Puppets

Catherine Heath

July 2018


I’m glad to escape into the sun. 

The merest ghost of a pale shadow

Is all that’s left of you--

The puppet master.  

Beauty springs from the source,

The vibrant well of the martyr

Rising again from death,

Like a phoenix from the ashes,

Bursting with sapphire light--

A fiery bird of myth. 


Quiet whispers in the darkness

Bubble below us,

Towing us down the river Styx,

Calling us to our ancestral home. 

Fight, fight--

She cries, 

(And an echo replies).

A battle between life and dark--

Sowing seeds of discord,

Poisoning the well

And all who drink

From the secret chalice

--I was afraid.

My brush with death

Left me shaking--

And Freud was right, after all.

(We reluctantly give him his dues).

The funeral pyre is our deathbed,

And many tears we’ve shed

Did not self-renew.


Blame apportioned to those

Who want only to help--

Twisting and turning in fury,

Like a pike on a stick--

(It makes me sick

With longing.)

I thought I was cursed.

A desperate longing

To truly converse,

(Protected by the very love 

You sought to destroy).

Love is blind,

Like a knife through the heart

I am betrayed

By my own sister

--In life, if not in blood--

Pulling the strings of empathy,

Whispering tales of discord--

(The words of love disguised as hate--

If only we could but see).


The scales fell from my eyes

In one swift movement,

Scattering to the floor

--I think that we’ve been here before.

Words fall on deaf ears,

And the tears we’ve shed will not self-renew.

What would Michelangelo do?

Or any ancient god--

Jung, and Descartes too--

What would they say of hatred?

(The pike, twisting on a stick).

It makes me sick

Of me, and you. 

Angels called to save us,

But we can’t hear

(The enemy was inside us all along).

I’m sorry for what I said in anger--

You were only a failure,

But paranoia was true.


Betrayal is total,

Like waves on the sand--

The gift that keeps on giving--

A tale of me, and you. 

The dissonance erupts,

Short-circuiting neurons

Hell-bent on saving us--

But the mirror is our salvation,

Gazing deep into the pool.


Read between the lines,

And then some.

Feeding from my genius

(And how much of it was true?)

Gazing deep into the pool.

Perhaps I was too hard on you. 

I questioned what I thought I knew,

But the subtext blows my mind

And the paragraphs of crimes

Won’t stop. 


Rapunzel wakes from sleep,

And everyone is gone--

Only a pin has dropped.

Prince Charming has no time to wait. 

The agony leaves me breathless--

And the aftershock of evil

Leaves a scar--

Hiding in plain sight,

But confessions reveal you

(A fate worse than death

For all involved).

Wounds run so deep,

We cannot even weep, 

So I will take the pain inside.


Our fairy tales-- 

A dalliance of youth--

Is all we have. 

A mother’s love 

Is all that stands 

‘Tween life,

And black again. 

Credit: Photo by Martin Zangerl on Unsplash