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This will be the poetry area.  Some will be happy and make you feel good, others will make you think, some may provoke you to take action of some kind. If you would like to contribute some of your own, feel free to share by sending us some of your own writing.

~ adapted from a poem by Charles C. Finn

Don't be fooled by me.
Don't be fooled by the mask I wear.
For I wear a thousand masks, masks that I am afraid to take off, and none of them are me.

Pretending is an art that's second nature with me, but don't be fooled, for God's sake don't be fooled.

I give the impression that I'm secure, that all is sunny and unruffled with me, within me as well as without.
But don't believe me, please!

My surface may seem smooth, but my surface is my mask.
Beneath this lies no complacence.
Beneath dwells the real me in confusion, in fear and in lonliness.
But I hide this.
I don't want anybody to know it.

I panic at the thought of my weakness and fear of being exposed.
Thats why I frantically create a mask to hide behind, a nonchalant sophisticated facade, to help me pretend, to sheild me from the glance that knows.
But such a glance is precisely my salvation, and I know it.
That is, if its followed by love.
It's the only thing that will assure me of what I can't assure myself.
That I am worth something.

But I won't tell you this. I don't dare. I'm afraid to.

I'm afraid your glance will not be followed by acceptance and love.
I'm afraid you'll think less of me, that you'll laugh at me and your laugh would kill me.
I'm afraid that deep down I'm nothing, that I'm no good, so I play my game, my desperate game with a facade of assurance without, and a trembling child within.

And so begins the parade of masks. And my life becomes a front.
I idly chatter to you in suave tones of surface talk.
I tell you everything that is really nothing, and nothing that is really everything, of whats crying within me.
So when I'm going through my routine do not be fooled by what I am saying.
Please listen very carefully and try to hear what I'm not saying, what I'd like to be able to say, what, for survival I NEED to say but what I CAN'T say.

I dislike hiding, honestly!
I dislike the superficial game I'm playing, the phony game.
I'd really like to be genuine and spontaneous and me but you've got to help me.
You've got to hold out your hand, even when its the last thing I seem to want.

Only you can wipe away from my eyes the blank stare and breathing death.
Only you can call me into aliveness.
Each time you're kind and gentle, and encouraging, each time you try to understand because you really care, my heart begins to grow wings.
Very small wings, very feeble wings, but wings.

With your sensitivity and sympathy, and your power of understanding, you can breathe life into me.
I want you to know that.

I want you to know how important you are to me, how you can be the creator of a person that is me if you choose to.
Please choose to.
You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble.
You alone can release me from my shadow world of panic and uncertainty, from my lonely person.
Do not pass me by.
Please.....do not pass me by.

It will not be easy for you.
A long conviction of worthlessness builds strongs walls.
The nearer you approach me, the blinder I strike back.
I fight against the very thing I cry out for, but I am told that love is stronger than walls and in this lies my hope.
Please try to beat down those walls with firm hands, but with gentle hands - for a child is very sensitive.

Who am I you may wonder. I am someone you know very well, for I am every man you meet and I am every woman you meet.~

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.  
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Poetry-Don't Be Fooled By Me Charles Finn
DON'T BE FOOLED BY ME ~ adapted from a poem by Charles C. Finn Don't be fooled by me. Don't be fooled by the mask I wear. For I wear a thousand masks, masks that I am afraid to take off, and none of them are me.
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