Skip to content

The Mask of Many Faces

October 28, 2011

 Some thoughts about the costumes we wear year round. 



AUDIO:     (click: hear the voice behind the words)    



This poem is  included in my book, “I Have His Letters Still”, Poetry of Everyday Life.  Purchase on Amazon - or at  Thank you.


There once was an ordinary man     

who masqueraded as a clown.     

Upon his sleeve, he wore but false emotion.     


His countenance bespoke everything – and nothing.     

Perpetual sadness ensconced within,     

his face slipped on the mask of the occasion,      

the personage for whom designed,     

or of the time, perhaps –     

or of the moment, so inclined.     


So often having changed expression     

he stood now perpetually expressionless.     

The face his own, or a mask?     

No one, not even he, could tell.     



An endless fluidity of persona, ebb and flow.     

Harmonized not with appearance.     

Deceived as much by appearance -     

as appearance deceived.     


White the cosmetic through which he sought unveiling.     

Unburden for once and for all     

the role he played     

for which the world accepted him.     

White cream produced white heat instead     

though no amount of flame could shear the crust which overlay –     

Rawhide replace where once stood beauty,     

Tenderness of touch,     

Warmth of smile.     


Invention upon invention!     

Fiction now ruled     

and sophistry imprisoned him.     

A sorcerer’s fate for a simple man.     


Now no more a child’s idol –     

employed at Mardi Gras.     

Grotesque false face of carnival     

Perjured soul     

Splendid thing – now lost.     


Can fable save some touch of mediocrity     

to mark the bounds of true complexion?     

Perchance the tears of time     

will wash away     

what otherwise cannot be moved.     


Ray Brown

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Adriana permalink
    January 12, 2009 5:17 am

    Wow! I think it’s great.

  2. elijah permalink
    March 8, 2010 4:49 am

    The harmony you created with the words ‘appearance’ and ‘deceive’ is sheer brilliance!!! For those who were confused you are a poet who tells stories not a story teller who is poetic!!!

  3. March 9, 2010 6:03 pm

    Great poem, especially the last five lines

  4. Anonymous permalink
    September 21, 2011 7:21 pm

    i dont like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 892 other followers

%d bloggers like this: