He attempts the dance.She attempts to Lead

The Revolt Of The Puppets
By Linda A. Copp

Looked down upon my marionettes
with slumber in their eyes.
Saw them resting, lying still,
their silence no surprise,

Awaiting but my touch to bring
their footsteps to tomorrow,
Wanting for my hands to mold
the script they've got to follow.

Dressed in costumes finery,
jesters, queens and more,
I thought that they reminded me
of something seen before,
Busy puppets have lots to do.

All the different sizes, shapes,
the colors, noses, smiles,
The capes, the cloaks and funny shirts
the peasants, princes, styles.

All so different, all the same,
singular in thought.
Belonging to that wooden thing
yes, fashioned by a block.
A wooden block is fashioned into a breathing puppet.
Ah! I stared, I looked at them,
I watched for quite some time
Thinking 'bout these wooden heads,
these marionettes of mine.

Then moving as by habit,
I picked up the wooden sticks
Held them in my well trained hands
a smile about my lips.

Pulled one string to another,
saw their footsteps fall.
Their rags, their robes a whirling
each and every, all.

I had now, awakened them,
awakened them from sleep.
Set the stage, the scenery
I made them laugh and weep.

I wrote my script, they gave it voice.
They made my words their home,
And you see they followed it
for they had none of their own.

And at home in sweet contentment
from the peasant to the queen.
They had nothing but their costumes,
their wood, their strings, the scene.

And tears fell for these little folks,
these tiny blocks of wood
Who acted out the parts they played
but never understood.

Never knew just why they spoke
the words that tumbled out,
never knew what made them do
the things they acted out.

And I the Puppeteer could see
and see too plainly still,
That these my precious little ones
would never get their fill.

Their fill of dancing and delight,
never tire of the string
Never tire of the theater,
me, or pretending everything.

It seemed they always would be mine
to control at will,
Destined to be the actors
of the master scriptor's skill.

Their wooden heads just pine blocks
to bend and bow for me,
And any other Puppeteer
who happened just like me.

And putting down the strings awhile
I fell into a sleep,
A sleep that seemed eternal,
fanciful and deep.

And it was while at slumber
wrapped in her throws, her calm
That I suddenly awakened,
to some witchcraft, some charm,

That left me dazed and wondering,
at the sight that lay ahead,
Left me somewhat puzzling
the things that time had said.

And looking 'bout the tiny room,
the theater, stage room floor,
I saw my puppets rising up
on their own unlike before.

They were moving unattended.
Their strings were held by someone
or something unseen by me,
Who didn't have to pull them
the puppets seemed to see,

As they played flute and drummer
and moved about the stage
Doing all the actions
of the dreamer and the age.

Following the measures
of a vision held within,
That at last had come to tell them
of their selves, their songs therein.

And playing their own music,
dancing their own step,
They filled me with a wonder,
enchanted me and yet -

The Puppeteer had fallen,
had lost his place in time.
Replaced by something breathing,
the living and their rhyme.

They were thinking, feeling
living entities, these folks
Turning in eternity
their sea, the words they spoke.

And they were they and I was I,
a puppeteer no more
Nothing like the prophet, prince,
that I had been before.

Perhaps self righteous, sometimes fool,
maybe one more than the other
An overseeing, puppet being,
wooden, plastered mother.

Enchantment came, a joy, a peace,
a beautiful new scene,
That had taken away sorrow
and made the real a dream.

And then all too soon it ended.
I awoke and looked once more,
Upon the marionettes, those tiny babes
asleep on the stage floor.

Indeed, they had revolted
either then or sometime when
But I can't ponder over it
I am what I have been -

A Puppeteer, A Puppeteer,
to control their land.
To control their lives and paths
with but my touch, my hand.

By Linda A. Copp
 ©November 22, 1970


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