for a moment of joy or moments no one pays for, i give myself a ‘jornal’. this makes me rich. try it.

Masquerade (for one shot Wednesday)

On stubbly grass unthinking on my heels, I crush a pair
of yellow dots here on a nameless hill-rise where
spark these fallen stars—

Thumb-sized faces, touching shyness, such subterfuge for such
malicious growth: these weeds whose birth in helium
augur choking death to promises of
rose-lipped tulips and such

or nodding daffodils and flare-collared narcissus. But my pupils
to its petals the dandelion-look cannot but inveigle, openness
its sheath of innocence so unlike
the earnestness

ivy creepers throttle a birch or the blatant avarice a herd of agile paws
and furry tails sidestep my indifference, trembling to un-husk
a single nut, pointed jaws nibbling time—no
pretenses there. Masquerades

I would rather find, disguises to my own guises—the sun-gazing
adoring face-thrusting-trust dandelions pose on a universe
of pupils, mine for one but not mine, whose malevolent
leaps spring from

fear. I, who face no fear of thwarted rebirths from tumescent bulbs
or such other spurts of life I could cause, see no power in these
weeds I now half bend to gaze at as if loving them
flowering, relishing

the sound of their name. These weeds, are they perhaps a kin
to Leo, the constellation the overbearing sun
rules? Could they be remnants of colliding
stars, battling their way

as if certain a center lay in the black void and bursting, littered
a blue dot where on patches, this hill-rise for one, struck
a bed for them to mutate and transmogrify? If
they were

I need not wonder then why they deserve such spite—rolling as
weeds these minute suns in masquerade, I know as
I know what I am.

I am posting this poem for One Shot Wednesday at the One Stop Poetry blog.
Join us – throw in your verses. Here are the rules (taken directly off their blog):
1. Write a poetic piece & post it on your blog
2. Then let us know about your post. Link back to One Shot
3. Sign up in the Mr Linky list, linking directly to your post, AFTER you’ve posted it.
4. Go visit others who have signed up! Offer support & encouragement. Share your love of words and insight respectfully. Please try to visit as many participating poets as you can. We all could use and appreciate kind feedback.


December 22, 2010 - Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. there’s such a lot in this poem – had to read it twice and maybe should read it once again to get all those images you create – esp. loved the ending..I know as
    I know what I am.. this was really strong

    Comment by Claudia | December 22, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks, Claudia! Thank you for getting through the rather thick inner landscape I created. The ending was quite a surprise for me, too, but I realized it’s where the poem flows into.

      Comment by alee9 | December 23, 2010 | Reply

  2. Complex one, Alegria. I know I need to read it a few more times to fully understand what the dandelions are really saying. I think you have cast them in a fascinatingly perverse way here, though, as malevolent and innocent both. Thank you for working my brain cells. They need constant maintenance.

    Comment by hedgewitch | December 22, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks again, Joy! I love how your insight on how I cast the dandelions. Work your brain cells? We both need that all the time, don’t we?

      Comment by alee9 | December 23, 2010 | Reply

  3. A freewheeling, Whitman-esque celebration of/commentary on the not-so-humble dandelion that captures the reader from the start. Great stuff.

    Comment by Dick | December 23, 2010 | Reply

    • From you, I take this as an award, no, a crown. Thank you, Dick!

      Comment by alee9 | December 23, 2010 | Reply

  4. “I, who face no fear of thwarted rebirths from tumescent bulbs or such other spurts of life I could cause…” Loved that line and found this piece lavish with imagery, symbols, and meaning both overt and between the lines. Certainly deserving of additional reads as Claudia suggests. Cheers

    Comment by dustus | December 23, 2010 | Reply

    • Thank you so much, Adam! Honestly, when I wrote this poem I couldn’t predict where it was going but as it wrote itself out, I knew it couldn’t be but where it ends. But it does express what I feel about those dandelions quite ruefully when I watch gardeners furiously digging them out from the roots and flinging them into bins to decay. And yet, and yet, aren’t they so beautiful when in bloom?

      Thanks again for loving that line I too, love!

      Comment by alee9 | December 23, 2010 | Reply

  5. this was damn fine work…i read through it a couple of times…after the first read i needed to go back and saviour it again..had great flow to it too..all the best pete

    Comment by petemarshall1 | December 24, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks so much, Pete–a rather paltry word of gratitude to one who writes great lines!

      Comment by alee9 | December 24, 2010 | Reply

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