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 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