Sunday, July 5, 2015

Invisible Rules

Bathers by George Tooker
Visual prompt by Magpie Tales: Mag 277

the careful pas de deux
of strangers
the beach.

drawn in the sand
polite society 
should know
not to cross.

delivered by frigid stare
making it clear
surf yes, showers no.

Invisible lines
set by cultural rules
polite animals
do not need warning.

J. Binford-Bell
July 2012

  1. In ballet, a pas de deux (French, literally "step of two") is a dance duet in which two dancers, typically a male and a female, perform ballet steps together. The pas de deux is characteristic of classical ballet and can be found in many well-known ballets, including Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Giselle.


  1. I saw them as together but you went deeper. This separateness can be found in elevators, buses, subways, etc. Just about any public shared space has rules and you nailed it.

  2. A hard visual. An interesting concept was somewhat raised.

  3. Interesting to know, and the thought of their dance, is as lovely as your lines. Bravo.

  4. ah yes those rules when sharing spaces....good one!

  5. Culture, education, class, wealth - so many lines, so much sand. Such is life. An excellent piece.
    Visit Keith's Ramblings!

  6. The rules of culture; so difficult to enforce...

  7. Gosh yes, all those unwritten rules. The style of your poem, so tight, with no superfluous words really echoes the 'tightness' of those rules!

  8. Gosh yes. And your poem's style really echoes the tightness of those unwritten rules!

  9. I enjoyed the heck out of your words. There are connections between our poems from this image. Love how that works out!

  10. Nice. I got the same sort of vibe from the picture. Good writing.

  11. The invisible rules of society are often the ones that define acceptance. Step aside from the rules and you risk alienation. Even if you didn't know the rules existed... that's no excuse. The human race is an enigmatic beast,

  12. Indeed, that look quite forbidding.. if you don't pay you are not welcome.

  13. I have begun to wonder if polite society still exists ~~ nice write.

    1. I do not believe it does. I saw the bathing costumes as definitely dated. Today they would all have cell phones. So rude having to overhear conversations.

    2. People take calls on mobile phones even at funeral services. As for beach etiquette. It does not exist. Not only is there road rage and surf rage; there is now pool rage.


I appreciate all kind comments on my art and poetry.