lullabies to self


Lullabies to Self


The mask has never fit.

Too small, too big, too young, too old.

The ribbons never hold, so the mask shifts, slips.

Belonging disappears in that very moment.

My real personae is revealed.

Thus, open for ridicule; open for ostracism, open to hate.

My hamartia, my tragic flaw.

Ceremonial masks created to honour those before me; ancestors unnamed and unclaimed.

Bring me no closer to why I weave the same mask to hide the person who lives behind, wool, wood, plaster, paint, pain.


Will I stand naked, stripped of modesty, stripped for a price.

It is “The Big Reveal,” on the undesired stage of visibility.

Better to show the bones, between the stripped bare skin and hope.

The layers above only protect me to save me from myself.


Tonight, on the loom is the mask of spring; life from death.

Full moon. Blood moon.

The warp and weft respond to my touch, and pull shuttle on the last rows.

Look up to see a jagged, menacing red streak about the pale spring shades.

Is it with in me – to cancel a mask, all masks. Or without: to cancel Spring; to cancel me.


Kate smiled. “progress” she said. We make our own masks from the material given to us by others.

Create your own mask, from within, from your soul, from the past, present, future.

Remember all three have access to you all the time; the keys to unlock your brain.


Drained, I behold my new mask spun in gossamer threads of spiders’ webs and cast-of fairy wings.

It hides the true me only so far. Those who really wish to; will see more than the mask conveys.

They will want to see the creator.

Not bare-boned, or crying. Just a person; a real person


Can I handle that exposure?

Kathy says it is up to me to know; that no-one else can tell me when to take it off.

The decision lays in my weaving in the heavy treads of anger dipped into the shadowy grey pigments.

Angry becomes tears – a mask that must not melt must not dissolve, crumble under the weight of water.

At mask for this, mask for that until I can no longer feel the contours of my face.


Yet the true mask I wear is the one that holds my deep secret, that decides all the patterns, all the shapes and colours.

The part of me a mask must always cover. That the thing I want most in life. There is a mask that can push that all away.

Why can’t I weave, forge, create a 3-D print, the perfect mask. The one that allows me what I truly need.

Years of practice have only left me with the patterns of tears.

Heavy scissors I secretly used in our masking. To cut, to tear, to yell, to scream the mask off into infinity.

Mindlovemisery’s Writing Prompt #102 “Hamartia”


6 thoughts on “lullabies to self

  1. mindlovemisery April 14, 2015 / 8:27 am

    This is a powerful piece Phylor not only can I relate to it deeply but also it gives me so much more to think about. Wonderfully done =)


    • phylor April 14, 2015 / 11:07 am

      Your prompt was an interesting one. Masks are a part of many lives. I know I have many to hang on the wall, admiring that I have removed it. The number is infinity!

      Liked by 1 person

        • phylor April 14, 2015 / 2:06 pm

          There’s very few on my wall. Unfortunately, sometimes they fall off their perch on the wall.


  2. afairymind April 14, 2015 / 5:56 am

    I really like this. I’ve always been fascinated by masks – by what we choose to hide or reveal. You use some beautiful descriptions. I particularly like the line ‘my new mask spun in gossamer threads of spiders’ webs and cast-of fairy wings’. Well done. :)


    • phylor April 14, 2015 / 11:09 am

      Thank you!
      I wanted to create a thin mask that was only a sheer covering. I thought of the lightest things I know of. Glad you liked the description.

      Liked by 1 person

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