A Secret

September 30, 2007

Preparing some poems to send away, so doing a spot of redrafting. Working on the suggestions of lovely Steve Carol and also, the exceptionally kind Ivory (who spent an entire evening with me the other day, looking over the material) I’ve come up with this second draft of ‘A Secret’. If anyone has any thoughts on it, please feel free. I’ve cut half a verse, abbreviated to the subjunctive, no ‘ands’ or ‘buts’…not sure if it needs any more minor tinkering though…

A Secret

If I don’t write about it
maybe it will die. If I keep my
fire away from its
tinder of words, maybe
that will be enough. Except-

what if a secret’s more visible
when being kept in, the neon
blue limbs of jellyfish, illuminating edges
of inky black piers – like mermaids,
shining torches.

Perhaps it’s better to share
the secret, halve the light of the load,
smother the glow – I think
I’ll whisper this secret
into a dozen places, dig out-

a small pit of soil,
murmur it into
the dark balls of roots. I’ll
draw it on the back of a bus ticket,
tie it to the foot of a –

sleek, black duck,
migrating for winter.
This secret will be told
to the pale pink cushion of a clam,
the canal running murky

and littered with leaves like ears
to the interior
of a plug socket, but still
I’ll worry. Will these keep it safe?
or has the stone said something?

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