Sunday, October 9, 2011

Please Hear WHat I Am Not Saying - a poem








Please Hear What I'm Not Saying

 
Don't be fooled by me.
Don't be fooled by the face I wear
for I wear a mask, a thousand masks,
masks that I'm afraid to take off,
and none of them is 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 you the impression that I'm secure,
that all is sunny and unruffled with me, within as well as without,
that confidence is my name and coolness my game,
that the water's calm and I'm in command
and that I need no one,
but don't believe me.
My surface may seem smooth but my surface is my mask,
ever-varying and ever-concealing.
Beneath lies no complacence.
Beneath lies confusion, and fear, and aloneness.
But I hide this.  I don't want anybody to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weakness exposed.
That's why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,
a nonchalant sophisticated facade,
to help me pretend,
to shield me from the glance that knows.
 
But such a glance is precisely my salvation, my only hope,
and I know it.
That is, if it's followed by acceptance,
if it's followed by love.
It's the only thing that can liberate me from myself,
from my own self-built prison walls,
from the barriers I so painstakingly erect.
It's the only thing that will assure me
of what I can't assure myself,
that I'm really worth something.
But I don't tell you this.  I don't dare to, I'm afraid to.
I'm afraid your glance will not be followed by acceptance,
will not be followed by love.
I'm afraid you'll think less of me,
that you'll laugh, and your laugh would kill me.
I'm afraid that deep-down I'm nothing
and that you will see this and reject me.
 
So I play my game, my desperate pretending game,
with a facade of assurance without
and a trembling child within.
So begins the glittering but empty parade of masks,
and my life becomes a front.
I tell you everything that's really nothing,
and nothing of what's everything,
of what's crying within me.
So when I'm going through my routine
do not be fooled by what I'm saying.
Please listen 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 don't like hiding.
I don't like playing superficial phony games.
I want to stop playing them.
I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me
but you've got to help me.
You've got to hold out your hand
even when that's the last thing I seem to want.
Only you can wipe away from my eyes
the blank stare of the breathing dead.
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 power to touch me into feeling
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 a creator--an honest-to-God creator--
of the person that is me
if you choose to.
You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble,
you alone can remove my mask,
you alone can release me from my shadow-world of panic,
from my lonely prison,
if you choose to.
Please choose to.
 
Do not pass me by.
It will not be easy for you.
A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls.
The nearer you approach to me
the blinder I may strike back.
It's irrational, but despite what the books say about man
often I am irrational.
I fight against the very thing I cry out for.
But I am told that love is stronger than strong 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.

Charles C. Finn
September 196




10 comments:

Wonderingsoul said...

Dear Gail,

I remember reading this poem a while back and being struc so hard by it that I almost felt physically winded by it.

Thank you for posting it here.
I have no doubt it will understand many.

I'm thinking of you and hoping you are well.

So much love and respect.

x

Gail said...

WONDERINGSOUL - so good to see you here. I hold you so close in my heart and in prayer. I am okay, all things considered. I wish the same for you. I do with all my heart.

Loving you always
Gail
peace....

Just Be Real said...

Wonderful poem to share. I can certainly relate. Thank you dear Gail for posting. Blessings to you.

Whitemist said...

I understand the words, but not the act...
for in our weakness we are strong or rather God is.
and we are all so weak...

Lola said...

great poem, Gail.
Many thanks for this.
:)

Gail said...

HI JBR - so nice to see you and that the pom was good for you to read. :-)

HI WHITEMIST-JOEY-

Always love when you come by. And I am always fascinated by how this poem is received. Thanks for your input.

HI LOLA-
Glad you came by. Hugs to you and BIG BOY!!


Love to you all
Gail
peace....

Eileen said...

Great poem. So deep.

And it reflects my own feelings when I was a teenager. And even today at times I'll go through a spell like that.
And I do try to remember that so many others feel that same way, but, often, I let that slip my mind.

So, thank you for this.

'Hope you are doing well.
Love to you,
Eileen

Gail said...

HI EILEEN - ya, me too. I ebb and flow with the reality of this deep poem's meaning. phew. How's the new baby,,-Eoghen (sp)....does he live w/you
Love to you
Gail
peace.....

Andy said...

Dearest Gail,

What a lovely poem.

Gail said...

HI ANDY,

so glad u came by and u like the poem. :-)

Love to you
Gail
peace.....