Social Conventions

Before countless tints of sunrise flame,
the sea entrances like an emerald plain.
An Islamic poet,
in a white and gold Hijab,
glides across the sand,
sparking fantasies of a more brilliant paradise;
I barely notice the beach volley ball girls,
in lingerie fit for a partner swapping foray.

Christian extremist choirs stalk bikini top littered sand,
berating audacious sinners, who demand to be tanned,
obviously they’re all harlots, with wild orgies planned.

I stroll along the beach pondering social conventions,
voyeurs, exhibitionists, hypocrites and evil intentions.

In this place bare flesh is as familiar
as the cries of the gulls,
as neutral as the driest medical dictionary.

By midday, attention mainlining models
are on the road to a lobster’s death;
the epitome of elegance,
in precious metal embroidered cloaks,
are destined for Vitamin D deficiency;
a puritanical Christian choir girl
has been raped “for revealing her thighs;”
and an artist murdered,
for declaring nudity is natural.

 

4 thoughts on “Social Conventions

  1. An interesting take on a walk along a beach. Lots of good descriptions. I tripped on reading it, though, because sometimes it rhymed but mostly it didn’t, For instance, the first two lines of the first verse are slant rhymes. Then it’s free verse. The second verse is all rhymed. The first two lines of the third verse are slant rhymes, but not the rest. Should it be all the one or all the other?

    1. I don’t see alternating between rhyming and not rhyming as a problem. I think it’s an effective way to emphasize certain lines, to change pace or to reflect a change in mood, or whatever the case may be.

  2. Really good images here. I like the description of the sunrise. Should “sun rise” be “sunrise”? You need an apostrophe in “lobster’s death”. Was the bloke in the hijab the one who attacked the choir girl?

    1. Yes, sunrise should be one word. Thanks for pointing out the missing apostrophe.

      The poem is not intended to be a whodunnit, it’s meant to be a whydunnit. The quotation marks around the alleged motive reveal that it might not be the real motive. Having said that, there are so few characters in the poem that a lot of people might wonder if the hijab wearing poet is the culprit(s), rather than a more mysterious stranger, lurking somewhere in the shadows.

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