I wrote this when I was only 16, still in high school and feeling very much a “social outcast” and a loner. I was very pleased to have my poem featured in the school magazine, “The Banksia” in 1973, along with a photo of a painting I did for my 4th form (year 10) major work for Art (a green monochrome landscape oil painting of a tree, river and the moon).


You stand there.
You are not alone,
hiding behind your mask,
pretending to be
what you are not.
You are afraid
to act on your own.
You worry what others may think.
You try very hard
to act the same,
to keep yourself concealed.
You feel as if
you’re the only one
who plays this game.
But you are wrong.
All human life is a masquerade.
All people hide
behind their own masks,
each one hiding from the other.
You say you have friends
and you know them well.
How well do you know them?
Do they know you?
They each hide behind masks.

You stand there
behind your mask,
not expressing your thoughts aloud.
Nobody really
knows what you feel.
But only because you’ve
kept to yourself;
you and the rest of humanity.
Sometimes you know
it is best to hide,
to be what you really are not.
But when done always,
you are taken as such
and treated as such,
while inside you cry
as behind your mask you hide.
As a person
you are alone.
Yet as one who hides, you are not.
When your mask slips
you are revealed.
When found out suddenly,
the truth often hurts,
more than if found out slowly.
I know you now.

Copyright © 1973-2012 Jenwytch


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