Mask Meld

Around her face
she has wrapped a mask
As time passes
It deteriorates and becomes a thing
of old skin
held together by
duct tape.

before she leaves the house
she looks in a mirror
to check that the mask is secure;
she smoothes out the duct tape
and does her best to cover the cracks.

But as the days pass by
and the mask is removed
less and less
it begins to combine with the face.
Emotion spills through cracks
and stains the mask
in ways that cannot be erased.
The mask is a now cracked mirror
with her old self
only a distorted reflection.

When she finally realizes
that her mask has ceased to function
as a mask,
she tries to pull it off,
but it has been part of her
too long and melded into her personality.
What she had originally tried to hide
is no longer hidden,
even if her original goal
is not forgotten.

She wants her mask back.

But now her mask is gone
and her true face has been seen
does she really have the chance
to put on a mask
and fade into the backdrop

A Cast of Mirrors

From the ashes

supposedly turned to fertile dirt

I rise with hope for tomorrow

Wearing my old name

On top of my new clothes


Fresh start?

New start?

Words drip like honey

From politicians’ mouths

Slow and sticky

A sweet taste

Hopes for new experiences

(I blunder into a mire.)


A dream in front of me

What I always wanted

I reach for it

With grasping fingers

A mirror of affection


My hands scrape the surface

I want it

I want it

It’s what I wanted

It’s what I wanted

Until it isn’t

And when I stare deep into the sweet mirror

My side shatters


I try desperately to pick up the pieces

Rearrange my side of the mirror

To the time when it was fresh

(and no one was on the other side)

But to no avail

I was the one who ran away.


On the other’s mirror edge

I see my reflection

It doesn’t look good

I deserve it

For shattering a mirror I thought I needed to break

I deserve it

The mirror shattered (seemingly out of the blue)


The other side’s hand

Brushes the glass panel

I am wracked with guilt

For shattering a mirror I thought I needed to break


A mirror is where one see’s oneself

And that reflection

Made me see myself in the other person

And myself as myself

A person who can hurt myself

Is myself

I wouldn’t want to share that

With the other mirror half


Fresh start broken

With steps forward and back

As ripples in a resin


Not Yet A Ghost Town, But Almost There

autumn-in-madeira jacek yerka

Looking forward

with glasses

like the ends of milk bottles.


What looks old to me,

looks young to you.

Rickety shanties lie

scattered close together

on a pimple of land.


Metal piping hot

like the exhaust pipes

of an automobile-

Bulging veins

set soon to burst.


A car


tries to break through,

but it is too big,

too new,

to gain entrance

to the creaky wood gate.


Trees that long ago sprouted,

planted by those who lived here

generations ago

are draped in reds, golds- dying helio

dressed their best

for the final ball,


Autumn is here

and those thin wood walls

won’t last the long winter

rushing to meet them

with snows as white

as the paint of the electronic car

that couldn’t get past

the front gate.



Written for Magpie Tales.

Cactus 321

Among three other cactuses

A leaf does grow

But as the others split off

This leaf is stuck


Wrenching and pulling

The cactus leaf

Sharpens its spines

And looks for escape


It needs a reason

To snap off

It needs

A reason to leave

The “original” cactus

So at the first chance

It doesn’t even look ahead

It snaps off and is carried

By the wind

To a new land


Settling down

In this new land

It wants to be

A better cactus

But it only knows how to grow

One way

And so it does

And the cycle repeats

With two cactus leaves


They grow together

Both with a different perspective

On life and how to live out

Their feelings

Towards their “original” cactus


When they see the chance

When each feels his own

Scent in the wind

A chance of freedom

He snaps off

And tries to make

The best of his life

In the only way he knows how


One settles down

And does not grow

A single leaf


The other settles down

Grows a leaf

And does his best job to raise it

In a better way than the cactus before him

But he did grow up

With that cactus

And it did


His reactions

And how he does things


The single leaf


Is happier than

The leaves before it

It’s not

Yearning for

A strong wind

To take it

Far away

Its not

Sharpening its spines

In an attempt to escape

But just like the leaves before it

It has a long memory


It thinks that

It is high time

For this broken record

To stop playing

So it turns around

Looking at the cactuses behind it

And tells them all

To shut up

But cactuses don’t have ears

Do they?

The Eyes Can’t See What Is Hidden Behind Them

Open mouth

A picture created

Little trees, blue pond sitting quite still

I see it as flat, needing no explanation

A simple portrayal of me

But others see 3D

Not so flat

Deeper meaning hidden

Out-loud, I say they are incorrect

But inside I am left wondering, if below

My subconscious is messaging me

That it is keeping secrets

From even me

Stale Memories

The wind blows

as years pass by,

I am as they say,

a sand column.

The wind scrapes my edges,

shaping me,

smoothing me.

My layers are slowly



I am built up from these layers,

each one makes a portion of my life.


they support me.


But if you flip perception,

they also hold me down.


Dust in the wind,

sand scraping off;

little petty quarrels and people I used to know;

forgotten or forgiven

to my mind.

Sand smothers all.


But even

If to me

they are now

dust in the wind,

what am I to them?


Where strings were left untied

dngling in the wind-

Where apologies were left unspoken

Even if I have

Forgiven myself

Have they forgiven me

A word

I say I’ve changed

A compensation

When I haven’t and can’t help it


Dust speeds away from my pillar

Scraped off in a tempest

Even if it is gone from me

Matter is infinite

and can never

be destroyed

The Glass Floor

Underneath me

is a glass floor.

If I looked down

I would be able to see

the world below

my sky-lit existence.

But I do not.



I look up

at the clouds,

the sky

and the trees

that have grown high enough

to reach the level

I reached

on the backs

of the plants below me.


Below me,

green tendrils

fight each other for supremacy.

It is harder and rarer

for one of those plants

to break through

the tight knit undergrowth.


It would be harder

for them to rise

than for me to fall,

I have more vines supporting and tying me

gravity is a powerful foe.


Each step I take forward,

each position I assume

is like a splashing ripple.

But even if it

would be better

for those below me

if I self-sacrificed

and gave where I am

to another.

I will not,

because I cannot let myself


and that could very well be

the problem.