Sunday, November 24, 2013

635 : The Observer

Sunday Whirl (Wordle #136) presents a list of words
that we must incorporate in a writing piece.  

The words this week are:

habits, create, however, virtue, regard, gap,
cycle, undoing, lessen, choice, gathering, suffering

In a week where Australia has been found to be hacking 
the Indonesian president's wife's phone, this seemed topical.
But spying, of course, comes in many guises.

The Observer.

Please, please
Don’t call it spying.
Call it 
Information gathering
And regard it 
As a virtue,
As a choice we make
To know our neighbours,
As ourselves.

Through their thoughts
On the side,
Is one of those habits
That is hard to stop
That is hard to drop
And it’s good for us to know...

We rationalize.

One man’s virtue 
Can be another man’s 
Attempts to lessen
To reduce the gap, 
As it were,
Between what is said
And what is meant
Can lead to suffering
If what you learn,
The truth of the matter,
© J Cosmo Newbery 2013
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  1. Spying. "Gathering market research." I worry that this is the pastime of the insecure, the seekers of ghosts where there are none.

    What if the truth hurts? You wanted to know; you took the risk, for good or ill. Most of it is, instead, insignificant minutiae. Voltaire was right: "Il faut ciltiver notre jardain."

    Peace and joy!

    1. But the other garden's weeds are so much more interesting!

  2. And we never have to rationalise 'good' behaviour.

  3. People can rationalize anything when they need to. I didn't know about the hacking of the Indonesian President's wife. Will have to look that up to see what was discovered!

  4. Ha! I remember a neighbor across the street when I was young. The curtain was permanently askew because of her peering out to see what everyone else was doing up and down the block!

  5. Spying on other people is a despicable habit no matter how it is rationalized. It is a sickness of the mind.

  6. We rationalise that's for sure..i am losing faith in ever having a private moment again..and i'm president of nothing..

  7. ha. truth does hurt...or can..i dont know that we travel in truth too often...we are too concerned with how the other person feels to be completely honest with them...which makes it hard to know reality when no one tells the truth...

  8. "Information gathering" - made me laugh, although it is a serious subject.

  9. My grandmother was a great one for watching what the neighbors were up to....and it probably was a good thing...but I didn't like her to do it...

  10. since even our yahoo or google accounts are perhaps hacked randomly, I guess we are in the same boat, more or less.

  11. Privacy is becoming obsolete in this technological age...very clever usage of the words for your poem!

  12. What clever euphemisms are trotted out when discovered. The eavesdropper never hears anything good about him/herself.


  13. Technology has left no secrets for us...Very well portrayed...

    let him grab the world

  14. The truth can hurt . . . sometimes we are better not knowing.

  15. Interesting read. I like the impact of the closing lines.

  16. Voyeurs often get more than they bargained for. There is never an easy explanation for what happens at the house next door. Your ending is perfect, spot on. This is a great write, Cos. Incidentally, I've named a character in my ongoing collection of short stories for you... except the person's full name is Cosmic!

    Sorry I've been absent lately... depression, yikes, back now! Thanks for a great piece. Amy

  17. Is you life more interesting than mine? I think not, so I don't spy, however I do observe. As writers we must otherwise how can we write? Just don't get caught!
    The present Australian government showed it's ineptness by not having a private conversation with the Indonesians and offering to share information. They might learn the lesson one day somehow but somehow...I think not!

  18. Sometimes it's cute...I remember those grandmas leaned forward on the pillows in the open windows 'gathering information', the bench by the entrance filled with 'long ear' and 'big eye'...seems nothing changes in this wild wild world...

  19. For some reason I got the image in my brain of a photograph of a clandestine meeting between a man and woman and the photograph is in the hand of a spouse...not pictured. Yikes! Maybe I watch too many movies. Nicely done J Cosmo. My grandmother used to say, "the truth hurts", but it always sounded malicious coming form her.

  20. I think it is called trawling on the internet..where trolls try to get a profile on a person...they have buckleys with most poets whose poems if taken as reality would
    classify them as schizophrenics LOL

    1. I don't know any poets with multiple personalities. :-(

    2. How would you know if you did?

    3. Bond James BondNovember 26, 2013

      Of course, once you know someone's listening you can start putting out disinformation. The Oz hackers shold have been suspicious when Mrs Yunoyono changed her hold music to 'We're happy little Vegemites'.

    4. I'd know because they would argue with themselves.

    5. A Billy Goat (gruffly)November 26, 2013

      We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

  21. Wonderful poem, and so timely.

  22. J, the last stanza is super and so true.



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