripts. She gets to live their story.
One-by-one we take our turns determining our fate—
one of us always timely. The other always late.

Perhaps our friends are tired of not knowing which will show—
the one who’s energetic or the one of us who’s slow,
but our very oldest friends will simply wait to see,
knowing that whoever shows, either will be me.

 

Prompt words today are diametric, chain, infinite and devour
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/02/28/rdp-thursday-diametric/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/02/28/fowc-with-fandango-chain/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/02/28/your-daily-word-prompt-infinite-february-28-2019/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/02/28/devour/

Hide-and-go-seek

One often used technique is to take your photo in the bathroom mirror, but oops.. remember not to put the camera in front of your face.

Hide-and-go-seek

She enters my hideout and calls it her own.
Now I’ll have to move on, for my cover is blown.
I try to go deeper into my lair
but still she follows, finding me there.
I cannot escape her. She has all my keys.
She blows through my memory like a fine breeze,
usurping my details to make them her own
so I can’t reclaim them, wherever they’ve blown.
From a full-body mirror, she stares back at me.
My elbow’s her elbow. My knee is her knee.
She alters my hairdo and rouges my cheeks.
She searches my memory, looking for leaks,
then piles the lost parts up in her poems,
through her underground railroad, gives them new homes.
When I see myself spread out here in these pages,
some private part of me protests and rages,
but she doesn’t listen. She finds me too fussy.
She leaves herself open, the ungrateful hussy.
Does she not realize that it is me
who has made her whatever she’s turned out to be?
She should listen more closely when I say to stop.
Allow me to be her poetry cop.
But she doesn’t mind. She says what she wishes.
She dines out on me and leaves me with the dishes!

The prompt word today was “hideout.”

Necessary Untruths

The Prompt:What have you done that no one knows about, or what are you afraid of exposing about yourself?

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Necessary Untruths

A game of hide-and-seek
not behind chairs or under tables
within thickets or crouched in deep culverts
but obscured between sharp truths.
That white lie
you tell yourself
just to keep going.

 

To participate or see other writing on this theme, go to: https://promptlings.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/sandbox-writing-challenge-21-shhhh-its-a-secret/

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Looking Glass Menagerie

I am trying to escape the menagerie—
all those selves I hold in front of me
as well as the ones I have let escape.
Those that run ahead—
the ones that are my future selves—
are here, hidden in the portrait that you see.
Domineering, perhaps. But seasoned with
an awareness of what might have created
all of the parts of myself I try to reign in.
This has produced a certain slowness to connect.
The natural is seasoned with a desire to honor dreams
of what I hope to be. When I look in the mirror,
I see them all: my mother and my grandmother
and my sisters. We demand, are stubborn.
Sometime we are martyrs, stifling tears.
Then suddenly, I pass them by like memories
of nightmares: all the anxiety attacks,
illnesses and heartbreak.
We are all wonderful performers,
using bad luck to fuel good.
The belles of our own ball,
we push back the grim news
of what we fear we really are.
Headstrong, we reach for what we can be.
Utterly addicted to change,
Tony or no Tony,
we are the stars of our own lives.

This is a poem I wrote a year and a half ago. (In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall.”)

Mirror Fearer

The Prompt: The Mirror Crack’d—You wake up one morning to a world without mirrors. How does your life — from your everyday routines to your perception of yourself — change?

 
Mirror Fearer

Every time I walk past it, I look into the glass
and notice how my hair looks and then survey my ass.
I cannot help but look at it, every time I pass—
criticizing how I look, both fuzziness and mass.
And in my deepest feelings, despite my brains and sass,
I can’t avoid this feeling that men must find me crass.
And so I guess I really feel that it would be a gas
if you took away the mirrors from this self-critiquing lass!

No Fear

No Fear

We know within our hearts that personality
often cancels out what we can clearly see.
We all have known the men who, homely to the eye,
still have personalities sweet as cherry pie,
who win the ladies with their charm and humor that is wry,
causing them to line up for chances with this guy.

And the girl who’s plain until she starts to talk—
her face just so enlivened, you have to stand and gawk.
Made lovely by expression, intelligence and wit,
“beautiful” and “lovely” become the words that fit
when trying to describe this attractive little lass
who simply doesn’t bother with a looking glass.

Both have learned to conquer all their crippling fear—
to find the other side of doubt and kick it in the rear.
To face the world on their own terms and face it unafraid.
To take their rightful placement at the front of the parade.
But though we see what they have done, we do not always take
the road that for another seems to be a piece of cake.

You may find this poem to be most adolescent,
yet the feelings of our past most usually are present
throughout our lifetimes, though we seem to hide what we must feel,
leaving it to novelists and poets to reveal
the truths of all our agonies, the facts of all our fears—
all those things we’ve meant to face but yet hold in arrears.

I long ago discovered that writing must be true.
The only worthwhile topics are the things that bother you.
The lacks you find in others and the lacks within yourself
are what divide the poems in hand from poems on the shelf.
And so I must admit that fear’s my greatest hidden vice.
And since we all could do with taking our own sage advice:

I’ll say that with no fear, I would burn candles at both ends—
be as free with lovers as I am with friends.
I would have burned fingers, but an unbound heart.
All those lovely men, disregarded from the start
because I was too zaftig or not smart enough?
I’d face them nose-to-nose, and then I would call their bluff.

Today’s Prompt: Fearless Fantasies—How would your life be different if you were incapable of feeling fear? Would your life be better or worse than it is now?

NaPoWriMo Day 28: Looking Glass Menagerie

Looking Glass Menagerie

I am trying to escape the menagerie—
all those selves I hold in front of me
as well as the ones I have let escape.
Those that run ahead—
the ones that are my future selves—
are here, hidden in the portrait that you see.
Domineering, perhaps. But seasoned with
an awareness of what might have produced
all of the parts of myself I try to reign in.
This has produced a certain slowness to connect.
The natural is seasoned with a desire to honor dreams
of what I hope to be. When I look in the mirror,
I see them all: my mother and my grandmother
and my sisters. We demand, are stubborn.
Sometime we are martyrs, stifling tears.
Then suddenly, I pass them by like memories
of nightmares: all the anxiety attacks,
illnesses and heartbreak.
We are all wonderful performers,
using bad luck to fuel good.
The belles of our own ball,
we push back the grim news
of what we fear we really are.
Headstrong, we reach for what we can be.
Utterly addicted to change,
Tony or no Tony,
we are the stars of our own lives.

The prompt today was “to find a news article and to write a poem using (mostly, if not only) words from the article! You can repeat them, splice them, and rearrange them however you like. Although the vocabulary may be “just the facts,” your poem doesn’t have to be — it doesn’t even have to be about the subject of the news article itself.”

With massive tornadoes, politician campaign funding fraud, murder and mayhem being the main stories of the day, I was hard-pressed to find any good news to write about. Finally, I chose a very long theater review in the NY Times which I picked at like a foraging chicken, picking a word here, a word there. Above is the resulting poem.

Here is a link to the NY Times article from which  I drew words : NY Times Article