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Emily Aug 27
When I look in the mirror I see
roses. Stark and stubborn.
Bursting from the cracks
in skin too plain
to do them justice.

When I look in the mirror I see
thorns. Threatening to break through the façade
so carefully contorted to fit
that cookie-cutter idealization
of a pre-packaged identity.

When I look in the mirror I see
monochrome; like the eyes of the beholder
who twisted my covert dissatisfaction into something--
maybe not beautiful, but at least
accepted, yes; eyes that couldn't behold
when I had my own ideations; couldn't accept
that underneath that soft, dull skin,
there were thorns.

There are thorns
and there are roses, too, when I look in the mirror--
they are engulfing my reflection;
transforming my figure into one that is unrecognizable
to those discerning eyes--

but not to mine,
these fiery red eyes of the beholder
which finally recognize beauty
worthy of love.
Chloe Carey Jul 21
Thigh gaps, no fat flabs.
Bronzed goddess, half naked bodice,
We all buy into this masquerade
But let me tell you something, pretty fades

Society warps media to show us an unachievable dream,
One we will chase down till the day we run out of steam,
And then what?
They fabricate lies, telling us that if we have a gap between our thighs and pretty blue eyes,
Which will get the attention of guys and that’s the ultimate prize, right?

Diet suppressing pills that make you feel filled but are you fulfilled?
Running till blisters cover your heels,
Skipping those meals,
How did that make you feel?
Are you happy?
No
Because that’s the trick.
You’ll scroll social media and just as quick,
You don’t like what you see anymore,
It’ll make you sick.
You have to be skinny but hey wait we also like em thick,
So which do you pick?

But lets not forget the ones who scream ‘body posi’
And then say ‘oooh she’s too skinny’
‘That cant be healthy’
‘Gain 20 pounds, eat a Big Mac’
‘Guys don’t like girls with a small rack’
Is that a fact?
‘You need some meat on your bones’
Yeah well my body is my home, and I don’t remember inviting you in
You see, body shaming is a two way street,
Don’t go telling her she needs to eat,
Or her bones need some meat,
Stop fighting each other its this ideal were trying to beat

And then there’s those of us in the middle.
You’re not quite skinny but you’re not quite thick so you’re not allowed to complain,
‘You don’t know the pain’.
They call you skinny,
So you say you’re a size 12,
They say ‘that cant be’
They don’t believe me.
Just because I know how to dress my body to look a certain way
Does not mean that I don’t resent what I see at the end of the day.

I am sick of wanting to look like somebody else.

I am sick of crying every night in bed, and wanting to be dead
and to that voice in my head..
*******!
Stop telling me that no one will love me
Because I have a tummy
Because that’s not true.

And when I get a flat stomach then what?
What my hips are too wide? ***** too small?
**** too flat? Do you like anything at all?

No matter what I do there will always be something wrong with me in your eyes.
Ill never be good enough for you,
No matter how hard I try, how much I cry,
That wont change and nether will I.
You’ve made me wish I had the discipline to starve myself so you know what?
Go **** yourself

Comparison is the thief of joy, and I’m a serial burglar.

The Media shows you pretty and what a shame
Because beauty is not the same.
There are no standards or aims.
It’s not about how you look,
It’s about how you took
The gift of life
And you breathe and you blink
And you create and you think.
Beauty is laughing out loud.
It is being proud
Of yourself and everyone else.
Beauty is the smell outside after rain,
Picking yourself up after all that pain,
It’s keeping calm when you feel like you’re going insane.
It’s forgive and forget
No regrets,
Beauty is living.
Beauty is how you feel and breathe
Because you’re alive.
It’s determination, perseverance because you strive,
To be the best, because you expect
Nothing less,
From yourself.

The more you try to adhere to what society wants you to look the more you’ll feel like crap,
It’s a trap,
Now I’m not saying the key to happiness will just fall into your lap,
It’s hard. I know.
It takes time, work and energy,
But for the possibility,
That you like what you see
To be happy?
Isn’t it worth it?
My body is a work of art.
Tattoos and piercings line my skin,
I haven’t loved my body
But I can begin.

Society profits off of your self-hate,
Don’t take the bait,
It’s not too late,
Speak to yourself as you would your best mate.
When I die, my body is not my legacy.
Mourners will not say ‘lovely girl, shame about the belly’
‘Ya I agree,
A smart girl but not that pretty’
Nobody’s going to say
‘I loved her but her flat chest
Was not the best’
As they lay me to rest
The world will not come to a stop
Because of my muffin top
And I refuse to be a prop
In this production.
Killing myself to get a slim waist, big ****,
Big *****, small gut
And for what?
To perpetuate the message that you have to look like this too?
No, I refuse
If not for me, then for you.

