Masks Of The Crustacean

MASKS OF THE CRUSTACEAN

I would say the secrets of my soul
Yet trust no one to their hearing
Some keep silence, some keep talking
When they find they have nothing to say
And the fulfilled don’t write

Lame excuses and sprung steel alibis
Meshed fast in the complexities of pain
(Only my pleasures are simple)
Masks of the crustacean
Designed to reveal what they disguise

Playing at love like a game of chess
Not well, not badly, just lazily
Without due regard to the consequences of my moves
Reading too many fairy tales
And kissing far too many frogs

The generous truth is a beggar to find
Buried deep among the unsuspected cruelties of the small print
(When God finished the world
He saw that it was perfect
โ€ฆ And then of course He began wondering what to do next โ€ฆ )

Security in a pound note, safety in a pin
The tired old trumpeting of Church and State
Magic is afoot but the world’s gone metric
(Electric) and Securicor scares
The light fades, the air is flat and stale

The rain beats against the glass
Nights and days an endless tapeloop
Of supermarket muzak
Brush its teeth and put it to bed
The well-oiled programs run

Asleep within the fractured eye of my attention
Life, well-travelled, opens and closes around me
Here and there embroidered with a flower
The footsteps I follow through the blizzard of my memories
Are my own

About Ben Naga

The Spirit that graces me with its passing has no name and stems not from thoughts and words, though it gathers them up as it flows, but from feeling.

Posted on June 6, 2012, in Poetry, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Well this was a deep thoughtful write…so many things here tied up into your written words..love it Ben. Thank you for reposting it for me to read. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So very profound…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pages from a journal …

      Thanks for taking the trouble to read and comment. It is much appreciated. It is an important poem to me. (You might have guessed as much. ๐Ÿ˜› )

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    • I have learned over the years that sometimes “deep” is a polite way of saying “incomprehensible”. ๐Ÿ˜€ Of course, this may not be the case here. However, if you would appreciate answers to any questions as to meaning, I will try to oblige. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. Ben, this needs to be read more than just once, so I’m printing it out. Great poetry! I always see and feel so much in your words, whether it be what you intended or not. Each of us reads a poem through a different lens and what I see in this one is the limitation of our material consciousness – as opposed to cosmic consciousness (which we sometimes experience… like the difference between shining a little flashlight in a huge, dark room, and having the sun light up the whole room at once, raising us to a whole new perspective…..)
    (Okay, and now I’m thinking of the old classic “Flatland”… see how thought-provoking your poetry is? !! ๐Ÿ™‚ )

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    • I suppose I was trying to roll up the whole caboodle of human experience into ONE BIG STATEMENT!!! Religion, consciousness, love (human and spiritual), society and “the modern”, incarnation and creativity … (Not wanting to be too ambitious, or anything. ๐Ÿ˜› ) I have been living with this poem since 1980.

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  4. I would say the secrets of my soul
    Yet trust no one to their hearing

    (Only my pleasures are simple)
    Masks of the crustacean
    Designed to reveal what they disguise

    Reading too many fairy tales
    And kissing far too many frogs

    The generous truth is a beggar to find
    Buried deep among the unsuspected cruelties of the small print

    Magic is afoot but the worldโ€™s gone metric

    The rain beats against the glass
    Nights and days an endless tapeloop
    Of supermarket muzak

    Life, well-travelled, opens and closes around me

    The footsteps I follow through the blizzard of my memories
    Are my own

    These are all great lines while, at the same time, giving the meaning of what I get from a wondrous poem. You would say the secrets of your soul, but you do not trust anyone that might hear them. My pleasures in this context are simple, but they are masks of the crustacean with a hard, protective shell, designed to reveal what they disguise. It is just that I have read too many fairy tales and heard too many times about the magic of kissing frogs to realize that generous truth is buried deep in the unsuspected cruelties of life, in the small print of our moments and who we are. Magic does exist, is afoot every day, but rain beats against the glass of our souls through our nights and days and is hidden within the mindlessness of supermarket muzak.
    Life, well-travelled, opens and closes around me. It is part of the magic, the secrets of your soul. Inside this travelling the footsteps I follow go through the blizzards of your memories, the memories that are yours alone.
    Wow!

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I first composed this, I decided to send it off in hopes of finding a publisher. The rejection was quite brief, it’s sole comment being that I had made a mistake in line two, and that is should have read. “Yet trust no one *with* their hearing.

      Thank you for your thoughtful, and heartfelt comment, Thomas. It was well worth waiting for, and so pleasant to actually find an intelligent critic after all these years.

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  5. And then there are those secrets we keep from even ourselves and fail to acknowledge – not necessarily as secrets, but rather in not considering them at all, ineffectively removing them from our conscience as they continue to affect our selves.

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  6. There are so many great thoughts that come from reading this. I am glad you shared this. As I read through it,

    (When God finished the world
    He saw that it was perfect
    โ€ฆ And then of course He began wondering what to do next โ€ฆ )

    This just sings to my soul. For but a moment ALL was perfect. And then time moved and the process of perfecting what is began again. And all time has been a gentle progression toward the re-perfection of existence now that a glimpse of perfection was granted.

    It was as though God chose a puzzle for himself. The first moment of perfection was Him viewing the puzzle and seeing what all the pieces added up to. From there, He shuffled the pieces and got to work putting it back together in the right (write) order. History has been filled with endless minds linking together to put the spans of time and history together in a way that makes sense by the grand puzzle master. Historians, poets, authors, anyone with a voice and a mind to describe the mystery and been coming together to describe what was and what will be. A process of connecting ONE and The Same. The Beginning with The End.

    Liked by 1 person

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