This painting by Heather Calderon is used here in connection with the DVERSE POETS’ PUB’s Poetics:  Mardis Gras Mambo Prompt.

The revelry is over –

I strip the  mask from my face
laying it bare
like an altar stripped of flowers.

I anoint my lips with prayer.
My vulgar lips singing earthy songs now sing silence.

Ashes now adorn my head
in place of the crown that was my pride.
My colorful clothes, ah, those worldly days,
now are stained purple like bruises on the skin.

Down to nothing,
it is time –

I go to the wilderness
of the soul
to wrestle with the demons
urging me to sing my old songs
to don my old raiment
that I be just like the days of old –

But the living waters
will quench my thirst
And manna will sustain me
In my journey
To the Promised Land.

8 thoughts on “THE PENITENT

  1. If we are stripping the mask from our face then this, ashed and bruised, is who we are and must accept it. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess you’re a practicing Catholic . I feel a lot when I read your poem. I feel sorry for the manifold ways and times sin has scoured my person and yet the one we kill says, “It’s ok. Accept me.”

    1. Thanks, Amaya. Maybe, I can be what one may call a practicing Catholic (of course, it does not say anything about whether I am a good person or not). One way or the other, I have too many flaws that I cannot seem to shake-off. How true you are that we keep offending God who loves us so. Unfortunately, being human as we are makes us quite susceptible to sins and such but we just keep on persevering and trying to do better a little each time asking God to fill in our inadequacies.

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