I like my body
I don’t love it….. yet anyway
But I will one day
And that’s ok.
Find the charm in every mole, stretch mark and roll,
And don’t lose yourself
To the infinite scroll.
It’s not easy, I don’t have a simple solution,
But
Loving yourself is the greatest revolution
A spoken word I wrote on body image which I then performed as a TED Talk
Jaicob Jul 5
I've been taken advantage of.
I've been lied to a thousand times.
My mind is awfully broken now,
Adn my body is riddled with lines.

I can't believe you did this to me
After you said you loved me.
In the end, it was just a trap,
And the ransom was my sanity.

I made myself pretty for you,
Dolled up with bows and paint.
It was never good enough though.
You stole more of me every day.

I tore myself apart because
I couldn't be enough.
Even then you yelled at me
"Get over it.. Life is tough"

You never believed me when I said
A thing you didn't like.
I told you I hated you in my life
Always feeding me molten lies.

Even then, you pushed me away
And tore me limb from limb.
Everything I did to myself
Was caused by you, mum, not him.
evelina Jun 29
as she looks in the mirror
she can't recognize herself anymore
her reflection
is slowly changing into someone new
someone she doesn't want to be

they say "I wish I had your body"
but all she ever saw were calories
and she stopped eating

they ask "why are you always sad?"
but they don't believe in
trauma and depression
and she keeps breaking

they say "you can trust me"
but they also say that r*pe
and abuse is her fault
and she keeps quiet about it

she would change
everything about herself
if she could

because one girls dream is
another girls nightmare

and everything they do is judge her
emma Apr 29
they say you are self centered
that you draw the darkness around you
to drag the light and audience close

and the truth is,
they don't lie with their words

you are self centered
not in the way you believe
you belong on a podium

but in the way
you will do anything
to hurt yourself
and anyone who wanders too close
a conversation with the person in the mirror
Suki G Apr 4
Stretched wide across mountains and valleys,
clusters of hills and springs of rivers,
a soft brown veil dusted with gold.
Take a long nail, pry it aside,
come, see what’s within for a modest fine.
My flesh, a soft pink for a childhood much missed,
my blood, a loud red for all the shocks I’m full of,
my bone, I’m not too sure for none have travelled far
but if you pressed me hard enough, you’d feel it -
scrolls of poems written and yet to be,
my tongue a ribbon binding them all,
my teeth an ivory chest to contain them,
and sweet lips carefully locking them for now.
A treasure trove awaits those
of my blood and water,
presented on a silver platter under
a soft brown veil dusted with gold
stretched wide across mountains and valleys,
clusters of hills and springs of rivers.
SELF REFLECTIONS

These are poems about mirrors, images, self-image, reflections and self-reflection. How do we see ourselves differently than other people see us? Why do our impressions of ourselves sometimes end up like so much shattered glass?



Self Reflection
by Michael R. Burch

for anyone struggling with self-image

She has a comely form
and a smile that brightens her dorm ...
but she's grossly unthin
when seen from within;
soon a griefstricken campus will mourn.

Yet she'd never once criticize
a friend for the size of her thighs.
Do unto others—
sisters and brothers?
Yes, but also ourselves, likewise.



Reflections
by Michael R. Burch

I am her mirror.
I say she is kind,
lovely, breathtaking.
She screams that I’m blind.

I show her her beauty,
her brilliance and compassion.
She refuses to believe me,
for that’s the latest fashion.

She storms and she rages;
she dissolves into tears
while envious Angels
are, by God, her only Peers.



Is the mirror unkind
by Michael R. Burch

To your lovely brown eyes is the mirror unkind,
revealing far more than reflections defined
in superficial glass, so lacking in depth?
Is the mirror unkind, at times, darling Beth?

What you see my dear, I see different by far,
as our sun from Centauri is just a “small” star,
but here it brings life and warms each day’s start.
Oh, and a mirror can never reveal a true heart.



On Looking into Curious George’s Mirrors
by Michael R. Burch

for Maya McManmon, granddaughter of the poet Jim McManmon aka Seamus Cassidy

Maya was made in the image of God;
may the reflections she sees in those curious mirrors
always echo back Love.

Amen



The Mistake
by Mirza Ghalib
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

All your life, O Ghalib,
You kept repeating the same mistake:
Your face was *****
But you were obsessed with cleaning the mirror!



