Gossip, hearsay and other untruths

‘don’t believe everything you hear, take it with a pinch of salt, halve it, dismiss ninety percent of it, shave a little off the sides, tidy it up a bit, stand back, look at it objectively – then you might find you have something which vaguely resembles the truth’


The cannibals are gath’ring in the street,
the hungry glint of scandal in their eyes,
to pick the bones of gossip’s juicy meat.

Rife rumours that secrete a scent so sweet
their nostrils flare, anticipate the prize.
The cannibals are gath’ring in the street,

no time now to be docile or discreet,

condolence; empathetic thin disguise
to pick the bones of gossip’s juicy meat.

No matter that the meal is incomplete,

who needs the finer details to chastise.
The cannibals are gath’ring in the street,

impatient for the frenzy, shuffling feet,
their sharp carnassials ready to incise,
to pick the bones of gossip’s juicy meat.

The truth flees now on skeletal stripped feet
while marrow runs in gutters laced with lies.
The cannibals are gath’ring in the street
to pick the bones of gossip’s juicy meat.



Filed under Villanelle

5 responses to “Gossip, hearsay and other untruths

  1. Sound opening quote – like an epithet, summing the topic before us, though in a much more light-hearted manner than the work that flows after it. Very visceral descriptions that well emphasize the dark discussion, though shadowed tones of the wretchedness that can indeed be the whispers and the lies. That we can all associate with it, understand it from experience at some point in our lives, only serves to make it more disturbing. Great word choice – and the repetition pounds this one home. Lovely villanelle my dear Julie!

  2. Thanks so much Chris. The opening quote was a very short poem I wrote a couple of years ago, I just thought it might work well as an opener here.

    This is a subject I feel very strongly about. I’m appalled at how some people are always ready to pounce on any negative tidbit they might stumble across, be it in a personal scenario or on a more widespread scale, with no thought about the damage and hurt it may cause, so this me having a little rant. Cannibals just seemed to fit the bill.

    I might do One Shot again tonight, I have missed you all.

    • Agreed. I think a great many would share the strong feelings on the topic…it is a wretched thing to bear witness to. Disgusting trait in people, truly. I think a little rant is more than entitled…

      And it would be good to have you! Especially since, I don’t know if you’ve followed all the announcements lately but…this may well be one of the last One Shots. This weekend, at least, is the last One Shoot…

  3. Brendan

    Here in Florida, it’s been the media/social network frenzy over the Casey Anthony trial; in England, it’s the phone hacking scandal; both are exempla of vicarious sinning, reveling in naughtiness while letting someone else get fed to the fire. All pretty cowardly, and pack-minded, and small. But in the backaased abacus of earthly things, the bottommost feeders will always get paid the highest fee … Poets must be worth zillions in the Otherworld.

    • Aah yes the parallel universe where we get paid to make a living from our art. I do wonder though if monetary reward devalues the artistic satisfaction…a girl’s gotta eat though…and buy shoes haha.

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