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Put On A Happy Face

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Below is the poem entitled Put On A Happy Face which was written by poet John Heck. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Put On A Happy Face

Put on a happy face
when I release taut fingers 
from your pallid cheeks.
Promises and empty lies 
are sported clichés
that spoil a silenced vocabulary.
A quieted understanding we've
vocally committed to;
barks a matted-jackal’s constitution -
perceiving morose consequences
of blind subservience.
Put on a happy face
and fetch me dinner.

Ever flickering nuances,
once ignited a Brigadooned morning sunrise - 
where woolen-blackened comforters 
backlit our sordid differences.
Now, our prom attire has been burned.
The carnations, the orchids - have perished.
The beguine hasn’t begun.
It has ended. 
Finalized and fortunately forgotten.
A pale orchid-colored icepack,
for your left eye,
would match your handbag and shoes
quite nicely.
Put on a happy face 
and lint-guard the 
disheveled derelict.

Forever falling forward, we've suddenly landed.
No need for saline solution anymore;
I cry when I hap hazardously laugh.
A silenced vocabulary realized the words 
tryst and trust was separated by one letter;
why or you…or me, for that matter
completes the unfinished symphony.

The disenchanted beguine 
floats into a tear-filled 
Cinderella dank nightfall –
as I stare into the cornea of a 
brittled pink carnation. 
My hand, like a fringed strop,
needs to remove the strains of 
a “Mea-Culpa” leitmotif and flog
the iniquities of one’s self.
Put on a happy face, goddamnit
and tell me
why you’re gone!

Toasted marshmallows is a perfume 
created for misguided Girls Scouts.
Fervent mongrels who refrain from selling 
photo-pressed carnations and 
poisonous orchids - dumbly courtsey
when idiotic
adolescent daydreams prevail upon
the blatantly obvious.
Thirteen stitches 
and a numerous array
of callous welts 
reprised our endless beguine.

Passion is said to perish in embers.
One last charcoal 
for us
to eye and envy.
A burnt carnation.
A scarred, trembling orchid.
The smoldering remains we'll inhale -
when this lost and lonely
soldier removes the 
smudged greasepaint from
his broken fingertips and eyelashes
to painfully and pitifully

put on a happy face
just for you.

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  1. Date: 5/6/2013 9:35:00 PM
    I am facinated by the wording of this write John; I sense you are quite a serious person; hoping things are improving for you both these days Joe..)

  1. Date: 9/1/2012 8:39:00 PM
    Yes, "put on a happy face"! A pleasure to read, John. I just passed by to let you know that I sent you a Soup Mail...but I coudnt resist to read this beauty. Ruben.

  1. Date: 8/20/2012 4:23:00 PM
    A very sad and emotional write with this wonderful poem you have penned. love phyl

  1. Date: 6/22/2012 12:06:00 AM
    Congrats on your win...nice piece!

  1. Date: 6/21/2012 3:49:00 PM
    John congrats on your win..David

  1. Date: 6/20/2012 11:26:00 PM
    John, it was a pleasant surprise to see you on my winner's list. Hmmm, maybe I should duck because this tremendous poem only placed 4th. Thank you for supporting my contest!

  1. Date: 6/20/2012 11:41:00 AM
    John, somehow I have a smile on my face, probably because I got to read this sad beauty from you.. So cool to see you on the list tonight! Congratulations on your win, love Wilma

  1. Date: 6/20/2012 10:31:00 AM
    Congratulations on your well deserved win!

  1. Date: 6/20/2012 9:50:00 AM
    such a sad one here. Such a talent you are! BIG Congratulations on your win in Chris' contest. love and hugs, Catie :)

  1. Date: 6/20/2012 9:35:00 AM
    Wow, John! Once I started reading this, I just couldn't stop-- you have this way of writing that just takes your readers for one memorable poetic ride. Then your last lines always leave an impact. I read Carrie's comments below and I couldn't agree more! Super congrats on your win, and I hope you continue to post poems here.

  1. Date: 6/20/2012 8:07:00 AM
    What a wonderfully unexpected surprise to see you here, John!!! It has been so long since we have had the pleasure to read a poem from you....and here is an example, in this emotional and compelling story of loss, another outstanding poem, and another reminder of why you are still one of the best of the best poets! I hope this means you are back for awhile. (and hope everything else is well, in your "real" life!!)

  1. Date: 6/20/2012 6:39:00 AM
    Congratulations on your win in Chris' "A.gain" contest John. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 6/11/2012 4:57:00 AM
    This is great... I really enjoyed it. Nice to get such a blessing in such a beautiful monday afternoon.

  1. Date: 12/31/2011 4:42:00 AM
    Congrats on the feature, John and have a success filled New Year. Vince

  1. Date: 12/27/2011 7:28:00 AM
    Congratulations on your well deserved featured poem this week Mr. Heck. I wish you the best on your writing endeavors in the new year. Love, Carol

  1. Date: 5/25/2011 8:02:00 AM
    cont...I enjoyed the two of you fellows, (Catie too)....discussing your work...and discussion where you get your fodder for poetry. I too, will read something in the news, or wherever...and somehow the idea for a poem begins. I knew exactly what you meant about the diner story. So fun listening to you John! Congratulations!! IF>>>(A BIG IF) I were ever to do well in Drakes future contests ...I would hire you to read for me...LOL !!!!!!! Baaaakk baaaak..call me Chicken Little! lol)

  1. Date: 5/25/2011 7:56:00 AM
    Before I go on to chat....I must comment on this amazing poem....how many unknown faces behind closed doors you speak of here?...would be a daunting (and a haunting) number, I do believe. You write with such a gifted, and heavy hand..so amazingly!! And yet, last night you chose a sonnet to read on the radio!!! You are full of surprises!! It was a blast to listen to the two of you! I would be such a 'chicken little' to read a poem..my voice would crack like giving a book report in grade school!!

  1. Date: 5/15/2011 8:28:00 AM
    Still as brilliant as ever, challenging me to read deeper and deeper on every reread of your work. A poignant poem and so very enjoyable to read. Well done. xoxo