Poem

Face theatre

As if by force of habit,
the dance begins;

the show takes flight; and the shadow boxing commences.
We wake  and soon we make the faces we make 
to face the faces we face.
We give them personalities and stories to tell. 
We teach them to disguise unease with relative ease;
and to camouflage disdain with smirks.

We assign them behaviours
that can lie, honestly.
We decorate them with strong pretences
erect bold defences,
and paper over cracks and empty spaces.
We dress their expressions in finely tailored suits of pantomimes;
they become those street performers we used to avoid.
Now, like us, they are actors
playing staged roles they were born to play well.
It’s a slow tango of sparring boxers,
a dance with schizophrenic precision.

In time,
we slowly lose track
of the many faces we forge
to face the faces we face;
especially those we make to replace the faces we hide from the world.
But, does it really matter in the end if we are already them and they us?
Those faceless characters we create but can no longer distinguish.
Which are the real faces, the genuine fakes we embrace
on this grand stage, this kabuki theatre of faces?

Perhaps,
there is always time
to slow down, recalibrate,
to find bits of our disoriented selves even among the faces
we give faces to face the faces we face.

4 thoughts on “Face theatre”

  1. Absolutely beautiful very greatly said the words so touching. Would love to receive a lot more of such a beautiful lovely written poem ❤

  2. This poem explores the idea of identity, masks, and the complexity of human interactions.I Thank you Dr Isaac . It’s about the dance of life and the habit of putting on different personas when facing others. The masks we wear are used to hide our unease and disdain, and we assign these masks personalities. As an ambassador you know too well about wearing masks, being diplomatic, pretending, playing the game to get by. My elderly friend would say..it’s about having decorum..something I have yet to learn..lol..This is really deep..but you say it so well.. and so subtle..Stealing a line from a popular song..’ oh the games people play now..every nite and every day now.. Never meaning what they say, never saying what they mean’. Faces..the theatre of faces…

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