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Smokescreen and Mirrors, a Poem About Deception

John is a long-time poet, short fiction, and article writer. He loves story-telling and also has a Certificate in Permaculture Design.


Smokescreen and Mirrors

The world is so full of illusions

That challenge the mind to be free,

Distort everything we believe to be true,

it’s smokescreen and mirrors, you see.

What you observe is not always clear,

Reflections can often deceive.

The face in the mirror is not always yours,

And different to what we perceive.

Love at first sight is most often a myth,

First impressions are usually wrong.

Beauty, remember, is only skin deep,

Let your intuition hold strong.

The media outlets aren’t truthful,

In fact they are pedlars of lies,

So make sure you look at all viewpoints

And do all you can to stay wise.


Magicians are true entertainers

Who take their craft to extremes.

Their illusions amaze and confound us,

In magic they make us believe.

Politicians are just simple tricksters,

Who divert our attention with ease.

Hollow promises fill their election campaigns,

We can’t see the forest for trees.

The Internet is so wide and vast,

Evil scammers lurk in its depths.

Always be vigilant of their sweet talk,

And avoid their cat fishing nets.

The world’s like a “mirror maze” sideshow,

It’s a challenge to find your own way.

One wrong turn after another

Can leave you confused, lost, and dazed.

360 degree mirror booth.

360 degree mirror booth.

So, don’t take a detour away from your path,

Smoke and mirrors are only a ruse

That try to disguise what’s wrong in the world,

And blindfold your eyes from the truth.

Keep your eyes open and use common sense,

Don’t believe all the falsehoods you’re told.

The path to enlightenment’s not far ahead,

Be discerning, unflinching and bold.

Falsehood and Deception

I am sure the majority of people in the world are honest and truthful, or at least strive to be, but so much of the information we are fed by the government and media is based on lies. Even our history books only reveal the things our relevant countries want the general public to know. Many attrocities and things that would cause embarrassment or dissention among the population have been hidden.

Our governments often have ulterior motives for promoting lies or half truths, or trying to direct our focus elsewhere away from a situation, or policy that may embarrass them or they would rather slip through unnoticed.

As a thinking population we need to be ever vigilant and be willing to question everything - not just accept it on face value.



© 2019 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 24, 2020:

Hi Shaikh, thank you for reading this. Unfortunately, this is the situation in many countries around the world, not just India and Pakistan.

Shaikh Arshad Javaid on August 24, 2020:

Special for the situation we now facing in our countries like Pakistan India its seems our heart speak as u said via the poem.


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 24, 2019:

Thank you for the great comment Chitrangada. "Fake News" is a very relevant and concerning problem in our current times and it takes a lot of common sense to weigh up what is right and what wrong. I always appreciate you taking the time to read what I write.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on April 24, 2019:

Excellent and thought provoking poem and the theme, so truly applies to the present times.

A special mention must be made to the fake news, all over the media and the social media. We must use our own common sense, before getting carried away or believe any of them.

Your pictures are indicative and wonderfully selected.

My appreciations to you, for composing a poem, on a very relevant subject.

Thanks for sharing!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 22, 2019:

Thank you Dana. Yes, we need to be discerning in every situation. Lies and deceit are all around us.

Dana Tate from LOS ANGELES on April 22, 2019:

Enjoyed the poem. The world is full of deception, sometimes its hard to separate the real from the fake. This is where discernment becomes so important in order to see past the smoke screens.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 20, 2019:

Thanks for visiting my poem Genna. You are right, magicians are exactly who they claim to be. They baffle us with illusion but it is for our entertainment. Others try to deceive us for their own gain and greed. I like that “You can’t cheat an honest man of character.”

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on April 20, 2019:

There's so much I liked about your poem, John. The irony is that magicians are exactly who and what they say they are. The scammers from various walks of life are just trying to sell us something that is false, preying on naiveté or perhaps the fact that standards have fallen in disconcerting ways. Maybe the saying, "You can't cheat an honest man," should be amended to, "You can't cheat an honest man of character."

