Stephen Kingsnorth

Lie’s pages bulk the lexicon -

truth to tell, the word’s overworked.

It’s all compounded, rounding up,

as sheepdogs after straggling flock,

race and nip then low-lie crouch.

Belie, belief and bandolier

incorporate, unsparingly,

the letters of that core relief,

as if its profile could be mixed,

laying down, that printer’s task,

the first edition put to bed.

Bullied, brollies, butterflies

from heavy hand to flutter wings,

clients, thought of cavalier,

like lei, garlanded with flowers.

Some lie low till danger’s passed,

some lie in on weekend breaks,

ships lie to, lay-by for cars,

while golfers check the lay of ball.

Others take things lying down -

but lying should be taken down -

as I’m confused, where lies the truth.


‘The truth’, ingrained from youth to tell -

though ‘whole truth’, more than kernel, seems

to invite granny’s painful knee,

yet ‘nothing but’ keeps small talk out.

The parliament - hear hear the howls -

that one where’s fed Westminster chimes,

where owlish wisdom should be heard,

sees history meet nonsense terms.

Here members, lying through their teeth

must still be named as ‘honourable’,

but never ‘liars’, ‘mislead the House’ -

as crossed that line, acceptable.

So well established, Palace set,

lies not called out though truly found.


Whatever question, state your will,

prevaricate against the clock,

filibuster through the night -

but then check in with family,

the daily course we all pursue,

and face, lie of the land at hand,

ask who follows whose map laid.

Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales, UK, from ministry in the Methodist Church, has had pieces published by on-line poetry sites, printed journals and anthologies, most recently Academy of the Heart and Mind, The Parliament Literary Magazine, Poetry Potion, Grand Little Things, The Poet Magazine.

His blog is at

Edward Michael Supranowicz 
Faces on the Edge of Darkness

Stephen Kingsnorth
Away With The Birds