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Brian Fiddler was a well known author. He was also a poet and recording artist.

He was introduced via Facebook to a photographer called Margaret Ponsford. Although not a big user of Facebook he was so impressed with her photography that he felt compelled to write to her. He had never done this before as he was the quiet type. Margaret wrote back saying how honoured she was that he had written to her. A few months later Margaret wrote to Brian again saying that she was having an exhibition in his town and would love for him to attend. Brian reluctantly agreed.

Brian didn’t go out much but when he did he always dressed in black and wore prescription sunglasses. He arrived at the entrance and noticed Margaret surrounded by people commenting and pointing at a particular photograph.As he made his way towards her, journalists and peoples heads turned and many of them made their way to him giving him accolades and requesting autographs and photographs. Brian cordially obliged, even though he hated it.

He introduced himself to Margaret and began to speak freely about the photograph. Their discourse was way above peoples heads so they were left alone. “I’m partially colour blind,” he told her. Margaret asked why he knew so much about the photograph. He explained that colour blind people have a better depth perception and better grasp of tones. The photograph was of a seagull at dusk flying over the sea at dusk. Because of the light the seagull appeared black. Margaret said, “People don’t know if it”s flying towards me or away from me.” Without hesitation Brian said, “It’s flying towards you.” Margaret asked how he knew. Brian replied, “Tone.”

As they continued chatting the conversation became more personal. “Do you have a partner, Brian?” asked Margaret. Brian replied, “No. I’ve been single since my divorce in 2002.” Margaret looked surprised and looked around the room. “There’s someone I’d like you to meet. She’s a teacher but wants to be a poet. Give me a moment.” Margaret went away and returned with a slightly plump lady. She said, “You’re Brian Fiddler. What a pleasure to meet you. I’m Annette.”

Brian and Annette began chatting while Margaret left them to it. Annette told Brian how frustrated she was being a teacher and desperately wanted to be a poet. “How about you bring me some of your work? I do poetry as well. Some of it rhymes. Some of it is abstract. I prefer abstract, particularly visual abstract.” Annette said, “That’s my favourite genre.” Brian gave her his business card and said, “Bring some of your work at the weekend and we’ll discuss it, eh?”  Annette was thrilled.

The weekend arrived and Annette arrived as  Brian was having a cigarette. “Don’t tell me you smoke,” she said jokingly. Brian smiled and said, “Well I can’t write all of the time.” He made two coffees and said, “Okay. Where’s this poetry of yours?” Annette handed him a manilla folder full of poetry. Brian sat and carefully read the entire contents while Annette sat nervously awaiting a response from a serious looking Brian.  When he had finished he handed the folder back to her. “That’s excellent work and ‘re not just saying that?” Brian said, “I don’t mess around with literature. Your visuals are fantastic. Come back next weekend and I’ll have you published in twenty four hours.”

Sure enough Annette turned up the following weekend and Brian went through the motions that he had done so many times himself. “Check your email tomorrow and you’ll be on Amazon.” Annette said, “Really?” Thank you so much.

Brian then said, “Do you know what I’d like to do Annette? Unlike me, you must know some people who  are interested in poetry.” Annette said, “I do.” Brian said, “I’d like to start a poetry club. Could you ask around and possibly find a venue?” Annette said, “I can do both easily. I know at least six wanna-be poets and I can get access to a classroom every Sunday. Leave it with me and I’ll get back to you.”

Three days later Annette phoned Brian and said I have eight people who have poetry that they would like to share and the headmaster said that I’m more than welcome to use the art room. It’s a perfect size.” Brian printed out a small set of simple rules for the poets. They would call themselves The Secret Poets Society and each week three different poets would read a piece and it would be discussed by the others.

On the first week the people were sitting around joking until Brian walked in, dressed in black and wearing his prescription sunglasses. He introduced himself and told the group that if they wanted to be published, he would help them for free. He then stood up and read the first piece to the group. It was called, “Whisper.”