Puppet of God
God’s favorite puppet dresses like a clown
I saw him today on my way into town.
He played the fool, the pimp, and the sage
like a life-lusting monkey let out of his cage.
So I played the role of a vision quester
and for a few moments, he was my court jester.
With a passionate voice he started to sing
his quivering anthem to his listening king.
“I left my family for a gypsy’s life–
put myself under the scar-maker’s knife;
then lost my mind like wind-blown seed
and discovered that words are deceptive indeed.
“By God and nature and fate I was picked
to show all of you how we have been tricked.
You can’t see your strings but sure they are there.
There is no free will as some will declare.
“All children know when they are girls and boys
that their toys play with them, as they play with toys.
A doll is just a model of yourself–
so be content just to sit on your shelf.
“And so our days are hanging by a thread.
We’re only as alive as we are dead.
We’re bound to the earth as well as the sky.
In dreams and wind we are able to fly.
“Pretend I’m a sunflower rooted in soil.
I ache for the sun and toward it I toil.
If I could reach it I would surely burn
but drunk with warmth I continue to yearn.
“The next generation yields more like me,
who dream of the air while drowned in the sea,
So as you walk the mirrored shores
hang on to faith; it alone is yours.”
He delivered his song of paradox
then kissed his knees as he pushed down his socks.
Twirled he danced and made love to the air,
empty of shame as if no one were there.
His strings were stretched taut and making him shake
so quickly I thought his body would break.
To that man I have one question to ask–
Who will I be if I take off my mask?
[Originally published in Jittering Microscope #2, 1991]