Poem: Smoke and Mirrors

Smoke and Mirrors

When did I lose my self?

Disappearing in front of a mirror called ‘needs’…

Recognition;

Approval;

Conditional love;

Isn’t that all anyone wants?


One flash and this life began,

Bathed in a pool of warm, golden nectar.

Only to dissolve into the stream

Of false reality.


Sinking into the culture of…

Ambition;

Success;

Drive-thru solutions.

Where’s my reality show?


Smoke and Mirrors-

We believe what we see

And what we want to believe.

The mind’s eye is a fickle fiend.

It compliments and we complacently agree;

Urged on by Ego-the master manipulator.


This Princess was doomed

To sleep for thousands of years.

But, in this Fairy Tale

Divine Grace sent Truth to break the spell.

In the Awakening, Clarity dispelled

Smoke and Mirrors.



Written by Denise Handlon

April 8, 2010 Revised and completed November 3, 2011

No portion of this work may be used or copied in any way without the expressed written permission of this author.



What do you see when you look in the mirror?
What do you see when you look in the mirror? | Source

The making of this poem:

Many of my poetry ideas begin as a thought during my meditation practice; which usually intensifies during retreats. Since I attend a spiritual retreat several times a year my meditation practice builds, thus the contemplation of ‘what is’ develops as well.

This poem was actually written over a year ago, in April of 2010. The original poem sat unused and a bit choppy. It seemed to lack the flow of direction that I normally have. Today when I picked it up I began to shuffle things around, edit and even drop sentences. To actually drop a sentence of a line of poetry was a huge exercise for me in letting go . This is a good thing, since my spiritual path is also about questioning what one is attached to-poetry included!

During the course of the revision I was interrupted by a phone call from my sister. It’s always a pleasure to chat with her, although I realized it was a form of distraction from the exercise of wrestling with the poem. Surprisingly, when I sat down to my computer later, I immediately fell into a different direction all together finding my fingers flying across the keyboard.

In the first version, it had an old, ancient feeling which did not resonate with what I was attempting to say. Although the words failed to present themselves to me in April of last year, in the pause between the revisions a fresh angle came through-words and all, and I realized the missing piece was a bridge into the modern world of this century. So, words like: ‘drive-thru’, and ‘reality show ’ popped into the piece, while maintaining the underlying sense of the mystical, magical ancient days of old.

The other point I would like to make is the actual form. I’ve been very aware, when writing poetry, of the ‘shape’ of the stanzas that it may take. It doesn’t seem to be difficult for me notice early on the pattern that emerges with the lines. For instance, in this poem there are two stanzas that mimic each other with three ‘one word’ sentences followed by a question. Then, it goes into a new pattern of focusing on the ‘Smoke and Mirrors’.

In conclusion-we are all victims of 'Smoke and Mirrors' because of our own humanity. Final version: November 3, 2011.






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Comments 39 comments

stessily 5 years ago

Denise: I'm so glad that I just signed into hubpages and saw this hub. I meant my sign-in to be a "quick trip" but this title was too tantalizing. While reading, every word conveyed nuances, but in particular I noticed the phrase "This Princess was doomed to sleep for a thousand years." Sometimes I've felt as though I've slept through certain areas of my life. And what you stated in the next two lines is what I finally have come to understand: "But, in this Fairy Tale Divine Grace sent Truth to break the spell." Such beautiful, deep phrasing.

I appreciate that you give the context for your poems. You were blessed, indeed, that your sister interrupted you because that gave your right brain the opportunity to keep on with the poem, undisturbed in the background, while your left brain bridged the gap in between so there was balance.

Thank you for sharing your meditative poetry. Voted up, beautiful, awesome


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Stessily-thank you for your enthusiastic feedback. I'm always so appreciative when my writing touches someone in that 'aha' moment that occurs with each of us.

You are right-the mind needed the 'space' to let it come together-well put! Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Thanks for the votes. :)


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

Smoke and mirror evoke different imagery but when these are used at a time it becomes a new metaphor. I loved your deep philosophical ways of telling things. Nice work.


strategicsuccess profile image

strategicsuccess 5 years ago

Nice. I love it. This one is really beautiful.


