Who Am I? (poem)

I don’t know who I am any more.

The mask has stuck fast
Public face absorbing private truth
Rictus grin fixed firm
All softeners and simpering
Homilies and ha-ha-has

Jargon and jelly beans

A rough diamond smoothed,
Ground to sand
Trickling through fingers that would claim it
Then hate-baked into a distorted parody

Dead eyes peer out
Locked into a part picked by past practice and present perfidy
Playing the role of a lifetime.
A life.

Hear my silent cries, the dry tears,
The balled-up fists beating against the invisible bars
In melodramatic stillness

I pause. This is me.

This has always been me.

Picture courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotorita/1687023676 / Creative Commons

Haiku Challenge – Five & Thrive

This is my contribution for Ronovan’s latest weekly challenge – check it out at https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2015/07/27/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-55-five-thrive/ . The prompt words are “five” and “thrive”. Mine is based around Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – technically it’s five haiku and a verse at the end (is there a name for this?). Hope you like it!

Mother Maslow

Mother Maslow’s start:
You gave me food and water,
Shelter from life’s storms

At the second stage,
Taught me how the world worked,
When to run, or stand

At Maslow’s third stage,
Showed me love’s reality:
You give, and you get

Then at the fourth stage,
Taught me to believe in me,
Hold my head up high

Now at Maslow’s fifth,
I unfurl my wings and fly,
To thrive, not survive

For all this, I thank you
In the only way I know
I carry your love inside me
And never hide its glow