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Secrets ~ Micro- Fiction and Poetry

John is a poet and short fiction writer who enjoys collaborating on stories with other writers, and partaking in challenges.

Wrought Iron Gate-Keep Out! Image by Peter H from Pixabay

Wrought Iron Gate-Keep Out! Image by Peter H from Pixabay

Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides.

— Andre Malraux

Inspiration For This Work

Each week friend and fellow writer, and poet Brenda Arledge provides us with a word prompt to help inspire and encourage us all. I always look forward to finding out what word will be the next prompt. In week 31 we were challenged to write something inspired by the word "Secrets."

This is what Brenda wrote:

"Word Prompts Help Creativity ~ Week 31 is an article to help inspire our creativity.

I choose a single word prompt encouraging others to write a poem, a short story, a song or any combination.

The only requirement is to relax and have fun writing."

This week I've chosen the word 'Secrets.'

A secret is something that is kept hidden from others. Sometimes it's a good thing while other times it's bad."

My three pieces of creative writing all have "secrets" as the theme and all follow the same interpretation, in fact, should probably all be read as part of one whole piece, or just different ways of expressing it.

Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not, and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.

— Henry Wordsworth Longfellow ~ Hyperion

Image by Here and now, unfortunately, ends my journey on Pixabay from Pixabay

Image by Here and now, unfortunately, ends my journey on Pixabay from Pixabay

The man who can keep a secret may be wise, but he is not half as wise as the man with no secrets to keep.

— Edgar Watson Howe

The Secret ~ a Micro- Fiction Story

I emptied the last scoop of soil into the hole, filling it, then patted it down and set the shovel aside. Placing a planter box full of colourful daisies on top, I felt satisfied - at least for now. Hopefully, the secret, my secret, would now be buried forever. Well, at least from prying and inquisitive eyes, but from my mind - not likely.

Sometimes I wish I had never been born with a conscience. How much easier would life have been? Just do things, good or bad, and then forget about them and get on with life as though nothing had happened.

Well, I wasn't like that. I held myself to account for my actions, and this one was a biggy so it wasn't likely I'd be getting over it any time soon. No matter how deeply the secret was buried in its little metal box, or how brightly the daisies bloomed.

Interrogation Room: Image by Peter H from Pixabay

Interrogation Room: Image by Peter H from Pixabay

If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.

— George Orwell - 1984

A Cross I Can Bear ~ a Dramatic Poem

I answer your questions with questions,

but the secrets I keep locked inside.

even if threatened with torture

those secrets I'll fervently hide.


Blackmail may work on the guilty

whose conscience eats at their soul,

but I am at peace with my secrets.

to protect others is my only goal.


Try your best to break my composure,

but you'll just be wasting your time,

for I won't reveal those secrets,

and I won't be committing a crime.


My will-power is strong and I won't concede,

pain and torture a cross I can bear.

For I will always stand for the truth,

I've no place in the old Devil's lair.

Image by efes from Pixabay

Image by efes from Pixabay

The best way to keep a secret is to pretend there isn't one.

— Margaret Atwood ` The Blind Assassin

S.E.C.R.E.T.S. ~ an Acrostic Poem

Somebody told me a secret

Eventually, they needed to share

Carefully, I would protect it

Revealing it would be unfair

Even if threatened with prison

Treason is not something I do

Secrets are special bonds of trust

(Just kept between me and you)

A secret is a kind of promise - it can also be a prison.

— Jennifer Lee Carrell

© 2021 John Hansen

Comments

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 28, 2021:

Rodric, I doubt I have ever had a more satisfying comment on anything I have ever written, so thank you. I love what you said about my poems being “like lyrics to a song waiting to be heard” and i am sure hearing them through a web reader would certainly enhance that with rhyming poetry especially.

Oh, yes, I have had a few secrets over the years that have had to be suppressed and never revealed for one reason or another, so I based these poems on those..but I have never been threatened with torture to reveal them.

I would love to reveal what was in the box buried in the micro-fiction story but, alas, that would spoil the allure and intrigue. Any one of your guesses could be right…or not. Sorry.

Oh dear, that was an embarrassing situation involving your two year old. My mother tells me that I also said things like that to people as a child..so glad I can’t remember doing it. That is certainly a secret better kept unsaid. Thank you again for reading, and may your eye continue to heal.

Rodric Anthony Johnson from Surprise, Arizona on September 28, 2021:

John, that micro-fiction was awesome, leaving the reader to wonder what's under the daisies. I want to speculate. I want you to tell me! I went back to read it again just to make sure I did not miss something. I thought of a beloved pet, replaced due to death or murder--even a human! I thought of stolen goods a loved one or jaded past buried and destroyed. I enjoyed that story.

Your poem always reads like lyrics to a song waiting to be heard. I have a web reader read my pages to me mostly because my eyes hurt having to look at words often because the screen is too bright due to my eye lens replacement. When my reader reads your poems it is like a song. I love the rhyme. It stresses me to stick to form and rhyme, but it makes the poem so much better when it occurs.

