General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 8 May 2021/9 Flower
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Display of Aztec masks made in school

School POEMS inspired by Aztec MASKS

Masks are a highly popular source of ideas for creative work in the schools where we run workshops on the Aztecs/Mexica (main photo: Freegrounds Junior School, Southampton).
Poet and poetry tutor Maureen Almond has kindly shared with us examples of poems written by a group of Year 6 children at Cragside Primary School, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where she worked as poet-in-residence. Using a couple of Mexica/Mixtec masks as original inspiration, Maureen asked them to consider how in many ways we all wear masks...

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Aztec Mask

I am locked away by noble blood and my high rank,
I need to be free locked in this cage,
King by blood but not by heart,
It is like a face or mask,
Truth or a lie,
Life or a dream, how will I decide?

(Robert Adamczyk-Hedley)

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Eagle when sparrow
Lion when beetle
Wolf when cowering dog

Owl when sheep
Elephant when mouse
Shark when hermit crab

Hyena when zebra
Dragon when dolphin
Cheetah when three-toed sloth.

(Calum Binmore)

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The Rainbow Mask

Red for anger, flames and fate,
Gold for royalty, deceit and pride,
Grey for stone cold, thunder and hate,
Three masks, three faces,
But which one is me?

(Catherine Jones)

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The Masked Me

Every day I wear a mask to hide my deeper world
The mask is plain and reads ‘carefree’
But that’s what I’m not and never will be
Because if I was, I wouldn’t be me

My mask is deceitful and full of lies
People ask if I’m alright
My stomach lunges
“I’m fine” I say full of put-on joy
I walk away in pride.

(Grace Nicholson)

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The facial eclipse

Here the mask stands brave and tall
Here the mask stands ahead of all
Here the mask stands never falling behind
Always keeping the future straight to mind

But maybe just below the deep hollow mask
Is someone who hates all things new
It shrinks away from brand new tasks
Maybe inside it is ahead of just a few

Everyone has many separate masks
This is just one for this task
This is just one that I seem to portray
This is just one that never seems to go away
I know deep inside there are few
That are deeply confident in everything they do
The few that rarely use masks to hide themselves deep away.

(James Green)

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We use our masks everyday,
to lie, to laugh, to cheer and pray
A space, or a place where we can rest
And not to tell the world outside
Of the things we don’t do best.

Tigers, lions, happy, cruel,
evil, joyful, sorrow
All placed in front of what our
true emotions follow.

Our lives rely on these...

(Max Gallagher)

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The Mask

I wear a mask
Not big not small
But it hides the inner me
I shine on the outside
I’m glum on the inside
I pretend to walk along without a care in the world
But secretly I know
I know about the mask that covers me
Maybe I’ll never get it off
I’ll never fling it far away into the sea
And shine without a feeling
I won’t get to be ME!

(Milo Dibdin)

by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore

Our Mexico masks photo gallery

Maureen Almond’s website
Cragside Primary School website
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