Gen Banks

Gen Banks is an Australian writer of Sri Lankan and Italian heritage, and the mother of two grown children. 

As a person living with autism, Gen is passionate about advocating for others on the spectrum; for human and animal rights, environmental sustainability, and mental health awareness.

In addition to writing, she enjoys music, art, nature, and spending time with her menagerie of animal companions at her home in tropical Queensland.

Gen writes under the names Gen Banks, GenX, GenKu and Gothink Poetry. Her work has been published in Impspired Magazine; The Literary Juggernaut; Dark Poetry Society e-zine; Raven Cage e-zine; Open Skies Quarterly and Dreamscape special edition; Poetic, Lie, Sense magazine; and on the website Compositor. Since 2019 she has been moderating poetry groups on Facebook.

~ Her Body ~

Her body is not the smooth carved 
marble of a Grecian goddess
It belongs to no Venus 
or statuesque model
Her skin is not glossy and will 
never be advertised in a magazine
nor magnified on a silver screen 

Her flesh is undulating topography
Its patchwork hillocks threaded 
with the scars of past harvests 

Her curves are not the kind a man 
pins on the back of a door 
and strips with lascivious eyes
Nor do they visit his mind 
at countless, secretive times 

This body lives in the same small house  
He hears it through the kitchen wall,
running water in the sink

Each night, its supine form lies 
beside him in sleep 
Too close
Too cold
Too warm

Sometimes her hand
might brush against his
but doesn't touch his heart at all

~ Laughing Stock ~

This house trades in shares of cold silence
     In weighted warfare 
     and stones thrown...
     In hens' teeth phonecalls,
     rare as gold...
     In pin-drops heard 
     on kitchen tile...
I haven't laughed in quite a while

This house is an unfinished business 
     of boarded-up windows  
     and scores of stuck hinges...
     of half-empty boxes 
     strewn over the floor...
     Should its occupant 
     deign to unbolt a door...
would I shelve my pride and laugh once more?

This house is a ghost story, grieving
     It's a widow in purdah,
     though her love 
     is still breathing...
     It's a bitter exchange 
     in a contest of wills...
     Yet, if ever I learn 
     to laugh amid tears...
 could the dearly departed be taught how to live?

~ Woman, Subsumed ~

There are women awake in the world
burning candles both ends
who speak softly in palette and brush...
those feelings that remain beyond 
the pen's keenest sense 
to articulate in more than a hush

In colours vibrant and pastel
In swift strokes of paint-loaded sable...
they illustrate tales of their heartbreaks 
and hell, overlaid 
with the gold leaf of cautionary fables

There are women up late in the world
burning candles of personal truths 
Midnight drips into pools of dark lava...
as dawnlit glass 
gleams with irrepressible blues   

There are women more fearless than fey
who regale us in beauty, in lieu 
of the limited word
All those Fridas, Marinas and anonymous
Margaretas... whose work 
and whose worth go unseen and unheard

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