Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2011

For fine lines

by Shona Albouy

She gazes, alabaster blank,
touched up to seem untouched,
devoid of life and lines,
from laughing, losing
or any expression human.

Then we see the dermis-slice,
a cross-section cut,
like a textbook graphic
plumped, then smoothed
like homes razed for a new bypass.

Poxy hydroxy acids
and damned hydraderm
smooth us in pseudo-science
as Linda evangelistically
says we're worth it...
...worth becoming faceless to face the world;
a book with empty pages, that just won't
fill the hours.
Somewhere in Henley, Huddersfield or Hove
a woman stands, and droops before her breasts,
mollified from milking.
Her hands are a corset;
her tummy mapped with contour lines that mark
the landscape where her children shaped and grew.
Her beauty is lived-in,
in how she has given,
and driven forward.

Rough is our edge;
diamonds rock hard
formed in the earth's guts,
seamed in lines across millenia
and yet we add facets.

A human face is not a place,
to efface the trace of time and space
It is the map of our journey,
a story worth telling.

Added: 11.03.2011

Judges' comments on this poem


Topical and thought provoking, affirming to women who feel they can't compete in the glamour stakes!


Just beautiful, I really like this. Alliterative, lovely sentiment and pace.


Love the message & ideas in this - 'a story worth telling.' Liked 'in how she has given/ and driven forward.'