An Unexpected Love

Posted January 28, 2021
Heli by Jimini

This is such a beautiful space of hope I wanted to share with you one of the pieces I have written. I call them pomes cos they aren't quite poetry (or so I have been told).

The art work is a painting of me done by my very good friend Jimini Hignett. When I lived in London I was a life art model for many years. I loved doing the work it gave me a really positive feeling about my body which was much appreciated in London for the curves, lines and tones (quoting the artists) when I moved to the Netherlands it was a very different story. Here they just want a specific kind of body, the way that people looked at me when they drew me, the way they drew me and the changes they made to make my body 'more aesthetically pleasing' showed the level of their racism and misogyny and after a very short time even when I had a very appreciative artist who wanted to use me often for his classes, I refused. Jimini's life art paintings are REAL, generous un-'pornified' which is so very rare in art works of naked women. I have loved everything she has ever made of me. They may not be 'complimentary' but they show all the different colours I see in mine and skin in general.

Recently this poem was put to music and visuals, the visuals were made by a woman and I was so disappointed. It seemed to me that she hadn't read or heard the words. There were three poem, two by women and one by a man. The other woman wrote a very poignant piece dedicated to her Unborn Child. The image used for both of our poems is a rotating mannequin! For the man's poem there is an interesting, weird shape. I wish that there was more alignment from women towards other women. I lied to the producer by omitting my true feelings mostly our of appreciation for the work that he had done, he lack of control over what was produced by the visual artists and a desire to avoid attacking another woman in mixed space. I hope I don't have to ever meet her.

This is dedicated to all (the women) who, if having done nothing to their appearance are unable to pass a mirror, see themselves and think/feel gorgeous


I fell in love with my body today

Stopped looking at it for a moment

Through the world's eyes

That compare, judge, criticise, condemn and despise

I felt it's strength; muscle, sinew, bone

The warmth of my skin; it's shades, it’s tones

The fact that it takes by yielding

Gives in receiving. Soft, lush, pliable

I liked for the first time in all my years that my hands

Sink into my tummy and can almost disappear

Hands that shape, mould, strain

To re create that which has been destroyed

Build it up again

These hands encircled and cradled

As praise for the way that they pull me through the haze

They form order in the chaos and soothe the craze

My hands in my tummy are stroked as they stroke,

Held as they hold.

My body is amazing

If I think of all the things it can do...

How it carries this heavy mind, in warmth.

My body is an angel to me

For though it's very visible, it's something that I rarely see

I don't want to look and when I do, I see, to my ire

It doesn't fit the perfect shape to which I should aspire.

It's wrong.

It reflects my love of the sedentary,

It reflects my love of the imaginary

It reflects my love of food!

It's skin shows; that my ancestors were

(and still are by far too many)

Considered as animals; lesser, lower beings,

Some people assume I'm stupid and can't access finer feelings.

My hair shows that despite these beliefs,

Many of the higher order

Were very keen to fuck those of the animals

They didn't work to death or slaughter.

My body has shapes that don't fit,

Won't sit, over fill, stretch and strain

But it makes love and it cuddles and it laughs so loud,

It has hairs where they choose to grow

It’s silly fact but one of which I‘m proud

It's is not perky but it is firm, it’s cushioned, fleshy, squishy

It is the body of the most ancient Goddess figurines

For tens of thousands of years this body was a worshipped form

From the honour paid to this body

Some say our earliest civilisations were born!

It is a primeval woman's body not a maiden's, nor a boys.

It will only allow itself to be loved

By a fearless warrior for the Goddess

One who embraces peril and adventure for their joys

Who holds their breath, to plumb the depths, strives to rise

To clearer skies on an unknown shore

These and many mysteries my body holds in store.

Today I fell in love with my body

The feeling faded after a short time,

Drawn away by thoughts, reverie, contemplation

But it felt so good,

Those few short moments of internal animation

I'm going to do it again as soon as I may,

The feeling comes unbidden,

I hope it stays

Comments 13

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Jill Langhus
Jan 29
Jan 29

Hello Heli,

Welcome to World Pulse! Thanks so much for sharing your intriguing photo, and introspective post and poem. I'm sure your post will resonate for many. So much pressure and unforgiveness we hold toward our beautiful bodies. I'm looking forward to seeing more posts from you and learning more about what you're passionate about.

Jan 29
Jan 29

Hi Jill,
Thank you. I look forward to sharing more!
The photo is of a painting that was done of me by the artist Jimini Hignett. I love it and have it next to my altar.
It's true we need to be nicer in general to and about our bodies

Jill Langhus
Jan 30
Jan 30

Hello Heli,

You're welcome. Great!

Hope you're having a great weekend.

Nini Mappo
Jan 29
Jan 29

Dear Heli,
Welcome to World Pulse. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of life as a model/artist in different cultural climates that most outsiders would believe are similar. It's quite eye opening.
Your deep, inviting, contemplative poem has paints such beautiful image of the female body-of what it ought to be all the time and what is often isn't , at least in the minds of those who own it. As I got to the end, I found myself wondering why that joy, appreciation, and wonderment was only momentary, and what it would take to make it linger. I am still wondering what the body would say to us if it could speak, for all the beating and bashing we dish out to it with our thoughts and attitudes towards it. What a conflict!
Do you have a link to the audio-visual that was made of the poem? We'd love to see it if you have it/are free to share.

Thank you for inviting us into a little piece of your life. We look forward to meeting you some more through your future posts.
Take care and stay sparkly :-)

Jan 29
Jan 29

Thank you Nini,
Those are lovely compliments thank you.
The piece does answer your question as to why.
I wanted the poem to reflect what I perceive/recieve from the looks of others more than how I feel.
I put a link to the audio visual in the comments below


Busayo Obisakin
Jan 29
Jan 29

Hello Heli
So wonderful dialogue with one's body. Thank you so much for sharing with us

Jan 29
Jan 29

Thank you Busayo
You are very welcome

Hello, Heli,

Welcome to World Pulse! I'm happy that a new voice is rising up.

It's nice to read your thoughts as an artist and as a life art model. It's interesting, too, that what's acceptable in London is not as celebrated in the Netherlands. There was a quote I read somewhere that we don't speak negatively to trees when their branches are imperfect, and yet we do that to our own bodies. It got me thinking how lovely the environment is as it is, the skies, the oceans, the fields, the mountains, the blooms, and so on. They are perfect as they are, and we as a living being is also "perfect" in whatever shape our bodies are.

Thank you for sharing this poem with us. May we as a society begin to see the beauty of our bodies.

Jan 29
Jan 29

A-ho Karen

Jan 29
Jan 29

Here is the link to the piece with music

Jan 30
Jan 30

Welcome to World Pulse Heli, Your story is your power!

Same as Jill's comment your post and poem will resonate with women. But i am amazed that the painting was you, wow. I'm wondering how it feels like being painted. Your poem reminds me to always love my body.

Jan 30
Jan 30

Thank you

Mar 17
Mar 17

Thank you for sharing this- we as women need to normalize the celebration of all bodies- and I so appreciate your words. Our bodies are amazing, powerful, beautiful, strong, all all different and ever changing- and hearing other women celebrate their body makes me want to celebrate mine- you are inspiring. Thank you.