Your poems make me want to sing them! Your acrostic poem seemed as if there is some tidbit you thought about while writing it. I could be wrong, but it advertised the trust people want when sharing something on a few get to know.

"A Cross I Can Bear" besides being lyrically entertaining with its meter and rhyme seemed like another display of you. Of course, I haven't had the pleasure of meeting you, but your words over the years make me think of you as someone who can hold secrets if needs be. I suppose we all can if the need arises.

This part:

Blackmail may work on the guilty

whose conscience eats at their soul,

but I am at peace with my secrets.

to protect others is my only goal.

Is what we do for our friends and family. Some things are best left unsaid, even if it is the truth. My two-year-old at the time told a lady she was ugly and fat. We were at the market and I think I left out of embarrassment. That was not a secret, but I would never have told her those things as if a secret I kept.

Now, of course, things left unsaid that will hurt others need to come to light. An evil secret is a cankerous sore. They exist though.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 28, 2021:

Thank you, Nithya.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on September 28, 2021:

I enjoyed reading your micro-fiction and poems. A great response to Brenda's word prompt. Loved the acrostic.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 26, 2021:

Hello Vidya,

I appreciate your generous comment. I enjoy writing flash fiction and micro-ficition but don’t do it enough, usually only for a challenge or contest. I am pleased you liked the poems and quotes too. Have a great day.

VIDYA D SAGAR on September 26, 2021:

An excellent response to Brenda's word prompt, John. I loved the micro story and the poems. The quotes are are also great. The micro story is fascinating. It makes us wonder what is in that box. Nobel people who bear pain and torture to protect the secret and their friends are hard to find nowadays. Lucky are those who do not have any secrets. Great work John, thanks for sharing.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 25, 2021:

Thank you MG, yes, I agree that everyone must have at least one secret even though they may not readily admit it. Much appreciated.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on September 25, 2021:

That's a nice article John; everybody has secrets and you have written a nice piece and beautiful poetry.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 25, 2021:

Hi Linda, I am pleased that you enjoyed reading my take on the "secrets" prompt., especially the piece of micro-fiction. Have a great week.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on September 25, 2021:

I love your compositions about secrets. I enjoyed reading them all, but the first one was my favourite. It's very intriguing!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 25, 2021:

Thank you for your insightful comment, Li-Jen. I can't hide anything, can I? Not my personal style anyway haha. Yes, I do believe in fighting for the truth. Glad you liked the daisies metaphor. Have a great weekend.

Li-Jen Hew on September 25, 2021:

"No matter how deeply the secret was buried in its little metal box, or how brightly the daisies bloomed."- You have demonstrated the determination to hide the secret well here, with the daisies metaphor. Yeah, the world might be a happier place if we didn't have conscience haha. I can spot your personal style in your poem which is what I admire. For instance, the fight for truth which is aligned with your values I assume.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 25, 2021:

Thank Flourish. You are right, I need to write more flash fiction. I always enjoy it when I do.

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 25, 2021:

It's impossible to pick a favorite, although I will say you need to write more flash fiction.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 24, 2021:

Thank you for reading my contribution, Rozlin. I am glad you enjoyed the read.

Rozlin from UAE on September 24, 2021:

Wonderful response to Brenda's prompt, John. I enjoyed reading. Thank you for sharing. Take care.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 24, 2021:

Thank you so much Peg. To keep people wondering is the response I wanted, after all the topic is secrets lol.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 24, 2021:

Thank you Misbah. I am glad you enjoyed these pieces and the quotes. Oh dear, I forgot about our secret. Please keep it to yourself.. hehe. Take care my friend.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 24, 2021:

That’s ok, Glen. I am interested to give that a read anyway. I will delete it afterwards. Cheers.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 24, 2021:

Thank you Linda for your generous words. I like to think my writing is still improving. I’m not sure what secrets my muse wants hidden but I get the hint there must be something. Sorry about spoiling daisies for you. I hope the move is going smootlhly.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 24, 2021:

I enjoyed your micro-fiction story and your poems. That story at the top will have people wondering about what is buried in that box for a long time to come. Ha! The quotes also added much to your article.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 24, 2021:

Brenda, firstly, thank you for putting this prompt out there. It took me longer than some people, but it really inspired me. I appreciate your analysis of each piece as well. Will I add anymore to the first? I’m not sure. Maybe in time, but then some secrets are better kept hidden. Glad you enjoyed the quotes and video too.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 24, 2021:

Hello MsDora, you are right. Better not to have secrets in the first place.

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Rebels. on September 24, 2021:

John, this is an outstanding response to the word prompt, "Secrets". I enjoyed reading both of your poems and I loved the microfiction story. I also enjoyed the quotes you shared. Wise ones!! Great! Everything was super fantastic. Just one question: As the quote says, "If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself." Is it possible, just wondering. As it is already between you and me. Right? Lol!! ;)

I loved it. Thank you for sharing and sorry for being late on this one.

Take care and have a great day!

Blessings always!!

