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I sat and listened.....

I sat and listened.....


I sat on the floor of the sitting room

as my parents and grandparents occupied the chairs.

I listened to their adult onversation

as they expressed themselves and their feelings.

A family gathering, sacrosanct and in

the confines of a secluded and safe environment.


I was at an impressionable age

trusting and eager to please.

I listened attentively to all that was being said

believing and accepting supposed truths.

It was my first taste of propaganda

as lies and prejudice were given full vent.


Earlier in the day two nuns had walked past the house

calling in at neighbours homes who were catholics.

Their mission was to collect money for the church,

for the work of missionaries and charity workers.

Within the sitting room a litany of abuse was spoken

as my grandfather spoke of a religion he detested.


It began with a rant which was virulent and accepted

as he said that catholics worshipped statues.

On and on he rambled about priests who

put the fear of God into their people and brainwashed them.

As his rant was spent he made his final pronouncement

Catholics venerated the Blessed Virgin Mary above God.


I heard this incredulous attack and no one objected to his words

I drew the erroneous conclusion that he was right.

Surely my grandfather would never tell a lie

as head of the family and himself a church goer.

The years passed and I realised that I had sat and listened 

to the voice of unbridled prejudice and a pack of lies


it was my first encounter with propaganda.

Later in life I converted to Catholicism

and have never looked back.


◄ Those Sultry Summers

Waking moments ►


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Reggie's Ghost

Tue 16th Apr 2024 17:51

Father Christmas, the Easter Bunny. My parents were equally as wicked.

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Manish Singh Rajput

Tue 16th Apr 2024 17:50

A finely constructed poem that draws full attention of the reader from the very first line. I believe that I've always been a good listener which makes me resonate with it. Thought provoking as Graham says.
Thank you.

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Graham Sherwood

Tue 16th Apr 2024 16:41

It is a very fine line as children are growing up to know when hoodwinking (used humorously) and lying need to become separate.

It's that time when children see through one's slight of hand tricks.

Sadly we are all guilty of knowingly/unknowingly giving our children one's direct point of view, whether they take that through to adult life or not.

I have always tried to steer clear of politics and religion for exactly the reason you state.

A thought provoking piece Keith! Thank you

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