John Richard Anderson


Red Herring Scent Awry - Poem by John Richard Anderson

To deceive lay a scent so appealing
That it tricks the hounds to stray off target
Leaving the hare saved by hair's breath deflection

Smoke the pot of herrings, red and pungent
Seal in jar, brew the stench to ravishing,
Stock your lure bag with chicanery drones.

When you hear the hounds a howling
Cast loose a red fish tar-feathered as goose
Release fly-fish with flies plied with herring scent,
Deploy your decoy ducks, your drone impostors.

For chasers are bounty hunters, gullible.
So easily deflected by ruby ruse scent
To chase wild geese on the loose.

Topic(s) of this poem: deception

Form: Free Verse


Poet's Notes about The Poem

Note: A red herring is something that misleads or distracts from a relevant or important issue sending the stalker off on a wild goose chase. This concept is rich in images and word play opportunities. It is thought that the expression arose when a kipper (a red herring; a strong-smelling smoked and dried fish) was dragged over the ground as a scent trail to divert hounds from chasing a hare during a hunt. The phrase was later used to describe a logical fallacy and literary device to deceive deliberately or accidentally. It is often used by politicians and by educators as a trick or ruby ruse.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, June 23, 2017

Poem Edited: Friday, June 23, 2017


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