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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Writer's Life (05/13/10)

TITLE: My Hidden Vice
By Melanie Kerr


You cannot tell, you cannot see
The passion that burns deep in me
There are no clues, no tell tale signs
No inward light that outward shines

With detailed care I work each day
I give no cause to look my way
I’m well turned out in uniform
I do my work and I conform

But danger lurks inside my head
That’s filled with words that go unsaid
This silent witness sees it all
The things that shock, disgust, appal

“Big Brother” governs all I do
And tells me “this - not that - is true”
But deep within, this voice inside
Says I alone must think, decide

The work day ends, it’s time to leave
Through quiet crowds I calmly weave
Cameras watch with eagle eye
The docile hoards as they tramp by

Once safe behind my own front door
Words from thoughts to paper pour
With curtains closed and lights turned low
I spill the secrets that I know

My thoughts are mine, my pencil moves
Away from ruts and others’ grooves
Time ticks on in minutes, hours
Sheets of paper words devour

My secret life, my hidden vice
It comes not cheap but with a price
I dwell in shadows, spurn the light
Aware one day I’ll lose this fight

One small mistake, one careless act
The odds against me always stacked
My words may burn, and I might too
But know this – all I wrote was true

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This article has been read 1311 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Maria Egilsson05/21/10
I'm reading layers of meaning in this. The hidden vice on a purely everyday level. Then the deeper meaning of censorship where brave writers pen words that reveal the truth to those who did not know.
Excellent piece.
Kate Oliver Webb 05/22/10
Very well done, and thought-provoking. You do use words well.
Beth LaBuff 05/23/10
This poem with it's mystery, is perfect in rhyme and meter. Excellent!
Gregory Kane05/23/10
I too enjoyed the sense of mystery. I would have liked to know whether there was some deeper purpose behind the private writing, so as to help put everything into a clearer context. But I suspect you rather enjoyed the ambiguity you created. Thanks.
Susan Montaperto05/24/10
Your poem was quite a mystery and a very interesting one at that. Thank you for being so thought provoking about your vice.
Timothy Klingerman05/26/10
It helped to know the background story. Thanks for giving the details in the Forum. Very nicely done.
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/26/10
Excellently written, leaving the reader with much to think about...and pray.
Ann Grover05/26/10
I enjoyed this immensely... and even knowing your chosen background, realize that we could live secret lives one day. Thought-provoking.
AnneRene' Capp 05/26/10
Oh, I loved the intrigue in this, the flow and the thought provoking depth behind the words.
Dianne Janak05/27/10
Congrats Melanie! Well done and very intriguing
Mona Purvis05/27/10
Melanie, this is so rich and filled with many levels. Almost like a painting that has to be viewed a layer at a time.
Just splendid. Professional.

Angela M. Baker-Bridge05/27/10
Congrats on an excellent piece! Without reading the background, I related to this because of my story. For years I wrote painful stories, poems, and journal entries that I had to destroy. Wonderfully expressed.
Patricia Turner05/27/10
I love the passion to write the truth no matter the circumstances or the consequences. Wonderful on every level. I long to know more but then a writer needn't tell all - let the reader imagine as you did. Outstandingly written and very, very well deserving of 1st place EC over all!
Joan Campbell05/28/10
Congratulations on 1st place, Melanie. I loved the 'gritty' feel you created with your words and rythme. Wonderful!