The Devil's Halo, a Poem

Updated on July 30, 2018
Jodah profile image

John has many years of writing experience in poetry, short fiction and text for children's books.

Source

Never smile at a crocodile

No, you can't get friendly with a crocodile

Don't be taken in by his welcome grin

He's imagining how well you'd fit within his skin

— Frank Churchill

The Devil's Halo

Covers don't define a book,

Though they oft' determine sales.

What's good inside may not be seen

Because the outside pales.


It's said that beauty is skin deep

And often that is true.

It's what's inside that really counts

And that's unique to you.


Some people flash their wealth around,

Rolex watch, designer clothes.

But money doesn't make the man,

It's all purely for show.


A wolf in sheep's clothing
A wolf in sheep's clothing | Source

Beware the wolf who's dressed in wool,

He looks so meek and calm.

But as soon as your defence is down

He'll pounce and do you harm.


You shouldn't trust a crocodile,

And it's warm, inviting smile.

If unwarily you stray too close

You'll become a gourmet meal.


Sharks are everywhere we look,

Fins circling all about.

We're just mere minnows in a school,

A feeding frenzy route.


Sharks circling
Sharks circling | Source

At first, most people may act nice

But underneath are cruel.

Don't drop your guard and let them strike,

They'll treat you like a fool.


The devil has a halo too.

He often hides his horns

And offers to cure all your woes.

A rose with poison thorns.


Innocence befits a child,

But wisdom comes with age.

Separating truth from lies

Is a challenge on life's stage.


A rose with poison thorns
A rose with poison thorns | Source

Don't be fooled by what you hear

Or even what you see,

There's so much falsehood in the world,

Discernment sets you free.


So, be yourself, don't act a part

In this soap opera of life.

There is no Oscar to be won,

Just avoid the back-stabbed knife.

Author's Note

This is another poem inspired by the title of a novel in my bookcase. This seems to be my muse's current obsession. On this occasion, the book in question is of course 'The Devil's Halo' by Chris Fox.

This is only Chris Fox's second novel (the first being the widely acclaimed LUCI in the Sky). It is a political thriller set in the 21st Century and riveting reading.

"A breathtaking 21st- Century spy story"- Nelson Demille

The Devil’s Halo by Chris Fox
The Devil’s Halo by Chris Fox | Source

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 John Hansen

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      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        14 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Good to see you Diana. Thank you for reading.

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 

        14 months ago

        Lots of warning to heed in this poem!

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        14 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Lawrence. Much appreciated.

      • lawrence01 profile image

        Lawrence Hebb 

        14 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

        John

        Loved the poem.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        15 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you for sharing that Genna. Yes, you are right that looks can be so deceiving. We should never judge someone, at first sight, we need to get to know them first. I appreciate you reading this and your kind comment.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        15 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hey Bill, good to see you. I appreciate you taking the time from you busy publishing and life to leave me such an encouraging comment. I really hope my writing motivates others as you say. I can't ask for more reward than that. Thank you.

      • Genna East profile image

        Genna East 

        15 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

        I loved this poem, John. One of the nicest people I've ever met -- and this is only recently, I might add -- looked like one of Hell's Angels; complete with burly arms covered with tattoos, earrings, and a chin that looked as though it was cut from granite. My first impression wasn't a very good one I'm ashamed to say. But he is such a kind and giving person, the genuine article, who taught me that we can judge a book by its cover more often than we think. Your inspiring words reminded me of this. Thank you for sharing with us.

      • Billrrrr profile image

        Bill Russo 

        15 months ago from Cape Cod

        Beautifully stated as usual sir. You are a great writer but more than that, you are a motivator. There must be hundreds of people, including myself, on Hubpages and beyond who've picked up the figurative pen and tried to write some prose and poetry because you challenged us. Thanks John.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        15 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Rasma. I always greatly appreciate comments from a wonderful poet as yourself.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        15 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hey Larry, you are spot on. Movie makers may have move on since the black hat vs white hat to differentiate bad guys from good, but they have always used beauty to portray good and ugly for bad which is totally wrong. I have read that some actors who could only get bad guy roles because of there looks like Jack Palance, Bruce Dern, or Edward G Robinson were actually the nicest guys you would meet. Good looks and snappy dressing certainly are no indicator of the real person beneath.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        15 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Yes, Mark, they know the majority of people can be fooled by appearances. Thanks for reading

      • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

        Gypsy Rose Lee 

        15 months ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

        Awesome poetry. Really nicely penned. You poetic words speak the truth.

      • Larry Rankin profile image

        Larry Rankin 

        15 months ago from Oklahoma

        Great poem. Love the Churchill quote and the wolf-sheep.

        Along the topic, notice the movie convention where the bad guy is so often ugly or gross or fat or has an ugly snere or some other undesirable physical trait?

        In my experience these are the kindest and most helpful folks on many occasions.

        Fear the sharply dressed in expensive business suits that come to you with smiling faces.

        Great read.

      • Mark Tulin profile image

        Mark Tulin 

        15 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

        So true. They wear halos, crosses, metals of honor and other impressive and alluring things. Thanks, John.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        15 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Venkat, for your positive comment. Yes, we need to reveal what is in a person's heart.

