Bubbles and Lies

I usually write a short story for the Bluebell Short Story Slam, but the week 11 prompt seemed to cry out for a poem, and so I heeded its call. I hope you enjoy it.

Bubbles and Lies


Bubbles are much like lies 

They usually come in bunches

                             One leading to another

                        Obscuring the truth of who we are


           But they soon drift away

Leaving the others to burst in time

                               And always sooner than we expect

         We are exposed to the world


Some are big, some are small

                                   Some reflect the light in beautiful ways

              Fooling those who witness them

                          But only for a short while


                         Bubbles and lies cannot survive

  Unless time can be stopped

              Or the expelling of them does not

                              Or… they become our truth


                  What will we do

             When the bubbles are all gone

When the world sees us clearly

                           As we stand naked and ashamed


                        Will we hang our heads

       Or quickly dip into the jar

Wave our arm and like magic

                         Remain a figment of our delusion


Copyright © C. Mashburn 2011


  1. terri0729 said

    Well done Charlie!!! Lol, your were lies and mine were worries! Fine prompt this week, wasn’t it?! Peace and love, Terri

  2. terri0729 said

    LOL! Hey, great minds think alike 🙂

  3. Ina said

    Hi Charles, I love it how you start with bubbles being like lies 🙂 That is a surprising comparisement, so completely in reverse of the expected! And it works very well. Lovely poem.

  4. sherry mashburn said

    Great poem with much insight!

  5. ha, first you read my bubbles, then i read yours now i send you to my next piece for dverse – http://zongrik.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=601&action=edit where in the comments there is a big discussion about writers and the truth

  6. Altonian said

    Impressive! I would never have thought a few bubbles could inspire such philosophy.

    • I didn’t realize I was getting philosophical; it kind of just came out!
      Thanks for the read and comment!

  7. mish said

    What an unusual comparison … bubbles and lies … an interesting interpretation of the pic .

    • The idea sprang from the fact you cannot see the person behind the bubbles.
      Thanks for the visit and comment, mish!

  8. Bubbles…..As beautiful as they are,its just a temporary illusion.You have portrayed it so eloquently.Lovely stuff 🙂

  9. I like the way that you write about bubbles being a shield to truth. Nice work!

  10. tigercity said

    better to stand in naked truth than cloaked in dark delusion.. very true Charles..

  11. I shall now look at bubbles in a new manner. What a compelling poem.

  12. Very effective simile, Charles. As always, thank you for sharing your wisdom.

    • Oh, good golly. Wisdom? I better go read that again and see what I said!
      Thank you for those very kind words, liv!

  13. Wonderful as always!

  14. Ken said

    Good one bro! I remember that Roy used to say if you told the same lie enough it became the truth. LOL , Seems to be working for most of the politicians. Cheers Ken

  15. Kay Salady said

    Oh, Charles, you have written brilliantly with such philosophical wit. xoXox

  16. a gem entry, your take is surprising to me.

    extraordinary piece.
    Thanks for sharing.

  17. Hard truth in fragile bubbles — another bow to you wise and wonderful man! You made me nod in each line. Oh yes, bubbles and lies cannot survive! 🙂

    • Thank you so much. I am blown away by the wonderful comments this poem has elicited.

  18. This is so well done charlie and thanks for visiting my site and leaving such a wonderful comment. I do enjoy reading your site each time I come here and it is such a pleasure

  19. manicddaily said

    Such a great idea . Wonderful close.

  20. “Or… they become our truth……” I love your analogy of bubbles and lies. It’s very strong, and you have written it down beautifully.


  21. ghosterb said

    Very well done and so very true my friend.

  22. This poem works on multiple levels. A very clever interpretation of the prompt. Thank you for your visit to my blog.

    • Thank you for the nice comment.
      You’re very welcome for the visit to your blog!

  23. “Remain a figment of our delusion”. We have a gene for it apparently!
    Nice to meet you Charles.

  24. Pushpee said

    lovely..way to go!!

  25. Jamie said

    I like the linking of bubbles with lies.
    Bubbles are of course a lot prettier than the lies we tell…
    A very clever last verse you wrote there.

  26. Interesting take on the prompt pix. I see you have added a twist to bubbles. I will have to re-read this as bubbles always seem happy to me. I want to absorb the other side. This one gets you thinking, Charles.


    • I surely mean no disrespect to bubbles, Isadora! And definitely don’t want to change your mind about them. Bubbles are indeed a wonderful and beautiful thing!
      Thank you for the read and comment, my bubbly friend!

  27. A very good analogy as the life span of a bubble is usually not that uch more than a lie.


  28. thingy said

    Fabulously clever, and I’m not lying. : )

  29. well done, I love it 🙂


  30. A.B. Thomas said

    Fascinating! I never considered the theological or philosphical ramifications of the continuance of the bubble – thanks for the mind candy~

    • Me neither! Just kinda popped into my mind when I saw the picture!
      Thanks for the read and comment, A.B.!

  31. Morning said

    a unique and powerful take.
    love it.

  32. Great poem! 🙂 Great Comparison! 🙂

  33. I love the way you have written this Charles. It’s powerful and a joy to read. 🙂

  34. cheri said

    i would think all the comments you get…alot from perfect strangers..should affirm you Charlie…you have been gifted with the ability to tell a story that makes people think…and knowledge is power!!
    well done my friend!! and to think you can do that in such a small amount of words!!

    • I just do what I do, m’dear. I don’t give much thought to it any more (I don’t know that I ever did) and what comes out is what comes out.
      As for the few words, I have learned that the less words used, the powerful the message seems to be. I actually go back at least once on everything I write to see what can be eliminated.
      Thank you for the awesome comments this morning!
      Love you!

  35. Thought provoking–quite a contrast to my bubble poem. I like it 🙂

  36. lolamouse said

    Nicely done! Very apt metaphor.

  37. emanita01 said

    Hi. Yes I did enjoy your writing very much.

    “Bubbles are much like lies
    They usually come in bunches
    One leading to another
    Obscuring the truth of who we are ”

    Thanks for leading me here 🙂

  38. Write Girl said

    Beautiful poem on bubbles. Your last stanza is magical…may we all dwell in the delusion of bubbles : )

  39. Really good poem Charles. Frank and explicite but with some great images like, “Some reflect the light in beautiful ways”. And that last stanza is wonderful. Well done. Thanks for stopping by too.

  40. pure2core said

    Your words are amazing … we think almost in the same way sir… but I feel your words are more richer than mine 😀 Thank you for share…

  41. christine said

    lies eventually burst unable to be contained within the thin layer they lie in, brilliant analogy

  42. Awesome take on the prompt!

    I didn’t expect a poem from you (though this one is quite lovely) … I was kinda expecting a snarky little tale about a snarky little bubble— but, when the poetry muse beckons, one must definitely listen!

    “Bubbles are like lies, they usually come in bunches…” <—— Perfect opening line! I'm really digging the symbolism in your poem 🙂

    • Thanks for the great comments. Yes, when I saw the prompt, it screamed poem, so poem it was!

  43. Phunter said

    I came here to see, apart from me, who else thought lies were nothing more than a bunch of bubbles.

    My spark was generated from a different source than yours – bubbles in water.

    market bubbles are a manifestation of concerted lies.
    lies and bubbles are both empty without any substance.
    eventually they surface no matter what..
    but before surfacing, they inevitably expand gathering more vanity

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