Anthony Mason

On The Subject of Stars

Almond eyed and transcendental;

they are indulging on a banquet of stars

and tossing the wishbones away.

A caged moon is watching.

The capturer of stellar beauties is finely dressed

in only the rarest of crystallized tears.

Her net is entrancing;

some stars wish themselves beautiful enough.

Rejected stars shiver in the eyes of lovers.

There is a lack of depth in those gazes

of oceanic bewilderment.

To love truly is to drown and not struggle.

Star crumbs leave a trail to worlds beyond,

lined in single file like obedient children

marching in playground

unaware, like caged moons,

of the stars hollowed of wishes

all but crumbled inside.

To die in this manner is to never reveal their secrets;

collapsing in on themselves in a distraction of light..

The story went, but one boy

had learnt about stars in his spare time.

What is the point of anything, young fellow?

But to inspire wonder and curiosity;

to shine light upon something else entirely.”

He appeared, at first, terribly sad;

slumped like a toy-shop window puppet,

averting his eyes to a north easterly,

as to an old memory..a bucket of used sparklers,

in which he felt something had drowned completely.

One boy slept upon a slanted classroom table

as words turned into lullabies and exploded

into a fine dust, if anything, of music.

Disappeared completely.

His last thought was that he had become

a syllable whistling through a shattered

kaleidoscope of mosaic moons.

Everything was an eclipse

and could not be described

by anything but an endless concerto;

to which no one had the honour of conducting;

least of all his teacher.

Another, gazing from a window

at the mute boredom of grey figures

moving in droves with a distinct unease;

like the women on their way to concentration camps.

In one, pregnant it seemed, of heavy tears.

A book slammed shut. The teacher cross

that such wonder had not been acknowledged.

When washing escapes from lines....

if it gets high enough,

then it is free to stay up there in the sky.

Alice whispered it;

looking out into the windy street;

the swish of litter scraping.

Newspapers tiptoeing, cans hopping,

bags wheezing, banana skins crawling

like starfish, the swish of car tyres

slicing through left over puddles.

Adults rushing like the white rabbit

out of wonderland. It all seems so mute.

Routine; every moment attached

to every moment like clothes on a washing line.

How she dreams of floating out through

the window in her fathers white shirt

seeing the city below her.

Anywhere but here;

A mantra for the rest of her life.

It will become only a sound.

A heavy tocking. A soft ticking.

Alice looking out the window undone.

alice…. alice…. alice..

She hears as she chases

A white plastic bag down an empty street.


She snaps out of a classroom coma.

“Alice, pay attention;

Why is your page blank?”

...It's the sky miss.

“Then imagine something in it”

She folded the page into an origami bird.

The teacher had an expression only teachers know,

Her face seemed to slowly change

like that of someone watched

after a moment of laughter,

whose smile lasts longer

than the light in their eyes suggested.

As if she had lost hope,

in something intangible as love,

she would think quietly to herself was,

ironically, the only solid thing

that existed in a world so cold.

Anthony Mason © 2012


We’re all looking for something

we never find

and settle instead

for love.

And so begins

the echoes

from a time before

as if it was the end of a year long war.

As if the moon was blown

like a clock-flower.

Here we are all nameless

and it is here that I lie

under the grave of the sky.

Snow falls in street light glow

or am I rising?  Time slows,

to watch outside the dream in bloom.

Your memories of me;

a chain of bells that echo.

I have taken with me; there is only

a trailing pattern in the snow;

perhaps that of a horse and cart,

a funeral hearse,

a child and sled;

you will not know.

My eyes; used catherine wheels

still nailed to the pole

are already photograph dead,

gone from green to sepia, like traffic lights.

There is a sound of bells in your sleep;

they trail from a funeral sleigh.

You follow to find a whole constellation;

you will not know which is me.

It is as if two lost bracelets had fallen in a river,

in the same place….

As if they belonged to the river..

somehow you just know.

You see them faintly glowing

but leave them there.

In another snow-globe geometry;

I am the message carried

from one street light to another.

I'm half present.

Abstract; as if sketched

into the centre of a busy scene.

I am a kind of urn full of eraser dust;

if I should spill I might become a picture..

A bird perhaps.

Strangers are notes in a silent

un-punctuated jazz, then noticing me;

fall into deep contemplation,

as though trying to place me from somewhere;

another dream perhaps. I don’t even know

what my own eyes are hiding.

It was imagined. recorded somewhere,

somehow re-rendered

in dreams, or maybe

just leftovers from a dream


A statue carved of pain.

The pain carved onto my skin,

so that with me,

as me,

the universe can analyze itself;

mirror on mirror.

I’m staring right into Medusa's eyes

and turning her into stone.

Anthony Mason © 2012