I am lucky to have a variety of people to talk to, my partner David, many Leeds friends and my sister Judith to name just a few. The conversations can be had in cafés, on dog-walks by the sea, [see picture above] and sometimes with friends at the gym.

This poem was written after a conversation with my mate Chris early one morning while he and I were on the rowing machines. We are at least a generation apart in age but our approach to the world can often feel similar, our chats are wide-ranging but sometimes return to our sense of not quite belonging, in my case of feeling less than authentic. This discomfort is one that many artists and similarly sensitive people experience; I think it enhances my sense of being an observer and in turn feeds my writing.

This poem came as a result of one such talk.

I am comfortable in my own skin
For years it itched and rubbed beneath my clothes
Sometimes it seemed too baggy or too thin
But now it relaxes, and likes not loathes
The body it has covered all my days.
For at last I know who and how I am
Or at least am discovering the ways
I can be myself and not feel a sham.
For there is no fixed postcode for the where,
No colour chart to define, describe the hue
Of my new self: Sorry if I am spare
With information, I’m still joining each clue.
I feel the beauty of my circumstance
Where I can love myself, a late romance.

© James Nash 2023

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