Pause now, take time to walk along city streets.
Stroll down brassy, brightly-lit boulevards,
Preening, peering at all our distorted reflections
From shop windows, blank-eyed passers-by.
Captured in and by the lenses of CCTV cameras.
Do not stare nor act furtive, collar upturned, hide,
Do not ever let them suspect what lurks inside.
Somewhere, everywhere near, far, our images flit
Wait or flirt from screen to screen where we sit
Whether marching or creeping down alleys dark
Mirrored in oil-mired puddles, panes of curved glass
Mounted, hung to protect some unknown strangers,
Anticipating predicted collisions unpredicted dangers
Mysterious maladies, unknown disaster, future blast
Until we become not but shades by shadows cast
On daytime walls both backwards and forwards
Shrouded in silence woven of night’s black chords
Pushed from our castles, to pursue their proffered magic
Lured naked into stark light, freedom deferred, tragic
In shambles, shuffling, whimpering, whining.
Mumbling our madness, words behind words
Worlds of whispered wants, crafted character
Moving through our masquerades, mummery
Fitted-out in false faces, camouflaged, concealed
Pretend people, posing profiles hid behind masks
Only our blank gazes express our attempt to tell
Salient stories portrayed in paltry Papier-mâché
Our tale, of who we believe we are, will be
Who we have always been, at least for today
Peace is Purpose, Nonviolence is Strength, Diversity is Unity, Empathy is Empowerment
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