Occasionally, I take a introspective assessment. It is not a place I want to dwell. For all I portray to the world, there are many insecurities. When it comes to relationships with the fairer sex, I’m almost painfully shy until I know someone well, and how does one get to know another well when painfully shy? God bless my wife’s patients.

Prompt #10 for Writer’s Island is “Secret.”

by Mike Patrick

Flickr image by Givman

There are some things a man won’t ask.
The fear of rejection ranks too high.
In our fear, silence becomes a refuge.

Instead, we worship from afar,
choosing to live in a fantasy world,
leading only an empty existence.

We push through life with bluff and bluster,
feelings squelched deep within
where there is no fear of their escape.

We bear our cursed secret with honor:
better loneliness than ridicule or rejection,
but we dream, and we wonder . . .
oh, we wonder.

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23 Responses to SECRET

  1. vivinfrance says:

    Oh how sad. I love the loose form of this – it fits the mood so well. I’m not sure that squelched fits with the rest of the language – there are so many expressive words that you could use there, eg repressed, stifled,inhibited…

  2. Pat Cegan says:

    We wonder…..sometimes (often) the fantasy is better han the reality. At my age, I prefer a for-sure fantasy! Don’t have the courage to walk that path again! Let’s keep our secret! lol
    hugs, pat

  3. redroom10 says:

    Wonderful stuff..heartfelt and true..nicely written 🙂

  4. You nailed this one. So many would identify with it.

  5. It is so difficult to be shy. My mother was painfully shy and I watched her really struggle with the loneliness it caused her.

    • Mike Patrick says:

      I think being raised on a farm, with the nearest kids our age a couple of miles away, had a lot to do with it. Friends we had were close friends, the ones we went to a tiny school with. I don’ t know if I was ever comfortable once we were bused to high school. I believe it is why I like the blog and comment form of communication. Although I have no desire to be anonymous, I use my real name, but it is not the immediate, face-to-face communication. A blog is bliss.

  6. This made me sad, Mike. It’s too real and works in both directions. Nicely crafted.

  7. As an aside, I was at my 50th (!) High School reunion this weekend. There is a point in life when we start to just accept who we are. I saw it in most of the women (Catholic girls’ school) this weekend and heard a lot of people say something like, “We are who we are!” It was a breath of fresh air.

    • Mike Patrick says:

      I spent over half my life in the persona of a cop, and I suppose I was a pretty good one, but it was far from who I am. I guess we put on the faces we need to survive.

  8. dani says:

    it’s amazing how many people i’ve met online in the past year or so who admit to shyness, but we’d never know if they didn’t tell us. excellent poem, especially touching ~

    “better loneliness than ridicule or rejection,
    but we dream, and we wonder . . .
    oh, we wonder.”

  9. I love how you admit a man’s vulnerability here, even to self-expression. It’s simply insecurity, but that alone keeps so many men in a corner, yearning…

    I hope the “rejection and ridicule” to which you refer on the blog is in reference to this poem – and not the comments we offer! I love your stuff! Amy, and here is mine, darker:

    • Mike Patrick says:

      I welcome your comments, Amy. Writing is absolutely fair game. We write for readers, and the comments are our only indicator that we struck our mark. The shyness is only in one-on-one personal relationships, I’m very capable of making a fool of myself at a party.

  10. this is just beautiful..sad but beautiful…eliza keating

    • Mike Patrick says:

      Thank you for the comment, Eliza. It gave me the opportunity to visit your blog and read, Morrigan. I’ll be haunting your blog for a while, mining more wonderful ideas.

  11. Kim Nelson says:

    I haven’t a shy cell in my body, and this piece helps me empathize. Perhaps your choice of career was a gift that offered a mask behind which you could interact.

  12. David King says:

    Fine post. This had the ring of truth, something everyone can identify with.

  13. shanegenziuk says:

    A great description of the difficulty in connecting with other. I’ve found that it gets easier the older one gets, to the point where I’ll now say anything to anyone and not care if they reject it or not.

  14. earlybird says:

    So vulnerable. I particularly liked the idea of pushing the feelings down so far ‘where there is no fear of their escape.’

  15. I’m absolutely crazy about this one. It is everything poetry should be – totally from one’s heart but something everyone can relate to. A wonderful glimpse inside. And that is always a gift. Thank you.

  16. powerful talent..
    keep it up.

    love your blog, your poetry is impressive!
    Make a contribution to us today, the collection is to be closed within 24 hours.
    Thanks, we value your support. xxx

  17. Jingle says:

    wise words…
    I can’t agree more with the way you view secret in life.

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