This picture is in color Or so I have been told Yet all I see are streaks of gray Like stinking, putrid mold Something isn't quite right Something sacred isn't here But as I count up all I have There's the taste of rancid beer It lingers when there's laughter It whispers when there's warmth And when I count my sins at bedtime That haunting taste comes forth Yet the world keeps on shifting In its infinite monochrome haze I stare in the mirror and smile But the gray dwells in my gaze. © Mu Antoun "The Feathered Pagan"
Does it glitter in the moonlight Like a dancing flame of life? Does it spin and twirl in the breeze With the grace of a frozen knife? Can you see it if you squint And look beyond yourself in a mirror? Does it lurk within the pages Of your heart in ink, laid bare? If you saw it in the shadows, would you greet it or flee in rage? If you fled, would it still love you As it whimpers from its cage? And if it did, would you feel it As you glorify the sun? Would you know your soul is missing? Would you know your self is shunned? © Mu Antoun "The Feathered Pagan"
Baggage, baggage, wherever I go It haunts my frame and fills my clothes I turn around, but feel it tugging A constant reminder of all I'm lugging Numbers and salads for days on end Until at last, I can put it to bed Baggage be gone, I scream in victory! Little I knew, it was all contradictory For my hunger raises its starving head And my will, weak, can no longer plead Food galore, a feast for a shrunken stomach At that point, I begin my fated plummet There it is again, my hated friend I knew the baggage would return in the end The seams are ripping and my eyes keep tearing And in the mirror all I see is a girl forever veering. The whispers keep coming, the disappointed stares They know you have failed and believe you are unaware So I burrow away and throw the key in the gutter Better alone than surrounded by their wounding, crippling mutters. © Mu Antoun "The Feathered Pagan"