The Magpies

Wordle 265



Picci adapted from WIki

Listen to them when they meet:

It must pain one, all the wild

Doubt they both lean to repeat,

And with talk, tilt, till defiled,

Authenticity; they break

From all trace of joy or love,

And with gossip simply make

Affront to the Lord above.

My aim has been, as usual, to use the Wordle prompts in order, as given, adding as few other words as possible, and arriving at a rhyming poem.

For this one, however, the words reminded me of past and recent instances where malicious gossip has had profoundly harmful effects of wrecking relationships or friendships — sometimes with dire further consequences.

Why do people delight in picking other people to pieces based on part-truths, lies, or pure speculation? It would be wonderful if everyone adopted the rule that if they didn’t have anything good to say about anyone, they shouldn’t say anything at all. That reminds me of a story my mother would relate about a Scots lady who was renowned for complimenting everyone. The parson came up to her one day and said, ‘Mrs MacPherson, I do believe you would have something nice to say about the Devil himself.’ She thought for a while, and then said, ‘Weel, the laddie is awfu’ perrrsistent!’

© September 2016 Colonialist (WordPress)

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
This entry was posted in Birds, Poems, Rhyme, Wordle and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to The Magpies

  1. One should not fall prey to bad intentions for whatever it is worth. One questions the motive but one just cannot be sure. Better to be safe than sorry!



  2. Barb says:

    I’ve never heard magpies. I have friends who love the chatter of their chickens. They find it soothing in a community-sort-of-way.


  3. Jae Rose says:

    Two doesn’t always mean joy – I love your process notes. I may have overlooked them before for which I apologise. A superbly distilled and cutting scene..can hear those caws!


  4. 1sojournal says:

    I like the precision and economy of your poem. Also much admire your personal challenge. Laughed at the story in your notes, so true! I think the need to gossip is a clear result of an uneasy awareness of an emptiness within that must be filled. But, your words reminded me of the current political campaign in this country. Why would we even consider voting for individuals who are no more than gossip mongers?


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Debra says:

    The Wordle is so well done, Col. I also really feel the same about gossip. Putting other people down through sly and cleverly worded comments in writing or to others is destructive, and I find it sad that so many people don’t even know how to have a conversation without peppering it with gossip. Not all gossip lands in the “malicious” category, but I think I prefer the attitude and habits of the Scots woman. That’s how I’d like to be remembered.


  6. I like the Australian Magpie better, much nicer colouring.


  7. annell4 says:

    I stand in a different place, and don’t think all gossip is bad…but of course, bad gossip is bad. It’s just a different perspective. But I certainly agree with your Mother if you have nothing good to say, say nothing. Nice write, (I am amazed that you set the bar so high and make it so difficult for yourself.) Well done with all the restrictions. Magpies, those rowdy fellows!


    • colonialist says:

      One certainly can’t tar all gossip with the same brush. And my mother’s dictum is admirable in theory, but awfully hard to translate into practice!
      Thank you for the kind words. I do find the challenge of doing it ‘my way’ is stimulating as an exercise in writing — as is flash fiction.
      Magpies have a bad press. For really rowdy creatures, the Egyptian geese or hadeda Ibis make them look silly.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pussycat44 says:

    The magpies remind me of my Mynahs who, while waiting to be fed by me, would chatter away. I miss the little buggers.


  9. disperser says:

    Well, this article has some suggestions

    But I lean more toward this explanation:
    “People who don’t feel good about themselves temporarily feel better when they judge others negatively. When people can’t generate interesting discussions based on knowledge or ideas, gossip can rouse people’s interest. People gossip in order to hurt those whose popularity, talents, or lifestyle they envy.”

    . . . in short, because most people lack the very traits they say they admire.

    Liked by 1 person

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