When I began researching to write “Leo,” the idea of hiding behind lies emerged primarily from the version that ties Leo to the lion Hercules had to kill as one of the Twelve Labors. Although the Pyramus and Thisbe story, the fertile ground for one Romeo and Juliet, had its merits, the idea of a fearsome beast that terrorized the region, killing all, actually hiding behind this false image of ferocity intrigued me. No, it’s nowhere to be found in the mythological tales, but the idea of the lion’s skin, impervious to all weapons save its own claws, made me think about the skins we wear, like masks, that appear to be impervious to the sticks and stones, but can be easily pierced by our own feelings of inadequacy. So, rather than let the constellation guide me to a reminder of great strength and terror, I found the Cowardly Lion staring down from the April evening sky.


vincent h. anastasi (2019)

Has anyone known the terror of infamous fame,
Of being afraid of nothing, of being found out?
Though everyone believes the roaring and quakes at my name,
This skin’s not impervious to the sharp blade of doubt.

Oh, oh oh, oh oh, oh, oh
These hands around my throat
Won’t let me go, won’t let me go

Has anyone felt the guilt of velvety paws
That ravages like a lion, that haunts like a ghost?
Though I seem stronger and larger, I’m a threat without claws
I wrestle with a champion undeterred by my boast.

Oh, oh oh, oh oh, oh, oh
These hands around my throat
Won’t let me go, won’t let me go

In the cold of the cave where the truth suffocates
This hole has become my tomb (REPEAT)

(With the bridge sung at the same time)
These hands around my throat
Won’t let me go, won’t let me go (REPEAT to fade)

Published by thedeepened

I am a lover of words - the way they sing together in neat or sprawling lines upon the page, conducted by the great wordsmiths of all time. The way a sudden turn of phrase or surprising combination of sounds resonates with the deep within me, causing pause: moments of reflection and appreciation that transcend the superficial babblings and paltry visions of the infantile. Here at the deepening ground, it is my intent to make time and space for the reflection, appreciation, and creative imaginings that sustain the human soul.

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