Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The Lie

Now this one is profound - why, because it tries, and I repeat tries to tap into that sinking feeling we all get when we are being lied to to our face, and know it, and don't act upon it there in the moment. I do think there's a moral law to life and that we're birthed in order to draw as close to it as we can in our lifetime. I also know that lying is part and parcel of mankind's behaviour and something I am fully ashamed to admit I have stuck to in the past when I should have known better.

But, it's that feeling, that sensation if you like when the lie slaps us in the face, well that's what I've tried to capture in this piece which is based on what a student said to me as member of staff when I knew their opposite to be the truth. And so, I launch into an extended metaphor (a conceit?) in which the waves of disappointment and stricture break upon me threatening to drown me beneath their swell. I conclude this is a similar feeling to being 'played' by someone, that sense of hurt and powerlessness we feel when another human being makes us feel like dirt.

I don't like being lied to; I'm sure you resent it too. So why do we continue to do it? In short, weakness of character, for when it would be braver for us to stand up and be counted we often try to hide away in the shadow and the dark. OMG, we're back to ego and Self again, I really must write an extended poem about all that. For now, here's The Lie...

Someone lied to me today,
It wasn’t fun, it wasn’t play,
It just made me feel grey
When someone lied to me today.

I was feeling fine till then,
I was in my workplace den,
I was scribbling with a pen
And feeling fine, till it struck ten.

At that time I asked a question
Which I knew, with polite reply,
The pupil there in front of me
Would give, without being sly.

No career criminal this,
Nor gangster, dealer, crook,
But an adolescent who
Had always played by book.

Now, however, with straight face
The felon chose to tell
A fib, in its mind, nothing more
Than shallow seaside swell.

Without a blink or any twitch
The deviance from truth
Came forth from lips of softness
Uttering its quiet uncouth.

The lie was not a big one
No, no, miniature in size,
But it grew wide before me
When its teller looked my eyes.

And in those eyes, that’s where I saw
The shallow seaside swell
Recede a little, just a touch,
Then gather forth in tell – 

Telling me its falsehood
Telling me its story,
Telling with deceit and
Fabrication’s jackanory.

Breaking there upon me,
Pressed against the shore,
Sandy grit now blocking sight 
Of moment just before.

Still, I blinked through rainy tears,
Stood up, and asked again
Same question of trustworthy child,
Same answer came its ken.

Crashing down upon my body
Second wave took breath,
Plunging me beneath its water,
Suffocating death.

Somehow I broke the surface,
Gasped for air, and asked time last,
The same once more, the same before,
Dishonesty’s repast.

Now the swell had gathered,
Now it spun so wild,
Now its whirlpool dragged me down
When I still spoke this child.

The child never knew this,
They went their merry way,
Off to find their schoolyard friends
To talk, or else to play.

But something died within me
On that day when I was played,
A light went out, a dream was lost,
My future was delayed.

For I came here to help young 
People find a better way
Than I’d discovered at their age
When madness held my sway

I wouldn’t leave till every 
Youngster in my daily care
Held truth abundant over lying,
Best of that beware;

And so I do continue in
My hopeful daily round,
Though unlike former days this job
I’m now no longer drowned!

No comments:

Post a Comment