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 19, 2019:

Hello Li-Jen. I am happy that you enjoyed this poem and it’s message. Hope all is well with you.

Li-Jen Hew on April 19, 2019:

Hey Jodah, I like the message you put across in your poem. It's nice that you covered different areas such as magicians, politicians and internet scams. Enjoyed the poem. Thanks.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 17, 2019:

If anything I write can be called “wise” MsDora, I have succeeded in doing something worthwhile. Thank you for reading and your constant support and encouragement.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 17, 2019:

Your poem could also be captioned "Word to the Wise." It teaches a life lesson we would all do well to heed. It is powerful. Thank you.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 17, 2019:

Thank you Nithya, yes we need to be wise and vigilant so we can hopefully make the right decisions.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on April 17, 2019:

A great poem with a message that we should remember. We must use our common sense and consider all viewpoints and then come to a conclusion.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 16, 2019:

Thank you Perspycacious. Glad to set those bells and shekels ringing.

Perspycacious on April 16, 2019:

Oh, you rang the bell on this one, and I can hear the shekels clinking, too.

Elijah A Alexander Jr from Washington DC on April 16, 2019:

Gypsy Rose Lee, that is what my hubs are about, how to find that Yellow Brick Road and the reality we find at its end.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 16, 2019:

What a lovely comment. The Emerald City and the Yellow Brick Road....lovely images. I am so glad you enjoyed this Poem.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on April 16, 2019:

A fantastic magical poetic journey that speaks the truth. The photos are great. It makes me think that we are living in a fictitious Emerald City and must find the yellow brick road to take us back to reality.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 16, 2019:

Thank you, PoetikalyAnointed. Glad you enjoyed the poem and liked the photos. Cheers.

PoetikalyAnointed on April 16, 2019:

Yes Sir!

I concur and couldn't have said it better myself. I love the pics of illusion-amazing.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2019:

Hi MizB, yes you are certainly correct in regard to religions and the churches also being far from honest. I could list here just some of the ways presently and throughout history. Look at all the multi-millionaire Christian evangelists, the Catholic church covering up paedophilia in their ranks, people burned as witches etc.

Yes, we do all need to seek our own truths. Thank you for your generous comment.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on April 15, 2019:

As the other commenters have lauded you for this work, John, so shall I. I think you give us fair warning in verse. But it isn't just the media and the government who have lied to us. Churches, synagogues and mosques with their so-called "men of God" have been just as dishonest. If not, so many denominations and religions would not exist. So we each need to seek our own truths. Good poetry, great truth, John.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2019:

Thank you for reading and for your kind comment, Karen. Much appreciated.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2019:

Yes Peggy. I believe most people enter politics for the right reasons believing they can make a difference but they soon come to realise they have to bow down to the party politics and lose to a large extent lose their own voice.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2019:

Hi Kamkar, thanks for the kind words. Good luck with the elections there.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2019:

Thank you Pamela. So so true.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2019:

Thank you Lori. “Horse pucky” ..Love it! Oh, certainly we can be gullible, and the politicians etc know it.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2019:

Yes, Shauna. You said it. We need to use our minds for what they were designed for.. thinking and reasoning. Cheers.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2019:

Thanks for the cute verse Ruby. Glad you enjoyed this.

Karen A Szklany from New England on April 15, 2019:

Very crafty story pantoum and pix!. Thank you for sharing, Jodah/John.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 15, 2019:

You showcased many areas of which we should be vigilant and try to keep abreast of the real truths that are out there. It is sad that people are not always truthful. Politics is certainly one prime example. I believe that some people enter politics for the right reasons, but when their prime focus becomes being reelected time and time again, I think many lose their way. Their prime aim suddenly centers on themselves in place of their constituents.

Kamkar sanjukta on April 15, 2019:

It's true, nowadays it's too hard to believe anyone or anything. Great poem, very contemporary.

