Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Beholding What Is Beautiful - Features - 09-05-2012

Inspired by the poem “Speaking of…” and a reaction to it, “of light and darkness,” this week’s feature collect takes a look at what gauges we use to measure beauty and what inspires us to see, hear, smell, taste, and reach out and touch the beautiful things in life. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines beauty as the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit, loveliness; a beautiful person or thing, especially a beautiful woman; a particularly graceful, ornamental, or excellent quality; a brilliant, extreme, or egregious example or instance. With such a broad range of contenders, who’s the most qualified judge of this thing called beauty?
Perhaps the answer is as fundamental as this: “Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not,” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson. Or maybe it’s more accurate that “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched—they must be felt with the heart,” as one of the world’s most inspiring women, Helen Keller, puts it. Whatever the given situation, here’s celebrating the physical, psychological, and spiritual things that tantalise the senses and expose what each beholder perceives as beautiful.

Today’s collection begins with a question not asked often enough. Can beauty be amply defined by media-driven worldly ideals?

VOGUE by © Manana11

Is beauty in the surface things or is it really skin deep?

Change Every Thing about Her by © Kancha Mahon

When it comes to defining what is beautiful, just who is the fairest judge of them all?

Speaking of… by © RC deWinter
Across the table sits a crumpled paper ball,
squeezed by a scornful hand and tossed there carelessly.
The words inked on that sheet ring false, deserving nothing but
the harsh embrace of steel arms.
Why is it that one who so admires beauty cannot write about it
from the heart,
instead condemned to spew forth words of weak ungainly praise,
clouds of cliches,
the voice that speaks so fatuous, so false?
But put me into that bloody arena where the soul faces itself –
or better yet, another –
and all is finely, fiercely focused, sharply drawn.
The pen becomes a bloody quill, effortlessly smearing scarlet
across and back the defenseless pages.
It is not that this harsh terrain is any more familiar than the soft green
wildflower meadows – I have traversed
my share of both.
Somehow this unforgiving landscape stays to press upon my memory,
while gentler environs fade to a vague and barely-recalled beauty.
And as I turn, triumphant, to present you with a tribute,
you must not think I do not care
when tribute is a tattered bit of hope and trust and passion
salvaged from my last encounter,
rather than the red red rose so often brandished in Love’s bower.

Is beauty buried in the dark corner along with fear and insecurity? or is it simply a matter of stepping into the light to see it?

of light and darkness by © Sybille Sterk
To dim eyes
beauty shines bright
afire, aflame
too hot to handle
in everyday humdrum
the pain surrounding it
is difficult enough
but manageable
just a little at a time
pull a string here
a sharp pin there
for it’s all it can take
the voodoo doll
that is my heart
because some
truths are so beautiful
memories are so wonderful
treasures are so big
they won’t fit anywhere
pour right through my fingers
slippery things that they are
so I slide round the edges
pray to the darkness
to show the light
by its absence
wallow in the black
hoping for the white
to find me in the corners
where I am hiding
afraid to be found
longing to be held
and led back to the light.

Behold the splendour of youth’s innocence.

You in your new blue dress by © madworld

Cherish the beautiful reflections that cast back from a nurture’s eyes.

The Shield by © charpierce
I am the habit that reminds
you to look both ways before crossing the street.
I am the feeling in your gut that warns
you of those you cannot trust.
I am the ray of hope telling
you anything is possible in tomorrow’s new day.
I am the force of strength
that won’t let you let go.
I am front and center to the stage of your life
cheering you on
laughing with you, dancing with you, crying with you.
I am in the stories you read before you sleep.
I am in the voice in your dreams.
I am in the music you sing.
So when you turn the lock and step into your new apartment
miles and miles from home,
do not be afraid.
You are not alone.

It’s worth it to reach out and explore the beauty in the briefest exposures.

Touching the Ephemeral by © Doreen Costras

Sometimes beauty is weaved into the safety net just below surrender.

away by © MaryMac
hiding and resting
words cutting and challenging
uttering my peace
in small hushed sounds
trees bend down to listen
winds quietly barred
the atmosphere breathing
giving off a light scent of floral
to the shrine of humidity
every second passing by
like a javelin tipped in multicolored hues
once obtaining grace
butterfly bushes and juniper
i lose myself in their earth

Never underestimate the beauty in heritage.

Lulu woman by © Madalena Lobao-Tello

Stopping to be as one with nature is a beautiful thing.

Today by © Art of Ella Brown
Today i put my feet on the warm wet grass,
i saw the crows flit from tree to branch,
i felt the sun kiss my face,
like butterflies and fairy eye lash embraces.
Today i made good food,
a pot full of goodness and homely magic,
i made tea from herbs and honey,
I don’t posses much money.
But in the garden grows a tree,
of flowers that delight the woman in me,
the smell and colours are happily
deep in my psyche .
Today i rode my bike for water,
at the well and flowing goodness,
i rode it to town and bought good bread,
i made a love nest in my bed.
Today i sang as i washed up,
i felt inside my gypsy luck,
the prosperous blood that runs through my heart,
the joy the love the start …
of something.
The super moon made me shiver,
the night the fear
the bad dreams,
the morning bright and near,
in hours of quiet before runners darted and laughed past my windows.
Today i found myself
in all these joys and such wealth
the small things made a picture
that i will treasure.

Celebrate the beauty in the simplicity of a solitary meal.

Annapurna Lady by © Valerie Rosen

Beautiful is the woman who endures until freedom is a reality.

While My Heart Heals by © Rhenastarr
She begged please
Touch me slowly
Gently handle the invisible
Bruises that still
Stain my heart
Give me time to
Feel completely
The love you are offering
Your gentle spirit is
At once comforting and
Yet alien to the wells
Of pain that threaten
To drown my soul
The past is a wound
Leaving scars that
Open and bleed upon
The me hiding within
The man who came before
Wore a mask
A shield that hid the evil
That ran hot within
His hands that began
As gentle caresses
Became punishing fists
Of hate
He spoke words of love
That quickly got lost in
The venom he spewed
Scalding me with it’s
I remember how well he
Hid his crushing animosity
Clothed it in designer
Covering the ugly
In shades of gold
That became tarnished in
The light of reality
He covered me in
Shades of pain
And humiliation
Creating of me a creature
Diminished in self
The love that began with
Bright shining hope
Died a slow punishing
Clothed in fear and pain
Sex lost the tenderness
Of love
Replaced with the rape
Of dignity, heart and soul
Isolation became the normal
Friends drifted into the
And loneliness was a saving
No one to witness my degradation
My humiliation, my overwhelming
Loss of self
In his absence, the quiet was
A balm that soothed
As time ticked down, the clock
Was an enemy
I watched the hours pass and
The dread fill me
Trembling beneath the surface
An urgency boiled
I knew I had to make a stand
I found the key in a little girl
A priceless gift from the man
Of torment
I could see the fiery anger
In his eyes when he gazed
Upon her
I found the strength to rebel
To break the chains that
Bound me
I would not allow her to ever
Suffer the abusive life into
Which she had been born
I walked away never
Looking back
And then there was you
So bear with me my gentle
Touch me tenderly
Touch me slowly
While my heart heals
© Marie Harris 5-7-12

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