Shattered
by Vera Pavlova
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I shattered your heart;
now I limp through the shards
barefoot.



Radiance
by Michael R. Burch

for Dylan Thomas

The poet delves earth’s detritus—hard toil—
for raw-edged nouns, barbed verbs, vowels’ lush bouquet;
each syllable his pen excretes—dense soil,
dark images impacted, rooted clay.

The poet sees the sea but feels its meaning—
the teeming brine, the mirrored oval flame
that leashes and excites its turgid surface ...
then squanders years imagining love’s the same.

Belatedly he turns to what lies broken—
the scarred and furrowed plot he fiercely sifts,
among death’s sicksweet dungs and composts seeking
one element that scorches and uplifts.



Downdraft
by Michael R. Burch

for Dylan Thomas

We feel rather than understand what he meant
as he reveals a shattered firmament
which before him never existed.

Here, there are no images gnarled and twisted
out of too many words,
but only flocks of white birds

wheeling and flying.

Here, as the sun spins, reeling and dying,
the voice of a last gull
or perhaps a lost soul,

echoes its lonely madrigal
and we feel its strange pull
on the astonished soul.

O My Prodigal!

The vents of the sky, ripped asunder,
echo this wild, primal thunder—
now dying into undulations of vanishing wings . . .

and this voice which in haggard bleak rapture still somehow downward sings.




Resemblance
by Michael R. Burch

Take this geode with its rough exterior—
crude-skinned, brilliant-hearted ...
a diode of amethyst—wild, electric;
its sequined cavity—parted, revealing.
Find in its fire all brittle passion,
each jagged shard relentlessly aching.
Each spire inward—a fission startled;
in its shattered entrails—fractured light,
the heart ice breaking.



Wonderland
by Michael R. Burch

We stood, kids of the Lamb, to put to test
the beatific anthems of the blessed,
the sentence of the martyr, and the pen’s
sincere religion. Magnified, the lens
shot back absurd reflections of each face—
a carnival-like mirror. In the space
between the silver backing and the glass,
we caught a glimpse of Joan, a frumpy lass
who never brushed her hair or teeth, and failed
to pass on GO, and frequently was jailed
for awe’s beliefs. Like Alice, she grew wee
to fit the door, then couldn’t lift the key.
We failed the test, and so the jury’s hung.
In Oz, “The Witch is Dead” ranks number one.



Mirror
by Kajal Ahmad, a Kurdish poet
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My era's obscuring mirror
shattered
because it magnified the small
and made the great seem insignificant.
Dictators and monsters filled its contours.
Now when I breathe
its jagged shards pierce my heart
and instead of sweat
I exude glass.



Polish
by Michael R. Burch

Your fingers end in talons—
the ones you trim to hide
the predator inside.
Ten thousand creatures sacrificed;
but really, what’s the loss?
Apply a splash of gloss.
You picked the perfect color
to mirror nature’s law:
red, like tooth and claw.



Mending Glass
by Michael R. Burch

In the cobwebbed house—
lost in shadows
by the jagged mirror,
in the intricate silver face
cracked ten thousand times,
silently he watches,
and in the twisted light
sometimes he catches there
a familiar glimpse of revealing lace,
white stockings and garters,
a pale face pressed indiscreetly near
with a predatory leer,
the sheer flash of nylon,
an embrace, or a sharp slap,
. . . a sudden lurch of terror.

He finds bright slivers
—the hard sharp brittle shards,
the silver jags of memory
starkly impressed there—
and mends his error.



The Poet
by Michael R. Burch

He walks to the sink,
takes out his teeth,
rubs his gums.
He tries not to think.

In the mirror, on the mantle,
Time—the silver measure—
does not stare or blink,
but in a wrinkle flutters,
in a hand upon the brink
of a second, hovers.

Through a mousehole,
something scuttles
on restless incessant feet.

There is no link
between life and death
or from a fading past
to a more tenuous present
that a word uncovers
in the great wink.

The white foam lathers
at his thin pink
stretched neck
like a tightening noose.
He tries not to think.

Keywords/Tags: mirror, image, images, imagery, self, self-image, self discovery, fear of self, self control, self harm, reflection, reflections, reflecting, glass, mrbref
sophie Jan 19
12.
her eyes are crochet pillows upon a peach couch
that is subsequently her face
red and puffy and not very comfortable

there are only two blues;
her irises
and the gloom that she feels every day

are you ok?
what happened?
people ask as they pass her on the street

nothing
she says
im allergic to something
she adds

what?
they ask

she do not know

though she has the inkling of an idea
that she is in fact
allergic to unwanted attention
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