Can You Keep a Secret?



Given the writing prompt of 'secrets' what immediately comes to mind for you? There may well be a variance of response dependant upon personal experience, some may even be triggered by the mere suggestion of keeping secrets. Certainly during my time working with Primary-aged children we discussed the differences between keeping good and bad secrets. Though I wonder whether any secret is actually good to hold onto - I'll explain a little further.


The line from the famous magpie rhyme comes to mind - "Seven for a secret never to be told." A line that conjures up mystery and begs the question of why such a secret would never be shared? In such a context, all manner of illicit or unsavoury secrets might well be the sort to weave their way into the story that followed. Perhaps too, we might consider the secrets that span beyond the individual, the ones held close by secret societies of the highest circles of government - deemed necessary for the greater good of their citizens. Envelopes strewn across a desk stamped 'sensitive,' 'confidential,' or 'top secret' - all the stuff of thrilling tales of espionage.


But such deception and intrigue is beyond most of us. So when I though about this writing prompt, I started to explore the sort of secrets that we all have at one time or another. For don't we all have secrets? Sometimes we might let their odd detail slip in games of truth or dare, or in conversations with friends when both wine and words might flow too easily. How many of us have one or two friends that have to remain as such because they might know too much?


I joke on my Twitter profile that 'I have a not so secret desire to be a mermaid.' Family, friends and followers of my writing will know what that entails. Yet there are other secrets that I keep more closely hidden away and I am sure I am not alone in this. A few secret regrets, nagging questions - the 'what ifs' and 'maybes' of life. There are the secret desires and wishes too, the ones that may never fully take shape as it would involve too much courage for them to do so. The sort of courage that left me along with my youth and the exuberance that is slowly dimmed by life's experience.


I'll open the door and let a crack of light hint at those secrets now though. This is my poem 'Soul Secrets,' which I wrote this month during the Twitter challenge of #7DayTale - secrets theme. A seven day challenge, one tweet per day, to complete a story or poem that matches the theme / writing prompt. If you have a secret or two stored away, you might recognise them as you read my poem and perhaps it might even prompt you to start thinking about sharing them too.


#7Day Tale - Secrets: Soul Secrets


I keep my secrets safe - that's true

The ones that matter most,

Hidden deep beneath the skin

Unspoken, except within

The suspended beats of time,

Hinted at in the dead of night

When the house sleeps still around me...


I keep my secrets safe alright,

Where no-one has a key,

Far from where a twist of fate

Would have opened another gate,

To see me dancing beside the daisies

With a carefree glance

At chances spun on a seeping sunrise...


I keep my secrets safe from harm

Where they are free to breathe,

Take time to rest, be calm, be still

Silent in the space until

The smallest trigger trips them up,

Awakens and ignites

The embers of a glowing flame...


I keep my secrets safe - maybe

Though they are hidden well,

For while they're tucked away by me

There's so much more that they could be,

If given chance to fly, to swoop,

To soar without restraints, held tight

By strings of expectations...


I keep my secrets safe - I think,

At least, they're hard to see,

A secret wish has lost its glow,

Of places I shall never know

Slipped further out of sight,

Beyond horizons, sinking

And all the while thinking, what if...


I keep my secrets safe - adrift,

Cast free from my reality,

To ebb and flow on wave's desire,

Or catch regrets in flaming fire,

But always out of reach,

Just beyond my grasp,

Where driftwood takes my dreams...


I keep my secrets safe - not true,

They are not safe from me,

For secrets linger in the soul,

Lay woven deep within the whole

Inextricably linked, not forgotten

Simmering the rotten at the core

Until such secrets are no more...


Karen Honnor - August 2021


(You can read my July #7DayTale on the theme of Music, as a guest blog piece on Lily's Writing Life - 'Let the Music Play.'


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