Lisl Ponger

Still Life with Cheshire Cat, 2020 © Lisl Ponger

Even though life has become more restricted (masks), more still (lock down) it’s still life so let’s disappear and reappear with a Cheshire cat’s grin on our faces.

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Responses

I ADVANCED, UNMASKED

by Geoff Nicholson

Webster was dispossessed by life.
He saw the teeth behind the grin.
He saw the face beneath the mask.

Perhaps he also saw the mask behind the face.

Who was that masked man, anyway?

The Lone Ranger? Batman? Zorro? Guy Fawkes?

Or maybe not a man at all – Catwoman?

Not everybody who’s super needs to wear a mask –
Wonderwoman, Superman –
Is it because their faces are their masks?

And above it all the cat, the fixed unyielding grin, broad as a Cheshire Cheese, smiling and smiling and being a villain.

The mask fades, the grin remains on the bulletproof faces – Charlie Manson and Cassius Clay ….

The mask reveals the face, the face conceals the mask.

You breathe into the mask and the mask breathes right back at you.

Un ballo in maschera –
What a ball we’ll have when the masks come off.

And will we then show our true faces?
It seems unlikely.
We never did before.

And the cat gets down from the cold tin roof,
Curls twice about the house and stays wide awake all night.

Corona Capers No3

by Susan Brice

The Cheshire Cat sat on the mat,
hoping that curiosity would not kill it.
It stayed still and smiled and, in a while,
Alice appeared.
It got curiouser and curiouser
but the cat stayed still and smiled, like the Mona Lisa,
for it got what it wanted,
it was a boring life being a muse, and not amused,
but it was still life.

After The Exquisite Corpse

by Vanessa and Lewis (using a Surrealist collective writing approach)

A smiley headdress
Lights
The gaping
Clown

Behind the grin

by Del Barrett

Behind the grin
We’re drinking gin
With tonic from a tin
Committing sin
Heard nothing from Lyn
Gladys or Gwyn
Missing our kin
Where’s my twin?
Overflowing bin
So silent, you can hear
The dropping of a pin
No longer thin
With a double chin
Terrible skin
Bruised my shin
Can’t go for a spin
Or eat at the inn
Pretending we’ll win
Behind the grin