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Two Kinds of Beauty

I once preached in a pub. There was a gospel choir giving a concert and I said a few words here and there. While the choir was doing its thing I spotted a pretty young blonde in the crowd eyeing up the female conductor with weapons grade jealousy — a mixture of awe, scorn and terrified confusion. The conductor was dancing away, clapping and singing, leading the choir in joyful praise. The blonde looked like she just about remembered smiling, back before she renounced sudden facial movements for the sake of her plastic beauty.  Anyway, it prompted this poem:

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Plaintive, Platinum, Pained
Caked in make up,
faked up, furtive,
Birdlike watching,
wild-eyed, wondring how she's watched.

Faintly feeble, restless, regal,
perched in peerless poses,
None opposes,
Female poseurs all faced-down.
No finer found
than she.
And she knows it.

Yet on this day, a blaze is lit, to flit
Upon her plastic face.  New radiant grace
descends to offend. To bend and afflict her.
Slight frowns a-flicker.
Scowls unfurl.
Lips now curl.
For here a foreign fire is set upon her world.

Another sun is risen.
Unbidden.  And previously hidden.
She hasn't sought the room's permission.
And yet she stands four square, bare foot and laughing,
Leading, clapping, stamping, shouting.
Tangled hair and hands upraised,
God praised in ways unfazed
by inhibition.

At once the made-up beauty gapes. Envy's swirled.
There's longing there, in her stare.  And rage.
And awe and shame and scorn.
This light has dawned
from another age. A distant world.

The light, for her, was meant to fall,
and she to catch its rays,
in dappled hues upon her face.
She had not thought at all
That she was meant to blaze.

But then, what Force could ever source such light?
To call it mine and free-forgetful shine.
Much safer to take flight, flee to flattering night,
ever minding others' sight.
And yet true beauty will endure,
she stands secure,
first captured by a fierce delight,
And tunes our hearts to Joy's invite.

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