Charu Bhatnagar profile image

Charu Bhatnagar 5 years ago from India

I loved your poem completely. I write poetry as a hobby,and I think I have a lot to learn from amazing poets like you. :-)


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Vinaya-thank you. I seem to bounce between being philosophical and being silly and lighthearted...those poems will be a bit later. :)

Hi strategicsuccess-thank you very much. I appreciate your feedback.

Hi Charu B--oh my, there are so many excellent poets on HP. And, there are great hubs that explain the mechanisms of writing poetry as well. I have learned to practice, dismiss the superficial initial response, utilize LOTS of patience for the poem to developed, sit on it and let it brew and return to review and 'approve' or 'hold' it longer. It is truly a 'process'. But, let me tell you, I never had confidence in writing poetry...I had to learn to be confident and take risks. So, "Go for it!" Thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. I do not have links from this poem to my other poetry-which some of it is included in my hubwork: Soul Work: JOY, 'Simplicity of Being', 'Whispers of Truth', The Kindness of a Stranger, and Poetry Page. So, if interested-be sure to read those as well.


Charu Bhatnagar profile image

Charu Bhatnagar 5 years ago from India

thank you so much for replying to me personally. I will surely read your other works also. :-) Patience is something which I have to cultivate, but I will learn eventually. I was not active on hubpages ever since i created my account, but now I will try to give more time to it for sure. :-)


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Wow, that was quick, Charu, LOL I'm glad to hear that.


JT Walters profile image

JT Walters 5 years ago from Florida

Hi Denise,

It was a very lovely poem and I shairng your inspiration for it made it that much more meaningful.

JT


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks JT glad you enjoyed the poem. Thanks for commenting. :)


carol3san profile image

carol3san 5 years ago from Hollywood Florida

Thank you for the poem Denise. I enjoyed reading it very much. Sometimes I do what you do with my poetry. I'll write it and forget about it for a long while before I will actually share it with anyone.


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California

It really is interesting to "reflect" over a period of time, to see how we have evolved (or not). It all starts so simple, so basic, our needs can, under the "right" circumstances, be met - or can they? When does it all become so complicated?

More questions than answers I suppose but then I guess that is what growth is all about. Not an easy task...

Your poem is a wonderful and very real in depth look in the mirror, inspiring me to do the same ;-) thank you for sharing it! Up and useful!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Beautiful Denise. "The mind's eye is a fickle fiend" Is my favorite line and so very true. Thank you..


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

Very interesting definition of LIFE using smoke and mirrors. I believe every human being goes through different phases of smoke and mirrors. Life is a game to be played out, a maze we get caught in and like a mouse must find our way out or die. I enjoyed your version, well done.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Carol-I'm glad you enjoyed it. It's a nice surprise to pick it up after a spell and re-read it. :)

ChatKath-you said a lot in your comment. So true...thanks for sharing. I'm glad to know you are inspired now to reflect...

Ruby, its interesting how things seem to 'roll' out at times, doesn't it. LOL Thanks for your observations.

Hi Ken, so nice to see you here. Thanks for your feedback. Yeah-the game of life...I was going to say do or die, but in the end it is all 'die'. Thanks for commenting.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

A great hub and thank you for sharing . I am having a catch up on reading day today and I am so glad I caught up with you Denise.

Here's to many more and I wish you a great weekend.

Eiddwen.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Eiddwen-thanks for taking time to read this one. My goodness, I am SO very far behind in my reading, yours included. I'm making promises to everyone right and left, LOL! I am working this whole w/e so it is frustrating b/c it takes me from my real love: writing. But, it is my bread and butter!

I'm glad you enjoyed this and I will catch up with you, truly, LOL Enjoy your w/e.


raciniwa profile image

raciniwa 5 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

oh, i lost my thought along the way as i read your poem...i was about to say many things but then i read your postscript but somehow changed my mind for i found out that you're a deep person...and yes i do agree with you that when we contemplate we develop our senses and awareness as well...


