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Poisoned Pen by Mary Campbell

Article by Mary Campbell © 9 October 2019 .
Posted in the Members' Blog ( ).

Is it me or are we now becoming a nation of back stabbers? On Twitter every opinion is met with an outpouring of vitriolic attacks on the writer. The latest victim being the amazing teenage age champion of the world and outspoken climate change activist Greta Thunberg. There is no end to the hatred. Whether you are for or against the young lady, few can doubt her motives are to be lauded.

On Facebook trolls try to bring down influencers and others trying to court public opinion and followers. How easy it is to sit on one’s sofa in comfortable anonymity and string together unplanned and uncensored view-points with little thought for consequences, safe in the knowledge that there is no crime being committed.

Influential leaders and celebrities bandy about their ideals and warped manifestos without any kind of filter, wielding their power over the sponge like social media audiences that have come to believe that everything in print must be true. Wake up people! Paper never refuses ink and likewise online pages. Social media is as poorly scrutinised and policed as music and movie piracy. It’s a no holds barred forum for all that is fake and unverified. Surely there must be cause for making such writers if we can call them that, responsible for the influence they exert over others by taking them to task over the verity of their statements or the inherent danger they promote. Moral code and responsibility or accountability seem to be lacking in the new age of literary freedom and the people in power who should know better are often the worst offenders.

Social media gives rise to poisoned pen authors at alarming speeds and none more victimised than reality TV stars. While they choose to open themselves up to ridicule by stepping into the limelight, none are prepared for the outpouring of hate that often times comes their way. Sadly a number of tragic deaths in the industry in recent times have highlighted just how double edged a sword fame can be. Should something not be done about this?

As authors we are responsible for our work, good or bad and should be prepared for any back lash from the public assuming we are lucky enough to get published. But why then should’nt the malicious penmen of words sent out into the social media stratosphere become accountable too? Have we no duty of care to our readers regardless of the forum or topic under discussion?

The gift of words is not to be taken lightly. There are many of us for whom words are everything and we have come to love them like we would love our children. We take time to shape and mould our words, nurturing them onto the page and often times having to clean them up and try something new to get the best out of them. We must weigh up the consequences of our words carefully and think strongly before releasing them out into the world.

But now with so many forums crying out for an audience and a steady supply of good saucy hot topics for discussion, it seems all the world have risen to the challenge to become writers and critics and their writing careers however brief can be extremely impactful. The responses evoked immeasurable. At the stroke of a few keys or an ill-timed text both reader and writer can be irreparably assaulted. The damage longlasting and sometimes irreperable. To my mind everybody has a right to write but not everyone should.


With Seamus Heaney’s pen
I’m digging my own grave
Poisoning my followers
With vile prophecies and hate
Abusing all that’s literary
I craft each word with steel
Assaulting reader’s eyes
With my Nazi Fascist dream
This power makes me hungry
I burn the candle low
Exorcising all my demons
In the only way I know
For me there’s no redemption
I’m rotten to the core
This putrid slurry in my veins
Has nowhere else to go
It erupts from deep within
This vomit on the page
The taint of childhood fears
Reads of festered rage
Paper never refuses ink
And only you can halt
This crap that I keep publishing
It’s only you at fault
‘Tis my only avenue
To eradicate my pain
If you choose to buy my books
Your protests are in vain

Voyeurs one and all of you
Grappling in my shit
Excited at the gall I show
Epitomising filth
I suck your envy with derision
Your money stokes my fire
Dare you look between the lines
I’m drowning in the mire
Not God, but Satan’s gift
Guides my feverish hand
Would that I could change it
I’d be a better man
Fate has been my wild card
My past has come up Trumps
A meal ticket in my madness
And gold dust in my cuts
So I dare you knock me down
I’ve been trodden long before
Were I ever shown some kindness
Perhaps I’d have chosen another door
My sentence would be lighter
Softer lyrics in my rhyme
Perhaps poor, as yet unknown
But proud of what I write
So I’m tabloid worthy rotten
It’s you that made me so
The monsters that I gestate
Were fertilised long ago

©Mary Egan Campbell

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