Wednesday, April 17, 2013

the faces of shame

The mask of shame has two faces

depending on where you stand.

One stares out at the rest of the world

the other stares back in.

One stands in judgment and blame of the self

one screams not to be judged.

One labels the unexamined life

one swears to be authentic and pure.

There is nothing on either side of the mask

to keep it from falling away.

Nothing securing it to the face

yet it is worn as if part of the skin.

The roles played indicate

who I will be today.

The mask of scorn and contempt

will chain me to this room.

The cat o’nine tails will lay themselves down

again and again on my skin.

The scars they leave, tangible evidence

that penance has been paid.

With a flick of the wrist the mask will change

the shape and look of my face.

I will openly weep at the thought

of being misunderstood.

I will cry out for mercy and understanding

beg for someone to see me.

I will swear on all that is good in this world

that I am worthy of belief.

Neither face is truly mine

and at the same time I am both.

Caught between angel and devil

colored in shades of grey.

No wrong, no right, not bad or good

and nowhere to place the blame.

For being trapped between these two faces

unable to see who I am.



  1. The mask of scorn and contempt, I really liked this dark introspection. Sometimes we all are like this deceiving our own self to the end. Very well written.

  2. A very powerfully written piece , how we all live a masquerade at times.