      • Venkatachari M profile image

        Venkatachari M 

        15 months ago from Hyderabad, India

        Very lovely and inspiring message. "Do not judge the Book by its Cover" or a "Person with his Appearance". Similarly "the Politicians from their Speeches".

        We need to look at the inner content or the inner heart.

        Thanks, John, for this wonderful message.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        15 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Glenis, I appreciate you reading this. Glad you are going to give the book title method of inspiration a go.

      • Glenis Rix profile image

        GlenR 

        15 months ago from UK

        Witty synthesis of philosophical adages, John. It's true that wisdom comes with age but I'm still trying to avoid world-weary skepticism (not always successfully). I'm going to use your way of drawing inspiration from the titles of books.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        15 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Flourish, it seems if I have a set format for finding my inspiration it allows me to write more regularly. Thank you for reading.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        15 months ago from USA

        Well done. Many people are not what they seem to be. Interesting where you’re finding your inspiration these days.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        15 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hey MsDora. Thank you, as always. That reminds me I need to read your latest article. Blessings.

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        15 months ago from The Caribbean

        So many lessons about life are embedded in your comparisons with these different creatures. Really good poetry!

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        15 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you for reading and commenting, Dana. yes, discernment is a powerful and necessary tool we need to utilize and apply to all we experience in life.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        15 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Mary, it's impossible to ignore everything you see and hear. But, you do always have to be cautious before letting it influence your own actions or words.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        15 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Chitrangada. As you said, a person's inner thoughts are often difficult to understand, at least at first. It would be great to be able to believe everything that was said and promised. Have a great day.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        15 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you for the lovely comment, Linda, and for the reminder that I still have to read billybuc's Mailbag. As I told Rinita, I work hard on the actual message and structure of a poem but the rhyme comes easy.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        15 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Rinita, my friend. Your comments always make me feel good about what I write. Yes, I admit a lot of thought goes into each stanza and I often swap the order around a few times before I am happy. For me, the actual rhyming is the easy part.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        15 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you for reading this Tim, and for the kind comment. We do need to show our true colours and not be fake.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        15 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Shauna, I have so many books I can't fit them all on shelves. Many are packed away in boxes. I just swap them around now and then. I'll probably continue using titles as inspiration until my muse decides on something different.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        15 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Yes, Eric, that is true too. Leopards can change their spots. Cheers.

      • Dana Tate profile image

        Dana Tate 

        15 months ago from LOS ANGELES

        I loved the poem especially what you mentioned about discernment. Being able to discern the motive behind the words, behind the smiles, behind the "helpful gestures," is a necessary tool for life on earth. Believe me it has saved me from being the fool- many times.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        15 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Ann, thanks for reading. I'll probably continue this book title inspiration until something else distracts me. It's working fine so far. Glad it gave you some ideas.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        15 months ago from Ontario, Canada

        Just avoid the back-stabbed knife. Many times, they come without any warning. I don't understand why people like to make people feel bad by what they say. Your advice is good, not to allow what you hear or what you see influence you.

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        15 months ago from New Delhi, India

        Very well expressed poem, with a wonderful message!

        As is said, don’t judge the book by it’s cover. It’s difficult to understand, someone’s inner thoughts. Therefore, it’s better to be cautious.

        Thanks for sharing another great poem!

      • Carb Diva profile image

        Linda Lum 

        15 months ago from Washington State, USA

        Wonderful poem. And just this morning in billybuc's mailbag there was a question about whether an author should take the time to change the cover of a book. I detect a trend here.

        John, your verses flow so effortlessly (but I assume you spend hours on these). You always provide a wonderful read, and so much to consider.

      • Senoritaa profile image

        Rinita Sen 

        15 months ago

        You turn each book cover into a golden stream flowing through your natural rhyming. Wise words in this poem, and I like how generic it feels, holds true for all. It feels like a lot of thought went into each line, even if it was instinctive poetry.

      • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

        Tim Truzy 

        15 months ago from U.S.A.

        Wonderful poem, John, with a strong rhythm and potent message. I love this line:

        "So, be yourself, don't act a part"

        It's so true in a world filled with phoniness.

        Thanks again.

        Sincerely,

        Tim

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        15 months ago from Central Florida

        Great message, John. Not everything is as it appears to be, unfortunately.

        I love the turn your muse has taken. I'm sure you have an extensive library, so she should have plenty of fuel to keep you busy!

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        This is a really cool poem. For some reason it made me think of people who really do change the outside to fit the inside.

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 

        15 months ago from SW England

        Great advice in this poem, John! Also good rhythm and humour.

        It's a good way of finding inspiration, using a book title. I have many in front of me and there are few which don't give me some ideas, so thanks for the suggestion.

        Ann

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        15 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thanks for reading this, Bill. I always appreciate your insightful comments.p

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        15 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Just be yourself...it takes some of us a very long time to figure out who "self" is, but once we have it figured out it is a comfortable place to be. :) Loved the poem and message, John!

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