Thursday, July 23, 2015
"The answer," says the spirit mask,
"Is in the gaps between my teeth,
In the black hole of air I breathe,
Beat back with my wings. Do not ask.
I once saved the world with my eyes,
Unblinking for a thousand years,
So not one face could disappear.
I said, 'While I see, no one dies.'
One day the sunshine grew fainter
And I could not see moon or men.
I blinked and prayers filled my beak.
Oh, you, you spirit mask painter,
You must make the world new again.
All my powers grow vain and weak."
My daughter Julia invented the word Omta
to name these masks, a combination
of the Buddhist mantra Om, and Ta, which
is British slang for "thanks."