A tribe of trolls escaped their cage!
Now rabid wrath and rancor rage.
Hurling hurt from hidden hellholes
(most notably, their toilet bowls),
they flush their filth across your page …

Anonymity sets the stage
for this word-“warrior” rampage
as today’s internet unrolls
a tribe of trolls …

Let’s hail the stone-age cyber sage,
“bravely” mounting his mouse to wage
invectives with the screens he scrolls.
Unmask their names!  Expose the trolls!
Let public shaming disengage
a tribe of trolls.


E. V. “Beth” Wyler grew up in Elmont, NY.  At 43, she obtained her associate’s degree from Bergen Community College.  She and her husband, Richard, share their empty Fair Lawn, NJ nest with 3 cats and a beta fish.  Her oldest daughter is a biomedical engineer and her other two children are SUNY undergraduate students.  E. V. Wyler’s poetry has been published in:  The Storyteller, Feelings of the Heart, WestWard Quarterly, The Pink Chameleon, Nuthouse Magazine, The Rotary Dial, and on the website Poetry Soup.  In addition, 3 accepted poems are pending publication in Vox Poetica.

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23 Responses

  1. Shiny Titus

    Those are very apt words for the trolls who hide behind anonymity to target people.

  2. Fr. Richard Libby

    Well done, Mrs. Wyler. There is much truth here and it is conveyed in a memorable way.

  3. Joe Tessitore

    Toilet bowl imagery is gross by definition. I believe that its’ use reflects more on its’ user than on whatever it is that he or she seeks to indict, even if it is an indictment that I agree with.
    I am relatively new to these pages but have read a good number of spirited poems and very spirited discussions that have followed them. This is the first time I’ve seen anything like this.
    I hope it’s the last.

  4. Lew Icarus Bede

    If not as refined as the neoterici or cantores Euphorionis, Ms. Wyler’s invective against “the tribe of trolls” in the mock-heroick spirit of Tassoni and Pope is appropriately spirited, and a timely topic. I think the paradoxical “stone-age cyber sage,” bravely mounting his mouse, is the coup de maître in her, I suspect purposefully, rough and overly alliterative rondeau.

  5. Lisa

    So true. Very well said! Cowards hiding, leaving a trail of nasty filth behind. Taking freedom of speech to a new level with their inconsiderate words. Great poem and kudos to you for speaking up!

    • E. V. "Beth" Wyler

      Thank you. I write from the heart and tried to use humor to diffuse “the sting” of cruel words inflicted by mean-spirited people. If my poem helps one person shrug off a personal attack, it’ll have served its purpose.

      E. V.

      • Joseph S. Salemi

        The problem with all this anti-troll virtue signalling is that it ignores the fact that the word “troll” is now frequently used simply as a way to smear anyone who says something that you don’t agree with. As a result, anyone with an unpopular or politically incorrect opinion is hounded out of the public arena by self-righteous types who attack them as “trolls.”

        In any case, if you can’t stand the heat of spirited discussions, then you shouldn’t take part in them. We’re becoming a nation of wilting flowers and snowflakes who are incapable of dealing with a solid rhetorical punch. If you think someone is a “troll,” just punch back hard at him. Don’t go crying about “mean-spirited people.”

  6. Ken Lester

    E.V. Wyler is to be congratulated on a well written and relevant poem which addresses one of the most significant issues of our times.

  7. E. V. "Beth" Wyler

    Hello, Joseph. We writers are quite capable of defending our positions in “high-spirited” debates. My experience is that it’s the inarticulate people who become rude once they realize they’re unevenly matched. They’re only a minor annoyance, but if one ever causes you to “go crying”, I would want to be there to comfort you. However, please note that I did NOT write a poem about “A Tribe of Mean-Spirited Virtue Signalers”. Instead, I wrote about “Trolls”, the pathetic sadists whose motives aren’t to advocate for their beliefs, but to inflict psychological pain, sometimes causing the subjects of their venom to fear for their personal safety.

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      Granted, but sadistic trolls of that nature are an easily recognized minority who can be ignored. My point was that much anti-troll rhetoric today is a cover for dismissing unpopular opinions, and cajoling everyone into a bland, conformist discourse that never seriously questions politically correct assumptions. Debate isn’t always polite, nor should it be. Insisting that everyone speak in the modulated tones of a Victorian tea party is often an insidious way to impose left-liberal orthodoxy

      • E. V. "Beth" Wyler

        Good morning, Joseph! I believe we may be talking about two different classes of people. While you seem to be focused on high-spirited individuals who occasionally forget their manners in their zeal to express viewpoints, I’m specifically referring die-hard “trolls”. They are less interested in advocating for sincerely-held beliefs than in searching for “victims” to hurt, humiliate, intimidate, and threaten. By poisoning the dynamics of discourse, they actually discourage debate. By the way, I agree with you that in today’s pc-climate, our cherished Freedom of Speech is under attack. I’m going to attempt to attach a link to a Time article about “trolls”. http://time.com/4457110/internet-trolls/

  8. Joe Tessitore

    I’m sorry I got personal with you.
    It was unnecessary and uncalled for.
    Please accept my apology.

  9. Leo Yankevich

    Shiny Titus, Lew Icarus Bede, SmilingLady, Lisa, Ken Lester, all make good points about trolls (also known as sock puppets) and, of course, back up their words by example.

  10. James A. Tweedie

    I appreciate the (sometimes blunt) honesty expressed in this thread. I also appreciate Joe’s apology and Beth’s grace in accepting it. As for the “toilet bowl,” I, too, found the reference jarring and, while it is a very troll-like image, it seems out of tune with (and hence distracting from) the general tone of the rest of the poem. On the other hand, while a different metaphor might have improved the poem, the image and imagined smell of crap spilling across my computer screen from an overflowing toilet is what made the poem both repulsively memorable and disgustingly effective.

    As an odd sort of bonus, the image reminded me of a small book written some years ago on the subject of Thomas Crapper, the inventor of the modern flush toilet. The title of the book was (of course), “Flushed With Pride.”


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