Stripes – Poetic Expression

‘Stripes’ – this word took to us to various places, as each word does. For some it took them back to a situation from the past… others it related to issues happening in their life at the moment, and others, feelings about certain types of stripes; in clothing and patterns, and in nature, in plants and animals.

And that is the beauty of expression. It gives us an opportunity to peel away many of the things that may be inside us, without really knowing.

And to creatively piece together some words that represent something about us, is the gift we bring to others. We had a first time visit to the session this week, which added to the variety.

‘Stripes’; Where does the word take you? What jumps out, that you’d like to explore or write about?

Feel free to comment or pass on for others to experience these short journeys.

The next word is ‘green.

Hope to see you there.


Help me understand
The things I cannot change
Leopards have their spots
Tigers have their stripes
Even the albinos
Seen as abnormal
Still are of the normal stock
My coloured skin is predetermined
Passed down through my genetics
My height, hair, eyes
All sorts of peculiar attributes
Meshed out of mixed genes and mutations
Passed done through generations
Then there are the mental triggers
From the sum of past experiences
My beliefs values choices
Melding together through my years
At some point unexplained
Me, I, became I, Me
The person I see myself to be
Failures, undermined my self-esteem
Coloured my perceptions of self-worth
Living life blaming, praising others
Excusing my behaviours
Undermining my acceptance
That I’m a complex human with fragility
Who recognizes my limited abilities
Doesn’t have to be an insecurity
With so many layers within me
I have the ability to choose and control
And say no to outside influencers
Those trying to impose insisting
That there is only one way to go
My power is to say yes to my decisions
No need for second guessing
No reason to turn back
I manage the consequences
Of the stripes and spots
That is part of belonging 
To our special species

People who are just like me

PJR    17.04.2023

Behind the Screen

Waiting for a glimpse of this incredible animal
It’s understandable that 
With tigers in the fold 
So many characters and stories have been told 

There’s Poo Bear and Tigger and 
Lions and tigers and bears oh my! 

There are expressions… 
the eye of the tiger 
and so much more 
tiger balm, tiger snake 
tiger shark and tiger lilies
I just adore 

Distinct colour and stripes that define 
So vivid and dense in texture and shine 

And yet now here we wait… 
wanting to hide 
to be obscure
left alone 
to roam outside 

But it’s not meant to be 
with kids waiting at the window with glee 
hovering not so patiently 
many ready to flee 

Until after many long moments 
holding the space with hope 
there appears to be a rustling 
in the shrubs near an old post 

We hold our breath
then a squealing shout
as glimpses of colour
flicker in and out 

The mood elated
kids scrambling for a peak
tiger’s expression understated
and quite bleak 

It’s actually quite painful to see 
these wondrous animals
this way 
behind a panelled screen 

…The agony and the ecstasy

TLaB 17th April 2023

Purple striped butterfly

I am pure and simple, and this is what I always like, being.
But one day, I saw you, full of stripes, flashing.
I didn’t know why, at first sight, I just couldn’t like you.
Was it because you were way too complicated or far more interesting than me?
So every time when I saw you, I got a sense of discomfort, wrapped all over me.
I tried to avoid you, even having a simple conversation. 
Until one day, I saw a young girl, wearing a T-shirt, with lemon yellow and lime green
lines, paired with a white skirt, running around the playground.
Full of life.
Not far away, a purple-striped butterfly stopped at a treasure flower. 
At that moment, I felt beauty in you.
Maybe I can just be me and you can just be you.

XQZ 17th April 2023

Black Twines

They can make your eyes go funny
When something stripey goes by

People can look taller or shorter
Depending on whether they are vertically or horizontally

They can warn of danger
If red or yellow
Or white in a traffic flow

However when it is on animal
Travelling in herds
Camouflaged in long grass
They are more horse than ass

They can become vicious
This striking ‘genus Equus’

Their foal-like brown lines
Fading to adult black twines
That get 18C hotter than the white
Until Africa’s twilight

The lion is the predator
Not just a metaphor
So life is always on the line
Each moment the hope is that the Equus stripe
Will prevent a life from being wiped


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