Body Building

Comfortable in my own skin
For a thousand years or more
Inner calm and outer grin
Oozing from every pore

Tender care for follicles
That blossom forth with fur
Showing off unruly curls
That underline his ‘her’

Nibbled nails that niggle
Catching, snagging, telling tales
Tiny scars that wriggle
As hands flex and curl and wave

Gentle as a monolith
That towers high above
The pillory of Lilith
For whom Adam held no love

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Fabula rasa

This new life chafes at her
Like fresh skin, stretched
Taut over familiar tenderness
Of an old, raw wound
Nothing fits her now
Not time, nor place
As long-jawed expressions
Must face up to unflattery
And quit sliding into view
Over blank slate

To change a Leopard’s shorts

I don’t suit spots, or rather they
Do not fit me, though garish, gay
This leopard-print lies round my neck
To warn off those whom sport would wreck
With vulgar overtones and spoil
A wilderness of threadbare toil
Nay, not to fashion can I cleave
Where company requires alleviation
Of monotony made up of rows
And rows of me.

Love poem to my hands

These small scars and subtle lines
The marks of canula and razor blade
This triangle of raised skin from an
Unlikely first foray at false nails
Tell my story better than palmistry.
Strong hands, cast in my grandfather’s mould
The broad span of a peasant-pianist
Clasping my mother’s work ethic
My grandmother’s curved third joint.
My hands are rebels, weatherbeaten
Eschewing my father’s manicured elegance
With overgrown cuticles, nails kept short.
Functional fingers, well-muscled
And only two permanent ink stains
On the right hand, unmoved since school;
The wart on my left a source of teasing
My witch mark, mocked
By ignorant children.  I would not change
The fine hairs on my fourth knuckle
Hidden by the ring I sometimes wear
For the world.

A symphony in beige

The girl has faded from our view
As softly coloured, her disguise
Dilutes what mood from hat to shoe
She wore, before our very eyes
Until her person has took cover
In a shell of sticking gauze
And we no longer may uncover
Beauty swathed to match her pores
Almost naked she appears
And yet false modesty we see
She chose her palette – from her fears
Made two dimensions out of three