My Poem “Masked”

Masks are everywhere these days
and they are being worn
by many people in many ways –
but some masks have been worn
for much longer and for more reasons
than for what and for why some people
now wear them for and for what
they now wear them
to protect themselves from.

The masks that people wear
every day, sometimes for years,
look like a face that you might
remember and recognize –
but beyond, behind, and below
that mask of skin and muscle
often lies the real person:
someone who may be crying out
from inside a deep and dark tunnel
where they are troubled by
thoughts, feelings, and emotions
that at times of intense trauma
make them feel like they are
a prisoner within the cell of a prison
the walls of which no one else
could ever possibly understand.

People often wear masks
which have smiles upon them –
however, in reality, the true face
that they are wearing on the inside
is one like that of a sad clown
with tears running down their face
and ruining the makeup that they wear
to continue to sell the facade
that helps them not break down
physically, mentally, and emotionally
whenever someone gets too close
for comfort and they start
to stop and stare.

Wearing masks is not a new thing,
however the wearing of material masks
has become more normalised
and is more prevalent than ever…
people often wear emotional masks
so that they can go through life
and are not constantly being asked
whether they are alright
or whether there is something the matter.

Things like the physical pain
and the psychological anguish
that people have to daily cope with
are easier to hide when seen
from far away but they are harder
to disguise when seen up close…
some people need to wear masks,
because who they reveal themselves to be –
perhaps when they are alone
in the shadows of their bedroom
and listening to the music
of their favourite artist,
when they can finally let
their inner-self be free –
is often not the same person
who they want to see,
or want to be seen,
in reflection, or by anyone,
because the face of who
they really are is that of someone
whom only they know
and whom only they know how to be.

My Poem ‘Missing Letters’

Messages can be exchanged
in an instant;
feelings can be communicated
with a heart-beat;
some letters
that never reached
their intended recipient
and destination
could be those
of the highest importance;
gone are the days
when you would literally
have to wait weeks for a single reply –
however, I still believe
that the most powerful of contacts
that there could ever be
are those that are made
by using your feet.

First-person perspective,
face-to-face,
eye-to-eye and infinitely expressive
is always the best,
especially when it does not wholly
require the assistance of a satellite
orbiting in space –
but in this day and age,
we who are living here on Earth
are so lucky to have
all the means of technology at our fingertips.
I must admit that I too would feel bereft
if I could not speak what I am thinking,
as well as express myself
via my facial-expressions –
like the blowing
the one I love a goodnight kiss.

The written word and the printed white page
is a thing of beauty, to me –
but the power of text and the images
of a back-lit and bright screen,
I must admit, are, to me,
a draw, and to one
I am like that a moth to a flame.
I adore books and stories
written be fantastic and phenomenal writers,
but what you can see and share online
on the internet is an incredibly evocative,
vivid, and epic, world-changing domain.

I recently read a news story online
about the discovery of an amazing find:
a leather trunk from the 17th century
had been unearthed that contained
over two thousand letters –
most of the letters that have been translated
tell stories of a people
and what they were feeling and thinking
at a particularly eventful
and momentous time in their life,
while most of them thus far
still remain a mystery
as to what they say –
and I truly believe that such a discovery
is one of a treasure
that may never again come to light,
because those letters are fragments of time.

Letters can be lost, misplaced, forgotten about
sent out across the sea in a bottle –
however, messages that are sent electronically
follow you wherever you go
and are like coin thrown into a well
that never reaches the watery bottom.
Our electronic messages are like our own
digital ghosts and shadows
that we are responsible for;
our electronic images and profiles
can be seen by everyone and anyone,
24-hours a day, from the last light of dusk
to the first light of a new dawn.

There is a lot to be thankful for
about living in the times that we do;
we have discovered answers to questions
that our ancestors prayed to god
that they wished they knew;
there are things that we all do well –
but we as a species, in my opinion,
can all do better;
we may all find what we have been looking for
all our lives if we too were
to somehow miraculously discover,
or rediscover, buried over time
a treasure trove
of lost or missing letters.