Truth and Lies

In this age of uncertainty a lie
gains traction, travels around the world
in a click. We must learn how to listen,
recognise honesty, know truth when we hear
it spoken, for who can tell where each false
statement, each airbrushed photo will lead?

Ask yourself this; if leaders do not lead,
how can honesty serve them well? A lie
is more useful. Because they are false
and their agenda is to bend the world
to their own ends, are we surprised they won’t hear
our voices and when they refuse to listen?

Then there are some who force others to listen,
using hatred as a tool, inciting terror which leads
only to more terror. Each day we hear
news of slaughter and the victims who lie
dead in every corner of our world.
Note how, even as the bodies are counted, false

claims are made in names that also are false.
Terrorists, extremists; never listen
to what they say, because for them the world’s
a playground, people playthings, to be misled
in the pursuit of power. Better to lie,
they think, persuade the simple folk to hear

the narrative that serves their purpose. But here’s
the thing; lives are obliterated by false
statements, families destroyed, many lying
shattered on the ground as gunshots fade. So listen
to the whisper of truth. Find out where it leads,
refuse the fictions, reject the greed of the world.

That way you may begin to know whose world
you can trust, who stands up for the truth here,
today. Think too that it’s not just leaders
who deceive us all with statements that are false;
it’s the ordinary folk too. So listen
with care, ask who profits from the lie.

Vow never to lie, learn to hear what is said.
The world is filled with falsehoods so
listen to your conscience and follow where it leads.

Liz McPherson

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3 Responses to Truth and Lies

  1. Liz McPherson says:

    This was written some time ago but tragically seems more relevant than ever in 2020.

  2. Terry Wassall says:

    A powerful and timely poem Liz. I read in a book about how to write poetry that we should avoid ‘issues’ as topics because they can date rather quickly. The topic of this poem hasn’t dated sadly and probably never will.

  3. A very well-formed sestina, Liz, but even more important is its relevance to the state of things today. A really powerful piece.

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