Beneath the Mask

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person.
Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
-Oscar Wilde

A mask is worn to hide one’s face from the surly light of day
but if you open up your mind, you’ll see masks another way

Zorro donned black mask and cape, disguised in cowboy chic-ness
Superman, with chiseled jaw, hid behind his meekness

Mascara is a kind of mask, designed to cloak eyelashes
it’s often laded-on to lure a hunky guy who mashes

Macho men feel masculine, pecs oiled to a gleam
though mostly it describes a ruse to veil low self-esteem

Masking tape is man’s best friend, protecting precious borders
it’s not too sticky, tears with ease, just what the paint doc orders

When a clerk hears Where’s damask? from a lady prone to preen
he knows she seeks the fabric aisle, not stuff for Halloween

A masquerade’s a fancy dance of character inventions
and a foul façade to hide a soul of sinister intentions

Chief Masconomet never wore a mask as far as we can tell
unlike the Iroquois who thought wood ones would make them well

A mascot is a sprite team pet, contrived to bring good luck
too often played by carefree coeds, prone to run amuck

So now, you see, to find a mask you needn’t be a sleuth
they’re everywhere you dare to look, and that’s the unmasked truth

© Rick Blum 2014


True Intentions

She hit me, hard, as I passed by,
I never saw it coming;
had no time to dodge the blow,
before meekly succumbing.

She misconstrued my rapid blink,
jumped to the wrong conclusion,
then rammed me in my blinded side
leaving a huge contusion.

Quickly grasping her gross mistake,
she begged forgiveness right away.
I only saw the pain ahead,
long weeks of disarray.

The cops, of course, soon appeared,
grilled us both before departing.
We then limped off to lick our wounds,
crushed egos loudly smarting.

My signal was unambiguous:
I plan to take a right.
She thought that I meant right now,
but I meant at the light.

Hard lesson it was for me to learn,
but one I’ll ever trust:
when divulging one’s true intentions,
act fast or you’ll get crushed.

© Rick Blum 2015


Featured Image: “Masked Ball in the Hoftheater” by Jakob Rousseau

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