writing, journal

Beneath the Mask: When Heroes Die


When our heroes all have died
And the truth we finally know,
Will we love the fools inside,
Not raising them above
Nor casting them below?

Will we disdain the men we hail,
Without a cloak of manliness?
When we see them flawed and frail,
Can we love them nonetheless?

When women claim their liberty,
Will men praise female power;
And admit their own dependency,
Abandoning their fort and tower.

When our ideal slips and stumbles,
Whom we depend on to be strong,
Can we see a child that fumbles
Or will we make them wrong?

Can we lift the mask of shame
That keeps us from each other,
And love the self we hide in vain
From our sister and our brother?

Pleaser, sinner, bully, sage,
Get the actors off the stage,
Rebel, victim, saint, and scholar,
“Stop the play!” someone holler.

Can we put our shame aside
And forego the roles we play,
Disrobing fear dressed up as pride,
Our judgments dropping by the way.

Strip down the personality
And look through others’ eyes
Beneath the make-up, you will see,
Yourself revealed without disguise.

Can we let our heroes die
And face the truth and not the lie,
Can we love in all directions
When we withdraw our projections?

When will we end this masquerade
And see on close inspection,
Our ego has been too afraid,
To see our own reflection.

So peak inside the mirror now,
It’s our shadow we must face,
For if we want to love each other,
It’s ourselves we must embrace.

No one better, no one worse
No rank above, nor caste below,
We’re all unique yet all the same,
Equality we’ll one day know.

© Darlene Lancer 2003

The One

You are the one I want to love
To be the smile that greets my heart
Who hears my secret dreams
And who sees inside my soul.

You are the one I give delight,
Whose touch is tender in the night,
Whose holy passion knows no height.

You are the one whose voice I sing,
Whose words to me mean everything.
You are the one whose mind I yearn
To know and share the things we learn.

You can make me laugh when I am sad
And promptly chide me when I’m bad.
You flirt and tease me when we play
And compete with witty repartee.

You are there when I fall down.
You’re my playmate when we clown.
You’re the drumbeat of my heart
In rhythm when near or far apart.

You are the one I’ve longed to love
Until the end of time.
The one I have been dreaming of,
Though a creation of my mind.

Confusing reality with what is not
And what I need with what I want.
A fruitless search for that I’ll never find.
But can reveal within my Self,
The One who is divine.

Copyright 2023 Darlene Lancer

The Gibson Player I’d Like to Know

guitar player

At six, expectantly, I welcome Pete.
“I’m on time,” he crows, “and trustworthy.”
We dine, recline, and stretch our feet
across my coffee table.
“It’s too bright in here,” he claims.
So ‘round his toes I veer
to switch from lamp to candlelight.

While Pete plucks the Gibson on his knee.
Jasmine scent perfumes the spell.
He strums and croons and brags to me
how he played for Joni Mitchell.

With conscious touch he tours my hand,
His—rough from pitching earlier today.
I nestle in his teal knit shirt that compliments his grey.
“You melt my heart,” he sighs
And puts my palm across his chest.

I gaze into his hazel eyes that gleam of life and wit,
My mind is fraught with hope he’s not,
and fears he’s like the rest.
“You’re beautiful, ” he adds, without a blink.

In frantic search of words,
I’m trembling on the brink, yet won’t admit
I want to kiss (He’s tried on every date),
But think his kiss will lead to tears.
So in the amber glow we wait.

©Darlene Lancer 2004, 2020

To Kay: Lessons Beyond the Body

You taught us so much about the spirit.
You lit the way where we feared go,
And grasped what we could not imagine.

When you struggled,
You gave us laughter.
When you stumbled,
You taught us honesty.

When you were afraid,
You taught us courage.
When you couldn’t walk,
You gave us strength.

When you suffered,
You taught us compassion.
When you needed help,
You taught us humility.

When you couldn’t eat,
You gave us nourishment.
When you couldn’t speak,
You gave us love.

When you couldn’t breathe,
You gave us inspiration.
When there was no hope,
You taught us faith.

We never thought you’d leave us,
But when you did,
You left your light.

© Darlene Lancer 2002

When Talking’s Better than Sex

For months on end we talked past three,
I loved to watch him think.
He told me his philosophy,
And I acted like his shrink.

He’d place his hand along my thighs,
While I listened to him mesmerized.
His words flowed into me,
Each thought ascending higher,
Our minds attuned in harmony,
Our hearts burned with desire.

In every field we shared our views,
Then by way of illustration,
He kissed me and our passion fused,
Mounting our frustration.
Erotic turned the conversation,
My pussy getting wet,
When finally yielding to sensation,
The mind fuck beat the sex.

© Darlene Lancer 2001

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