Behind the Mask – a poem by Deborah Guzzi

Behind the Mask

Like chalk-dust on a blackboard, the sky
hid the sins of the father from the children of Switzerland.
Nationalism fostered by religious intolerance erased
the glorious art of Catholicism by writ, replacing
it with barren rock. This humanist art taught the lessons
of another age, one without Martin Luther.

plaster frescos cringe
beneath the fall of the pick-ax
an artist wails

A daunting stinginess surfaces with white-wash,
taunt linen, hidden wealth, a Godhead of excess
denied the protest removes the jewels caste
before swine. Age after age, worldwide, victors
deface the art of King’s and kingdoms before them.

folds of golden drapery
halo the Madonna

Under a self-imposed dome the Swiss meander,
oatmeal plain, faces seeped in symmetry with downcast eyes.
Their crowns restrained by the pulling back of poker-straight,
mousy-brown hair. Breeders stroll, chicks in check,
the carriages denote the financial status of their mates.
In a white world, in a daydream screaming of
Logan’s Run, few beyond childbearing years
are seen. The muddy water beneath their feet
occasionally permits a brown-skinned-race
into servitude.

Today, Mark Chagall’s windows enlighten
the dour walls and blank naves of Fraumunster
church. His figures blur, their bodies’ metaphors
restrained by the concept of idolatry. Fractured
by beads of metal and shards of colored glass
the Prophets, Jacob, Christ, and Moses
rise above the ordinary toward heaven.

a relief of color
engulfs the viewer with glory
tears fall


Deborah Guzzi is the author of The Hurricane available through Prolific Press. Her poetry appears in Allegro, Amethyst Review, Creative Writing Ink Competition, Shooter, & Foxglove Journal in the UK, also in Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Greece, Spain, France, India & in dozens in the USA.

1 Comment

  1. Awesome words and narration of this poem my dear sister. I like how they flow and the impact of the message. They are very inspiring. Your descriptive excellence resonates with wonderful images. Have an awesome day and blessings always!


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