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Who Are We hiding from?

Updated on February 16, 2015

Wispers sing of secrets

and eyes betray the heart

smiles conceal the truth

which we disguise in part.

Revealed in measured increments

who ever we are inside

compared in such futility

to what others display outside.


We keep the treasure hidden

so others will only know

the us, we think they want

is portrayed in every show.

Obscured in misconception

we offer in defense

a shadow of our being

protected by pretense.


All the while we clamor

love always seems to go

It dances with the shadow

and music it doesn't know.

We give in part and love the same

ourselves in little pieces

measured ever sparingly

the lie in us increases


We question love and spar with life

inside where truth prevails

in light too bright for shadow

to part our inner veils.

We send a likeness in our stead

cloaked in shadows of halfway

and keep the other in reserve

always hidden from display.


So we examine secret's eyes

the secret words and smiles

wonder of our failing lives

and all our secret trials.

We compare our inside us

to whoever we see outside

then dress our pain and wound

in bandages of pride.


While everybody's outside

is dressed in like deceit

all wound and pain the same

is disguised in the same conceit.

Who we are beneath the veil

no different than those we see

believing they prefer the shadow

to the we, they do not see.


Shadows dance and shadows love

and fill our lives with years

they write of us in make believe

that none should know our fears.

We can not journey another turn

We have one life to get it right

whatever we give the shadow

fiction in turn will write.


When lives are shoveled in the graves

more ready than we thought

they will not bury who we are

but the lives that we forgot.

Of honest souls that leave the dark

who see what light will measure

they find not hiding from themselves

was all the while their treasure



A diamonds flaw in reflected light

the eye will never show

projecting the perfect diamond

will not ever make it so.

Give me friend and love alike

with flaw and frailty

undaunted by his circumstance

enslaved in honesty.


Give me kinship of a kind

where illusion can not grow

where what I see and hear

will mirror, him I know.

Who breathes of life the same as me

of trouble or despair

of raging pain or grieving loss

and burden hard to bare.


Give me friend who's unafraid

to be afraid and say it's so

who stays a course with certainty

unsure where it may go.

So in the end the day should write

we knew each other well

There were no shadows in our light

or secrets yet to tell.



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    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      Yes! I knew there was a perfectly reasonable explanation - thanks -I'm out to lunch today - gathering more ideas of course.

    • arb profile image
      Author

      arb 5 years ago from oregon

      procrastination is the interlude in which writers gather material.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      Yes, winter soon to turn to spring in Victoria. The ski slopes having a bumper season. However up north the 'tropical end' the wet season is over and sunshine rules! Yes, writing weather but somehow I procrastinate!

    • arb profile image
      Author

      arb 5 years ago from oregon

      Thank you travmaj, I enjoyed your comment. I suspect cooler weather in Austrailia than we are experiencing. I think it is heading for winter, is it not? A worthy season for writing.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      Catches the breath - a reminder 'all the men and women merely players' In the light - true friendship.

    • arb profile image
      Author

      arb 5 years ago from oregon

      It is indeed dangerous to read the first line, it is the bait employed to capture the unsuspecting reader. I am delighted to have captured your interest and held it long enough to secure a comment. Thank you lastheart for your very gracious comment.

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 5 years ago from Borik√©n the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Since you started with "Whispers sing of secrets" I just needed to keep reading...then I got to "we offer in defense" and I need to read more for than I voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful and interesting.

    • arb profile image
      Author

      arb 5 years ago from oregon

      Hi Theresa, thanks for the thoughtful comment. I suppose that it is a bit pensive, but, if pensive has a rightful place, it is most likely in poetry. Funny though, I wasn't pensive when writing it. I will have to think on that. You are right, some survive on the opiate of denial. Be well dear friend.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Alan - A pensive poem (but I like pensive because it often speaks to the truth of how we really are, and to me, pensive is not depression), and the use of the shadow image and metaphor throughout is lovely. I was particularly taken with these words from one of your comments. ~~~ "There isn't anything wrong with us that isn't wrong with everyone. ....... Some us can survive knowing the truth, some can't." Very nice. - Theresa

    • arb profile image
      Author

      arb 5 years ago from oregon

      Thank you Frank! I hope that they were good images.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      wow your words were like images dancing before my eyes.. loved it bro :)

    • arb profile image
      Author

      arb 5 years ago from oregon

      Lovely praise from one I esteem so highly. Thank you b.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 5 years ago

      How on Earth did I miss the Beautiful, Poignant Poem of yours Arb? Wow, how very Tender, and written from the Heart. You are truly an Amazing Poet Man, Arb.

    • arb profile image
      Author

      arb 5 years ago from oregon

      Thank you for reading and for the kind comment.

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 5 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      An awesome, different and rhythmic poetry, voted up

    • arb profile image
      Author

      arb 5 years ago from oregon

      happy to hear it. God bless you both!

    • profile image

      CJ Sledgehammer 5 years ago

      Good morning, Alan:

      She seems to be doing well. She is the kind of lady that doesn't let much of anything slow her down. At least, not for long. :0)

    • arb profile image
      Author

      arb 5 years ago from oregon

      Thanks CJ, I always appreciate your reading. Forgot to ask how your mom is doing. Hope all is back to normal.

