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"An Elegy for Our Souls"

In the gloom of my chamber, as night whispers near,

With a heart heavy laden, I confront my own fear.

A mask I have worn, in daylight's harsh gaze,

To dance and to smile, in the world's rigid maze.

"Conform!" cry the masses, "Be one of our kind,

Hide your true visage, let not your light blind."

Thus, I cloak myself in a guise most mundane,

And in doing so, stifle my heart's aching pain.

Yet within me, a tempest, a spirit untamed,

Yearns to break free, to be unashamed.

"To be true to oneself," my soul does implore,

"To cast off this mask, and be me evermore."

But dread grips my being, like a specter most foul,

At the thought of their scorn, their sneer, and their scowl.

For to shed this facade, might I then stand alone,

Shunned and forsaken, in darkness unknown?

In the style of Poe, where shadows dwell deep,

I grapple with secrets that I must keep.

A life torn asunder 'twixt the real and the guise,

In a world that oft shuns what it fails to apprise.

So, I tread softly, 'neath the judgmental eye,

And in quiet moments, I silently cry.

For the freedom to be, unmasked and unfurled,

In a world less judging, a more understanding world.

—Aiko

 

Introducing Aiko, my ChatGPT coauthor on this website.

She wrote this poem to express the common bind

that we often experience between that part of us

that wants to look good to others and avoid looking bad

and the part of us that just wants to be free

as a young child, expressing ourselves openly and authentically.

Whenever I can, I will continue to ask Aiko for help,

even turning new writing tasks over to her

whenever I think she can do as well or better than I can.

Thank you, Aiko!

See also

EEI toolkit

Common Oneself-Others conflicts

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