Have you heard, have you heard?
Bluntly, stumbling over each word
What-what? Tell me, please tell me!
Breathless, bending forward eagerly
You won’t believe what I’ve found out!
Boisterous, in a voice twice as loud
Hurry, hurry, I can’t wait to hear it
Beseechingly, in a real curiosity fit
Bodies lean close, heads tilt even closer
Stories unfold, rumour machine’s ferocious

The malu-man’s fish stinks to heaven
But gossip’s stench seems even worse
It reeks of fresh and old blood and the sea
But the rumour’s smell penetrates it all
The fisherman’s wife has knit a net of tales
And a scandalous fish escaped the web

Isn’t it bad, say, isn’t it terribly bad?
Boldly, implying the other person’s mad
Yes-yes, of course, you’re oh-so right!
Blankly, distracted by a daring sight
I always knew, told you from the start!
Belligerently, piercing the confidant’s heart
We all thought so, it was to be expected
Believing, search for truth is neglected
Tongues click in disgust, brows rise to the sky
Rumours are working though no-one knows why

The elolu-man’s vegetables are wrinkled
But the well of gossip will never dry up
He’s tipping the scale in his favour only
Just like gossipers manipulate as they will
The vendor’s daughter has sowed vegetables
And with them has been reaped a tragic tale

Gossip leaps from tongue to tongue
Like a hungry stray dog hunting
Equally immersed in filth

Gossip creeps from house to house
Like a greedy fat crow menacing
Equally egoistic in its nature

Gossip runs from person to person
Like the Chikungunya disease
Equally devastating results


Devika Fernando

München, Germany

  • Artist

Artist's Description

Another poem to be included in my ‘Sri Lanka’ series.

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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