Poem from the Vault: Puppet of God

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]

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