I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

23 November 2013

Secret Messages

We wrote them in lemon juice
on white paper.
The juice faded quickly
to invisible. We children knew —

When you received
a blank sheet of paper,
it was a secret message
from one of the gang.

To read it, you had to
iron it — yes, like laundry.
The heat made the letters appear,
turning them rusty brown.

But it all depended on
having a wooden pen
with a steel nib — as we did —
to dip in the lemon juice.

What do kids do now
when pens like that
are never seen?
Now they use computers.

Now, to make 
a secret message,
hit ‘Select All’
and turn the text white.

The person on the other end
has to know. They re-select, 
turn it back to black,
read it. Perhaps reply.

But that’s the problem
with secret messages.
Sooner or later you do have to
read them. And if you can ...

In my day you burnt the paper, 
or chewed it up in little bits 
and swallowed it. You can't do 
things like that to a computer. 

Poetic Asides November Poem A Day Chapbook Challenge: day 21, Secret messages, second attempt.

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