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The Masque

by rushforth 

Posted: 31 March 2007
Word Count: 185

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The masque

Nothing is what it wants to be
but straining
straining against the masque that governs this gifted world.

The stones on the riverbed are not what they want to be
but dreaming
dreaming the delicacy of dace
quivering imaginary fins
in their clod solid sleep.

This good woman with her perfect beauty is not what she wants to be
nor that sleek entrepreneur behind the wheel of his Merc.

Neither are the tree-tittering starlings what they want to be -
for in the gap between their notes there is a loneliness
where each longs for eagle-deeds which none dares to confess.

The priest and the butcher are not what they want to be
for the butcher dwells in a tender garden
as he cleaves red meat from the bone,
while the priest would leave his boots upon the altar
to dance barefoot down the lane.

And if you, my love, declare
that you are not where you want to be
but need to leave this narrow bed we share,
must I put by my only certainty
and with the carnival world concur?

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