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on September 24, 2021:

Wow, John. your Muse really liked this topic (makes me wonder what she's keeping hidden). This is one of your best (and that bar has been set quite high). I didn't think anything or anyone could ruin daisies for me, but now I'll look at them with a bit of suspicion (hahaha). Excellent work, sir.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on September 24, 2021:

John

I love your introduction & can't wait to read what your muse has conjured up for us.

This quote is awesome:

The man who can keep a secret may be wise, but he is not half as wise as the man with no secrets to keep.

— Edgar Watson Howe

Your story, "The Secret ~ a Micro- Fiction Story" definitely has me intrigued.

What did he do that is so bad he had to bury it?

Message from this part:

We can hide our secrets but it doesn't make them go away.

Your poem, "A Cross I Can Bear ~ a Dramatic Poem" which reminds me of a prisoner at war.

He won't devulge any information & will gladly take the pain of torture to protect others from harm.

On the other hand, it could be the same person who buried the metal box.

He's willing to do anything to protect his secret and his friends.

He's at peace with the decision he's made so no torture or blackmail will succeed.

His will power is stronger than you think.

In Your poem, "S.E.C.R.E.T.S. ~ an Acrostic Poem" you tells us about a bond of friendship that is strong.

One where you will always keep his secrets, no matter what.

It will remain between the two of you.

John...you desribe secrets perfectly in this acrostic poem.

The value of a true friend.

Your story gives new meaning to the phrase, "Pushing Up Daisies."

You should continue on with that one.

I can feel quite a story brewing.

Your second piece shows how powerful one can be when he's determined to not share any secrets.

All of these are fantastic & paints the meaning of Secrets in our mind.

Your quotes are very powerful & wise.

Great video too.

Message in video ☆ No more secrets...I'll tell you what you want to hear.

I'll post a link in the word prompt article.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 24, 2021:

I like the messages in the poems. Better not to have secrets. The quotes are also powerful. Thanks.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 24, 2021:

Hello Chitrangada. I appreciate your kind comment, but what is beneath the daisies must stay a secret I am sorry. Thank you for reading.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 24, 2021:

Hi Liz, in fact I am also wondering what may be in the box. Thank you for reading and enjoying these pieces.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 24, 2021:

Thank you Bill, but don’t let my story put you off daisies. They are happy flowers.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 24, 2021:

Hello John!

Excellent response to the word prompt, secrets. I liked both your poems, and the micro fiction very much. Now, I am tempted to know, what’s beneath, under those daisies.

Brilliant work, as always. Thank you for sharing!

Liz Westwood from UK on September 24, 2021:

I am intrigued as to what the metal box contains. I thought the acrostic was cleverly done and, as ever, I enjoyed your first poem.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 24, 2021:

I always thought daisies were the happiest flowers. I'll never look at them the same way again. :) Your talent and creativity are a gift for those of us who frequent HP. I thank you for all of us.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 24, 2021:

Thanks for reading, Ravi. I appreciate your comment, especially in regard to the acrostic poem and particular line. Cheers.

Ravi Rajan from Mumbai on September 24, 2021:

Amazing poems John. I loved the acrostic one. It is deep and resonates so much with the reader . As you have rightly mentioned secrets are special bonds of trust, an awesome sentence to think and ponder. Thanks for sharing.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 24, 2021:

Srushti, what can I say? Your wonderful comment humbles me. I do try to make my writing unique so I am glad you feel my pieces come to life. Blessings to you.

Srushti Gamit on September 24, 2021:

I am stunned by your way of writing John!!

You definitely have unique way of writing things, you add your soul and little magic to each piece to make them alive.

I enjoyed reading this wonderful piece.

Thanks for sharing

God bless you

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 24, 2021:

Thank you, Rosina. So glad to hear you enjoyed both the prose and poetry. It is a real compliment to know it made you feel good.

Rosina S Khan on September 24, 2021:

Wonderful prose and poetry hiding secrets. Great! Loved it all. An excellent response to Brenda's prompt. Keep it up, John. I feel so good reading your article this afternoon. Thanks for sharing.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 24, 2021:

Hi Pamela, thank you for the kind words. I will have to leave you wondering what is under the daisies I’m afraid. No, torturing won’t get it out of me either. Take care my friend.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 24, 2021:

Hello Rinita,

I left it up to the reader to try to imagine what is buried in the box. I’d love to hear where people’s imaginations lead them.

I am glad you liked the poems as well, and yes, because the word “secrets” has an odd number of letters it doesn’t suit rhyming poetry. I could have written a piece of free verse- but didn’t want to haha.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on September 24, 2021:

The short story and the two poems are excellent, as always for you. Of course, we wonder what is buried under the daisies.

I really like that first poem, as you are willing to be tortured and not reveal you secret. The acrostic poem is more of t he same message, and it is excellent too. This is a most enjoyable read, John.

Rinita Sen on September 24, 2021:

Your secrets are safe in your writing. No one can ever find out what was in the box haha. Brilliant pieces John. And I like how you added another line to the acrostic poem for completion. Mark of a true poet, bound yet free.

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