There are many stories and beliefs around the nature of some birthmarks. Some of us have lived with one all our lives, while others not. What does it conjure up for you? As with all our topics in poetic expression, we hardly know our thoughts and feelings about something until we take a journey there. As is usually the case, the deep, the funny, the personal, the philosophical appears in it all, which is wonderful. Such breadth to the expression, and always insightful and expansive.
A theme that predominated was around the treatment of those who appear different to the norm. Disfiguration away from the ‘perfect’ model can take people away from being all of who they are and in some cases, retreating into themselves or away from connecting with others, or covering up to better ‘fit’ in. We may have a long way to go before we truly see and feel the perfection in the imperfections. Your thoughts?
Follies of mankind
Once upon a time
In a corner of the universe
a mystic coalition of memories
spent a moment in time
to visit the chaos world of mortals.
Watching, learning, discovering
the myths and superstitions around
an object these mortals can’t explain.
The subject of their attention
was a blemish on their skin
that appeared to be a bit different, odd.
Trying hard to discover why it was present.
So stories begun to unfold,
Reasons, intentions, meanings
grew and grew across the centuries,
to bring order to its appearance
An angel’s kiss. A devils mark.
A sign, a cause of death in a previous life.
Different shapes, colours and locations
all fighting for a true representation.
The mystic coalition of memories
became bored and moved on in time.
Leaving behind these mortal follies,
still trying to work out what they were seeing,
by collectively giving birthmarks a purpose for being.
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy zero zero birthday
…and you have a mark too…
…Mummy, why don’t I have one?
Ahh that’s because you are special
…so having one is not good?
Well, it is not essential
…Why does she have one?
Um…. Um… because she does
… she is special?
Well, a different kind of special
Anyway you have a secret one…
Um, I do not know it is secret…
…so secret that no-one knows?
Um.. yes that’s it…
This can go on and on
Explaining the haves and have-nots
In reality it is probably just genes and pigmentation
There is no further explanation…
She’s the girl with the mark,
I hardly remember that it’s there
Being on the back of my leg
Means I’m not witnessing it often
I remember hearing the whispers and giggles
Those times when my school friends didn’t know what else to do
It really didn’t bothered me
I realised it said nothing about me
I had a mark
I wasn’t a freak
I was me
How silly that they respond like that, I’d think
Plus it is such a nice colour and texture
It’s brought me curiosity
How was it formed,
Why did it form,
When did it form?
They say that it brings good luck,
They say mum craved chocolate,
They say, they say….
When I see someone
With a birthmark on their face
I would wonder
How it feels for them
That ongoing ‘in your face’
Are they able to shut it out?
As I can?
I realised early that if we are different,
If we stand out
people can’t let it go…
Like a bull at a gate
A lion with its prey
We can’t walk away,
We just have to say…
But do we?
When do we realize that
If it is not helpful
It’s not worth saying?
Words, the power of
Constructive – destructive
In the hands of the provider
Fueled by intention
How many of us
Very good reason
To grow and become free
From being silly…
No need to giggle about
A mark that has come to be
On a tree, a leg, a face, a knee
Just appreciate its journey
and enjoy what you see