Aside

Body Hair: An Endangered Species

Sharp blades of silky obsidian grass

Poking up from pinches of ochre soil;

Luxuriant undergrowth – twisting coils

That of undesirables block. The. Path.

 

Wispy, transparent dandelion seeds

Strewn across a rough and earthy terrain;

Dark mossy barks that grow slick in the rain

And glint like stars in the sun’s lucent beam.

 

Tell me. Why would you ever desire to

Burn or scythe or mow or pluck out any

Of the shrubs that bore this charming garden?

 

Perhaps it had never occurred to you

That it was not there to please the many;

Only those who can fathom its allure.

 

A.N. This sonnet was inspired by Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey as well as my own experiences of the way in which body hair, especially female body hair, is perceived by society. I can’t help but notice that, despite the increasing acceptance of things that were previously considered disgusting and abnormal like being a member of the LGBT+ community or someone who is larger than usual, hirsutism and even common patterns of body hair remain neglected by the liberal-minded. As part of my own journey to self-love, I believe that it is important to accept my body in its natural state, and realising the beauty of that which society deems unbeautiful is one change of mind-set that will help me on my way.

Feminine Markings

Rose, chestnut, peach, plum,

Smearing the spongy whiteness

Like paint a fresh page.

 

A.N. I wasn’t sure if this would be too controversial to post, but I decided that part of its excitement is that the aspect of womanhood that it depicts is one not (certainly by myself) come across too often in literature; I really enjoyed writing it because of this uniqueness and the dynamic perspective that it gave me on quite a mundane event. Haikus are amongst my favourite poetic forms because they have such simple rules, yet these same rules embellish what may be, like Feminine Markings, a single sentence.

Image

The Phoenix

A scarlet bird frolics across the sky,

Its clouds of breath filling the atmosphere.

Twigs of an adjacent tree weave into

And out of each other as if to form

A gigantic, haphazard nest.

We hear a song of woodwind and join in,

Feeling its wings whipping up a gay breeze;

Watching feathers of flame transcend the earth.

 

Please don’t let the friendly gale run colder;

The faint tune roar; the white billows spit ice;

The radiant plumage disintegrate,

And our magnificent phoenix fall

Dead.

 

A.N. I was stressed. And I hadn’t written in ages. So I decided to look to nature, and the autumn afternoon brought me this poem. As the heartbeat rhythm of iambic pentameter suggests, the natural world really does keep us alive, whether it be physically or mentally. I noticed how the fallen leaves looked like the feathers of a phoenix, like Fawkes of the beloved Harry Potter novels; I recognised that my part of the world was in a transitional period from the warmth and light of summer to the cold and dark of winter. And, as a thankless human being, I lamented it.