Identify Me by Helen Sherwin

Fear of Man (Identify Me)

The keys tap (as the sleeper stirs)
Hastily splurging thoughts into words
Defacing the whiteness
Stealing the purity from the blank page
And identifying me

It’s a revealing of the secret kept
The needs of the writer met
As the heart is unravelling
The truth becomes concrete
And relief comes quickly

But just as fast a fear brews
Panic grasps at the air tube
The sleeper is no longer sleeping
Everything is awakening
And a choice dawns

A desire to hide from the second soul
Covering up the almost told
Snatching it from its birth
The efforts fade unborn
And identify me.

I guess in a way “The Fear of Man” was part of the inspiration for The Rough Writer’s Collection – a place where you don’t need to fear what others think. The poem is about the fear involved in letting another person see your writing because they may judge it, or rubbish it. It speaks of the relief that can come when you finally do decide to share a project with someone else. But at the last moment the fear creeps back in encouraging you to keep it hidden a while longer.  If you’re not careful you become not identified by your work (for better or worse) but instead by your fear of man.

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