An Ending

He rang me to say I owed him,

I said, I dreamt this,

it is not true.

His African mask melted,

behind it I perceived his civilised demeanour.

This also faded.

A shadow fell between us.

For all I know, it was all just made up stuff.

To bring about an end

I walked away.

But in stark daylight,

to avoid shadows and dreams.

◄ Dark Words

21 Orde Avenue ►


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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Sun 20th Nov 2011 16:12

So strong it brought a quiver to my chest, a sympathetic shiver. And I am at odds about the ending. Avoidance of 'shadows and dreams' is not resolution. It is a new 'mask' and, in its own cover-up, just as damning as 'his'. Moreover, I find nothing 'modern' about this situation; such duplicity has been 'forever'. I think the repetition of 'shadow' is very effective, as it implies two ideas and highlights a 'blow to clarity of all kinds'.

I do think 'African' is a bit too specific for the idea of 'outlandish hiding behind', 'covering up reality'. Implying 'native' is a dicey allusion. I don't think you intend to steer us into the murky waters of East/West civilizations, but I could be wrong. Perhaps the man in question is black, and the reference does exactly fit. If not, I think you need a different word, to be just the 'horror of a mask' meant only to conceal, perhaps unknowingly even to the wearer. And now, I shut up. Always with respect.

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Chris Co

Fri 18th Nov 2011 21:33

fly-on-the-wall and in the dark.
I like the deliberate ambiguity/lack of clarity.

It makes the reader work and can be interpreted differently each time it's read.

I concur with Dave. This seems very much a modern response to a modern life.


Congrats on the performance at Poets Corner- a fine display of poetry.

My Best


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Wed 12th Oct 2011 14:50

Yes - you express yourself in a thoughtful way and nothing is obvious. I liked the end to the ending also. It gives the impression of stripping away all corners to hide in - an acceptance of things as they are, not as anyone thinks or wishes.

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Marianne Louise Daniels

Wed 12th Oct 2011 14:09

Enjoyed this, I found the last lines not sad, but invigoarting - seizing control and clarity.

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Laura Taylor

Wed 12th Oct 2011 12:44

Agree with Houston, those last 2 lines are killer.

Seems to be on the surface a simple piece, but so much underneath it. I love the African mask metaphor, the strength shown, and the acknowledgement of not knowing. Shades of neg cap again I reckon ;)

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Dave Bradley

Tue 11th Oct 2011 22:18

A poem that feels like it belongs in this century, where people seem to be getting more cmplicated all the time - which it expresses very well

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Tue 11th Oct 2011 22:14

Hi Elaine

Comes across as a painful,delicate piece this.
Nicely done.
john x

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Rachel Bond

Tue 11th Oct 2011 21:11

'For all i know, it was just made up stuff.
To bring about an end'

I know this thought. It hurts.


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winston plowes

Tue 11th Oct 2011 21:10

Bit confusing this, endings often are. so no prob there. missheard messages and true feelings undisclosed come through. I liked the exotic African mask and 'all just made up stuff' which trips off nicely and familiar though not cliche. The last 2 lines however anre the crunch in this. Protecting yourself without overstating things, the power of thse last lines easily missed I think Win x

<Deleted User> (6315)

Tue 11th Oct 2011 20:58

Like the use of his African masked melted..his native persona..the only little nit I have is the use of shadow/s twice perhaps change the second one to darkness?..Wot dya think?..mind you then you would have three D words...hmmm lol I shall shurrup!!

Save to say I enjoyed this sad one..x

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