Telling Tales

Little secrets line the liar’s lair,
truths too inconvenient for the light of day to bear,
things that are better left unsaid
as if the silence unbecomes the deed.

Euphemism’s masks mutating wrong to right
and necessary evils stealing light from redundant truth.

Unknown unknowns and know unknowns
and need to know that shield the shame,
justice collaterally damaged dies unmourned.

But if you dare to doubt
and tell the tale
and tear the grubby drapes to taunt with light
the snarling ghosts of war,
you pay the price
you wear the traitor’s brand
you shiver naked in the coward’s cell.

And yet, once told, the tale cannot be stilled
nor can the hunting dogs be leashed
tracing the stench along the twisting schemes
baying the burning breath of rabid truth.

Siôn Aled Owen

“The background to this was my experience at school where the code of silence against ‘telling tales’ to teachers and parents served as a bullies’ charter and that set me thinking how the same principle operates in the area of child abuse and the ‘little secrets’ children are forced to keep. The parallels with the Bradley Manning situation are obvious.”

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