Have you heard?
Idle banter, useless prattle
Blether, gossip, tittle-tattle
“Have you heard?”
“No, what’s the matter?”
Scuttle-butt and empty chatter.
Vacant news and hollow lies
Scarring friendships, breaking ties
Neighbours gossip, rumour mills
Seeds of distrust sown, great ills
Harvested without a care
People once who trusted, stare.
Curtains twitch and heads are turned
Lovers part and colleagues spurned.
As threads through which we all relate
Are severed by fear, doubt and hate,
Where honeyed tongues drown honesty
In stagnant mire of false decree
When speculation, most uncouth,
With hateful slander strangles proof.
Let voices soar, cry from the roof;
“Whatever happened to the truth?”