Mask Me

Source


she skips and twirls

behind a Venetian casting

playing the part so well

learning of herself as she goes


but even this role dictates

so she exchanges one

mask gilded for another darker

and then finds her steps again


moments in she feels them

like fingers on her shoulders

a palm to the small of her back

your expectations


again confined in character

she longs to be loose of any reins

searches for a magic masquerade

that will hide her face and free her soul



45 comments

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

Interesting...possibly the truth behind what we call "Mardi Gras"...everyone masking their real face to show their real personality...I think I dated a couple of those women. Good verse, thanks much for sharing it. WB


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Well aren't you fast on the draw Wayne! Their real personality or perhaps their talents. Thanks for commenting.


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

The expectation is often greater than the reality. So much can be bared or concealed, depending on one's objective. Masks can be incredibly liberating too. as I'm sure most wearers have discovered. There is a certain amount of this masked intrigue on hubpages, where tiny layers are peeled off from a generally still well hidden entity. Just think how many layers were peeled off when we first heard your voice for instance, and how many still remain. We know you are a gifted poet though, you can't fool us on that one.


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Well you've peeled the layers off this poem it seems. The mask is the blogger's profile AH. I say it quite plainly in my bio that there are more than one of me. Thanks for the compliment.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Ms Behavior. I have again stopped by and was delighted to find such a treat in both your written word and spoken verse. This is an elegant combination.


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Why thank you mckbirdbks!


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica

I missed you Randy Behavior! Don't take so long to post another poem again, you hear?!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

RandyM, I hope you don't think I am being pretentious, and trying to gild the lily, but when I read your poems I feel a rushing, a surging within me that I only get when I have read something inescapably beautiful, awful (awesome also) or perfect... and this does it to me. I can't explain this any more clearly, but it rings all my bells.

I remember years ago, being in Venice, and a crowd of people were going to a party at a Palazio, all in masks. They rushed past me, laughing and chattering. It was like stepping back in time.

If you have not seen it yet, and you like movies, see if you can find the DVD 'La Maschera' with Helena Bonham-Carter and Michael Maloney. You will love it as much as I love your poem.

Voted UP, BEAUTIFUL and AWESOME.


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Hi Cardisa! Not everything I write is appropriate for hubpages, lol!

Oh TL, what a completely lovely comment. I have not seen that movie but will now of course at your suggestion.


brian miller 5 years ago

behind the mask we find freedom of inhibitions we wouldhave other wise...which makes one wonder why we choose to live another way if that is truly our heart...


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Simple Brian, because we mistakingly try to please others rather than ourselves. Or I suppose we could just be the shy sort.


Anthony Desmond 5 years ago

great poem. way too people are posers now-a-days...


Claudia Schönfeld 5 years ago

..searching for a magic masquerade

that will hide her face and free her soul...exchanging masks...there were times in my life when this was the only way to survive...felt this randy


Heaven 5 years ago

We do wear mask to hide our real selves because we are not ready for others yet to see us. Our soul is free though if we are true to ourselves. Nice one today ~


Nikkij504gurl profile image

Nikkij504gurl 5 years ago from Louisiana

sometimes people can put so much into us, expect so much out of us, pressure us, to where it gets too hard to bear, even behind closed doors and porcelain faces we still feel them at our backs, longing to be free of what they want and need from us, and longing to just be ourselves. no one is perfect and no one should treat someone as if they are or expect them to be what one can never achieve. we all make mistakes, and we cant hide our mistakes behind a mask, and pretend to be someone we arent. Great poem. this is just what I got out of it. Spectacular work Randy B.!


Eric 'Bubba' Alder 5 years ago

Much as been written about why people like wearing masks, but I think it's basically for the liberation that comes with anonymity. (Found you via dVers Poets)


lori 5 years ago

I think we all hide a little bit and that's not all bad sometimes. There's a place and time for it all. Really enjoyed this one :)


ayala 5 years ago

Behind the mask so easy to hide...nice write.


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Hey Anthony... I'm actually quite good a posing, or at least I've been told.

Some day Claudia in spirit I will grow to be as wise as you, in body we are about the same, but in spirit I still hide.

Hi Heaven. It takes many masks to encompass the true truth, that is me.


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Thanks Nikki! Many are not moved by the will and desires of others but for us who aim to please it is a messy business of changing costumes at a dizzying rate.

Hmmm Bubba, and I have read none of it but I think you are correct.


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Hey Lori! A time and place... but how much of the time?

Ayala, hi my dear. Easy? but there is always seepage.


fireblossom 5 years ago

Masks are difficult enough when we choose our own...wearing one chosen by another is worse.


nighthag profile image

nighthag 5 years ago from Australia

So many masks to wear that we can so easily lose sight of who we originally were

A great insightful read!