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

Beautiful. "drive thru solutions" oh how so much of the world today is focused on the quick fix. Another amazing piece.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Oh raciniwa, that is funny, LOL I am curious now as to what those 'many things' were that you were going to say and what it was in my explanation of the making of this poem that made you decide that I was a 'deep person' (as compared to a previous opinion that I was not deep?) LOL I am chuckling about that. It really is funny how our minds allow us to prepare a preconceived opinion about someone, isn't it. Thanks for reading and being so honost in your comment. I hope you have a wonderful day today! :)

Hi Cara-thanks for reading and commenting. It is true and sad that it is like that. Instant gratification has always been in existence; however, it seems that it is accelerated due to the many forms of high speed technology. Glad you liked it.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada

Denise, the pattern the words make are a form of visual poetry - they support the sound and feel of the words as we read, silently or aloud. What fun to play with the structure as well as the words. another lovely and thought-provoking poem!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi RedElf-thank you for your thoughtful feedback.


raburcke profile image

raburcke 5 years ago from Fuengirola, Málaga, Spain

Ne'er truer words were spoken. I especially like the conclusion.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

rabucke-thank you for reading and leaving your feedback-appreciate it. I just had lunch with a friend and out of the blue he said, "smoke and mirrors". It was in reference to an earlier conversation. My mouth dropped open and told him I had just posted a poem about that subject. LOL Thanks for stopping by.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

Great poem! I really liked the line: "The mind’s eye is a fickle fiend." That was unexpected!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks PDX-that means a lot to me coming from you. You seem to have a lot of knowledge and experience writing poetry. I've enjoyed reading your two hubs about the tips. :)


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos

Yet another wonderful poem. Delightful and great vision. I love the diction. Voted as well.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks Ubani-I hope you get an opportunity to read my hub: HOw to heal a broken heart...you, the master of writing romance poetry. :) Thanks for the votes.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

Denise, thank you. i've been studying the craft for a long time, and I like to share my knowledge!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi PDX-I'll have to swing back over to your work when I get a moment to breathe here in my corner! I see you shared a piece from you novel.

I appreciate that you used the word 'craft' here. It is a word I, too, use in describing my writing. Obviously, I consider it more than a hobby or pasttime.

I'm pleased that the Patron of the Arts contest has challenged me in writing more poetry. It really has been a wonderful surprise regarding what I have produced in a short time.

I appreciate you coming back to this comment. :) Happy Thanksgiving to you.


acaetnna profile image

acaetnna 4 years ago from Guildford

Hello Denise, I have not been around for a while but signing on tonight the title of your hub caught my eye.I thought Saddlerider's comment was perfect and I totally agree. Awesome and of course voting up.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Acaetnna-I'm with you on not being around much...it has been a very hectic December for me! Thanks for stopping in. I'm glad you enjoyed it and I appreciate your support. I owe many people some reading and comments, and you are among them. Happy Holidays to you!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

denise, hobby or not, you're a very good writer. don't sell yourself short :-)


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

PDX-thanks so much; I appreciate the encouragement. Happy Holidays to you. :)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

no problem. You too!


Ibis Suau profile image

Ibis Suau 4 years ago from Florida

Denise, I am so glad to find your work on hub pages, I love you writing,you have an amazing talent, but must of all is the light you reflect through it. I also practice meditation, and in the last few years my spiritual path have intensified with reality facing.stripping off layers of illusion. The line:" Smoke and mirrors, We believe what we see and we want to believe" is very powerful. Thanks.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

I'm so glad that you found Hub pages and we connected here, Ibis. Meditation has been a steady and powerful tool for me on my spiritual path. Many of my deeper poetry has come from the sessions I've had in stillness. I appreciate your comments. Thanks!


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 3 years ago

Denise ....mirrors are best looked

at from a distance I believe

That way the one we judge

can't begin to deceive

And yet once in a while

I give myself some slack

By turning the damn thing over

and looking at the back.............Hugs


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Ed-Yes, I agree...great philosophy. Hugs to you and Happy Holidays to you and your family. Will you be visiting with your daughter this Christmas?

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