By the way, elections are going on right now in India.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 15, 2019:

This poetry and you sumation couldn't be more true. We certainly cannot trust the government or the news on TV or in the newspapers. Checking the facts for ourselves from many sources is the smart thing to do. Great wrting today John!

Lori Colbo from United States on April 15, 2019:

First of all, I love your photos.

I think we are a gullible lot at large as far as believing politicians and pundits, who are pretty much full of horse pucky, as my dad used to say.

And I think it's human to be deceived by life and our own perceptions of who we are.

Another winner here, John.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on April 15, 2019:

This is a great reminder to not believe everything you hear or read, John. More and more, we need to strengthen and nurture our minds so they are our own and not susceptible to those who want to manipulate.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on April 15, 2019:

I once was a politician junkie

Who fought hard for what I believed

Now I just sit back and listen

To their lies and deceit

Oh once in a while I write about Trump

But everyone loves him, even though he's as dumb an a stump

I loved your poetry and the message.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2019:

Yes Val, I know you can relate to this as many of your recent poems touch on a similar theme. We seem to be of one mind in regard to this subject. Thank you for your support and friendship.

ValKaras on April 15, 2019:

John -- A subject where I am feeling so "at home" -- as you probably know by now. You said it all so right, with every statement hitting the bull's eye of this political and media craze. Once again you are shining with your talent, my far away friend.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2019:

Thank you for sharing how you met your lovely wife Eric. Who needs a mirror anyway lol.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2019:

I couldn’t be a politician either Bill. I can’t say something I don’t believe to be true so it would be hard to follow a party line.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2019:

Thanks for reading and confirming my message here Elijah, also for sharing that incident from 10th Grade. There is always a lesson to be learned we just don’t always realise what it is at the time.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on April 15, 2019:

John here is something odd. We, here in San Diego, were building out offices in Saigon area. They put a rag tag brutal lady at the helm. The CEO knew nothing of construction. And this gal was a constant fire bucket of all things. I got the job to finish our offices up. As I had been a contractor. Flew there. Though most decisions were done internet.

This gal ran a construction crew like a drill Sargent.

Job done, my next thing was to take her to dinner. Yuck.

In the end I was in love and told her we would marry.

Over 17 years now with a boy. I do not look in the mirror. ;-)


Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 15, 2019:

I could never be a politician. I'm no good at deception. :( I'm an "in your face" kind of guy, thank you very much.

Elijah A Alexander Jr from Washington DC on April 15, 2019:

Ooooooh John, You said it there!

The statement in your summary "be ever vigilant and be willing to question everything - not just accept it on face value" said it all, especially when we include religion and school in the meaning of "government". It reminded me of an incident in the 10th grade where I threw something at a friend across the room and my teacher asked me why did I do that. I answered "I don't know" but he told me "for everything there's a cause and effect, I see the effect now you tell me the cause." It took some years but I discovered I did it so he would implant into me to seek causes to the effects, don't just accept them because those who provided the event are said to be in charge because most of them are there for what they can get not what they can do for the people.

I am inspired by and enjoyed the reading of it. It is true and there are how many more verses that could be added. Thanks for sharing it.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2019:

Thank you Flourish. I agree with you about those shady characters.

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 15, 2019:

Fitting poem for all that is going on in politics right now. You can almost spit a shady character by the way they make you feel.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2019:

Thank you very much for reading this poem, Lorna. Your kind comment is most welcome as well. Have a great day.

Lorna Lamon on April 15, 2019:

Great advice given through the power of words. Thank you for sharing John.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2019:

Louise, thanks for reiterating the message of this poem. I am glad you enjoyed reading it. Much appreciated.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2019:

I really appreciate that generous comment, Liz. Thank you for reading and your input as always.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on April 15, 2019:

John, that is a lovely poem, and very wise words too. Like you say, most people are truthful and honest, but you still have to be very careful in todays world sadly.

Liz Westwood from UK on April 15, 2019:

I marvel at your poetic skill. This is a clever, thoughtful and incisive piece of writing all skilfully set to verse.

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