Poetical Psyche 5 years ago

Really enjoyed this piece. I love the symbolism in Masks, and can go on how well you handled this in the piece. Second stanza is tremendous and the way you played off of it as you moved towards the ending is even better. Thanks for the read and Happy Open Link Night


Ann LeFlore 5 years ago

behind the mask it is so easy to hide such a excellent poem and so well done thanks for sharing

http://gatelesspassage.com/2011/09/20/the-fait-of-...


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 5 years ago from United States

Playing at the masquerade can be fun as long as it is only play :)

Excellent poem and sophisticated statement on the role of the masks in our lives - how much a mask says about us, and who we take it off or don't take it off for.

Fascinating.


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

Randy please take some if not all of those masks and waltz over to my latest hub "Rippled Faces" and please decide what type of masks, colors, shades, comedy, tragedy, deceit, charades, corruption types of faces you could apply masks to. I don't think there would be enough masks around to cover all those faces in my dreams.

BTW this is a magnificent scribe, Tom conveyed his thoughts and the below verse, brilliant phrase Tom, loved it.

"how much a mask says about us, and who we take it off or don't take it off for"

Rated Up and I put on my mask as I danced all over your buttons...


Mama Zen 5 years ago

You've captured that push and pull between who we want to be and who we think that we should be beautifully!


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Fireblossom I think its more like someone likes one of your particular masks and would prefer you leave it on.

Nighthag that is so very true!

PP thanks for your comment and compliment. It made go back and look at the second and the last.


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Thank you Ann for coming by and commenting.

Hey Tom. So "as long as its playing", but on the audio you commented its "not child's play". I think you are as confused about the applications and implications of masks as I am.

O.K. Saddle I'll get over there and finish reading Ripples. Started but lost my connection. Its been happening a lot thinking of jumping the Suddenlink ship.

Well said Mama Zen, and so much faster than my poem did, ha!


Charles Elliott 5 years ago

Nice riff on masks! And who has not found it easier to speak truth to another in the dark? Or while using the Internet, the ultimate mask?


hedgewitch 5 years ago

Mask can be useful, but ultimately, they wear out...Like everything I guess--time and place, and you have to know when to take them off. Your stanza that uses the push in the small of the back--says everything about expectations. Loved it. A thoughtful and interesting post, and a killer image, both in the poem and the photo.


Joe Hesch 5 years ago

An interesting take on the masks we choose to wear and those thrust upon us.


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Yes the internet offers an unlimited supply of masks Charles.

I find Hedge that I grow out before they wear out. Like the hermit crab, I always seem to find another that fits. Thanks for the great comment.

Hi Joe. I believe masks are completely self inflicted apparati.


Mark Kerstetter 5 years ago

Wanna hear something funny? Despite your profile pic I imagined you were a man.

I think you describe a universal experience here; the differences are only in degree.


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

My writing sounds like a man's or do my comments on your blog sound man-ish? I think I'll take that as a compliment though I've never endeavored to be one. Those are my hips though :)


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 5 years ago from United States

I have respect for the implications of the mask, and agree this poor story-making organ I use to try to 'think' with is easily confused, especially regarding something as layered as the uses, purposes and effects of the masks we all wear for a myriad of reasons at different times.


Jannie Funster 5 years ago

AWESOME photo choice for this. Looks like the masks are painted on? Beautiful.

Ahh, yes, the masks. I say drop 'em all. And dance like nobody's watching. Easier said than done sometimes, yes, but once you get the hang of it it gets easier and easier.

Here's mine...

http://www.janniefunster.com/2011/09/27/if-theres-...

And wow, those are YOUR hips -- nice!!


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Hi Jannie! Some day perhaps I will put down the mask and on that day this avatar will be my face and not my hips... thanks for the "nice" though :)


Jannie Funster 5 years ago

BTW, "a palm to the small of her back your expectations" that's a GREAT line!!


blake4d profile image

blake4d 5 years ago from Now Rising Out of Phoenix Arizona Earthlings

Love the art you used on this one RB. Love your writing as always. Keep it up. Keep on Hubbing. Blake4d


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Hi blake4d! Thanks for popping by.


Enigmatic Me profile image

Enigmatic Me 4 years ago from East Coast Canada

I felt the expectations as a slow cold chill rounding my shoulders as I read this. In another era I would have shuddered, feeling as though those craggy fingers still hand hold of me, now, I see that I too was a part of the experience, understanding now, that I cannot live through the expectations of others, for if I am, I am not living for myself.

thanks for sharing Randy.... its good to read you again.


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 4 years ago from Near the Ocean Author

Always nice to be read by you EM, though I'm not around these parts much any more.


Enigmatic Me profile image

Enigmatic Me 4 years ago from East Coast Canada

me neither, though, wished I could be.... the real world holds many surprises for me this past year and continues around the corner. Hoping some settling occurs for me soon ;) Hope all is well wherever it is you are.

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