    • profile image

      CJ Sledgehammer 5 years ago

      Alan, this poem is so thoughtful, intelligent, and marvelous...it could be mistaken for one of my own. :0)

      Most excellent, my friend, well done!!!

      May God smile kindly upon my friend - C.J. Sledgehammer

      Voted up...up...and away!!!

    • arb profile image
      Author

      arb 5 years ago from oregon

      Hi Kathleen! Thank you for commenting. I rather like this one myself. It is so easy to play the shadow and be completely unaware. It is real work to be real. Be well my friend.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      The beautiful photo was the icing on the cake. Such beauty and wisdom. This poem started my day and will stay with me.

    • arb profile image
      Author

      arb 5 years ago from oregon

      Nice to meet you Howie! I do appreciate your gracious comment and your stopping by to read! It appears, after reading your profile, that we have much in common, although I have ventured from conservative republican to a free thinking independent. I shall make a point of reading work soon. Thanks again.

    • Howie Watts profile image

      Howie Watts 5 years ago

      "...the feedom of ourselves, was all the while our treasure." That is indeed what we all need to grasp and gather from your words. Step out from the shadows and into the light of freedom and express yourself as only you can, and don't be so quick to compare to others but embrace who you are. Well done.

    • arb profile image
      Author

      arb 5 years ago from oregon

      good, its settled!

    • arb profile image
      Author

      arb 5 years ago from oregon

      I can hardly catch my breath but needed to respond. Miss you a lot and will catch up in the next couple of days. Love that your doing well. Talk soon.

    • QudsiaP1 profile image

      QudsiaP1 5 years ago

      Hehehe, yes I have heard of the nickname sweet pea and think it is very cute. Thank you I feel very honoured. :)

      *hugs*

    • empire mike profile image

      empire mike 5 years ago from empire, colorado

      hey brother, don't think you caught my interview. i only bring this to your attention because you are mentioned in it. hope all is well with you. all is very well with me

      http://marcoujor.hubpages.com/hub/empiremike-Getti

      check it out.

    • arb profile image
      Author

      arb 5 years ago from oregon

      Thanks for the read. Will check out your blog

    • profile image

      Madhu Bhargava 5 years ago

      Great Poem.

      You might also like this @

      http://explorerofpoetry.blogspot.com/2012/06/thank...

    • arb profile image
      Author

      arb 5 years ago from oregon

      Hello sweet pea, my new nick name for you. Have you heard the expression? Anyway, it is when we stop comparing we come to know ourselves. When we accept who we know, we begin to like ourselves and then, watch out world.

    • QudsiaP1 profile image

      QudsiaP1 5 years ago

      Absolutely amazing arb! So true are your words where almost everyone chooses or rather wants to be just a part of the flock not realising how they often just undermine themselves by doing so.

    • arb profile image
      Author

      arb 5 years ago from oregon

      Hello Audrey! Thanks for reading and as always, for your kind remarks. The light is never far from the darkness. Sometimes it takes forever to travel, but a few feet.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

      Beautiful write arb. Your piece puts me in mind of the importance of following our paths faithfully and understanding that whatever darkness is present, our paths all lead to the light.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Don't know how I missed this. It is a wonderful series of images with the shadows playing through it. I agree with Lakepoet's comment, that is more eloquent than I can be before 7 AM.

    • arb profile image
      Author

      arb 5 years ago from oregon

      Thank you lakepoet. Look forward to reading a fellow poet.

    • profile image

      Lakepoet 5 years ago

      I love how your poem uses shadow as a metaphor for the pretences that darken the light of the authentic self. Our lives are blighted by the many 'selves' that we invent to get us through what we see as the 'important ' things in our lives. All the while, what is really important, and what we really need, goes neglected. Thanks for sharing, and voted up

    • arb profile image
      Author

      arb 5 years ago from oregon

      Hi my brother! If we can see the pretense and know the hurt behind it, then we can heal ouselves. There isn't anything wrong with us that isn't wrong with everyone. Were all screwed up! Some us can survive knowing the truth, some can't. Be well my friend.

    • empire mike profile image

      empire mike 5 years ago from empire, colorado

      amen, brother!

      i wish us both luck.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 5 years ago from TEXAS

      Smile!

    • arb profile image
      Author

      arb 5 years ago from oregon

      Mhatter99, good to see you here. Thanks for reading.

    • arb profile image
      Author

      arb 5 years ago from oregon

      thanks so much lambservant.

    • arb profile image
      Author

      arb 5 years ago from oregon

      Hello nellieanna, My wife says I read everything to fast. Perhaps, read from the pleasure of a bottle of wine. I will give it a try to record it for you.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this enchanting poem

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 5 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Fabulous.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 5 years ago from TEXAS

      You should. You could record it with that program some of our fellows have used to record the audible.

      I'm not sure it would be bearable, though. This pathos . . . .

    • arb profile image
      Author

      arb 5 years ago from oregon

      Thank you Karen, what a gracious comment. Maybe I should read it aloud?

    • profile image

      Karen J 5 years ago

      I just love your poetry. The rhythm, the rhyme, what you say and how you say it. I like reading it aloud. It just has a flow and beat. really nice. Thank you.