In truth we lie

I told a lie
and this is the truth,
I really wasn’t there.

I told the truth
and this is no lie,
I know I wasn’t there.

But here where we are
I want you to know
I am—it’s true—still trying.

So now do you believe me
when I earnestly tell you
that I am actually lying?

Knots is a book of poetry by R. D. Laing. A psychiatrist, although an unconventional one, Laing was fascinated by the complexities of emotional entanglement, the emotional knots we find ourselves in. In retrospect, the poetry is sad and disheartening, but it is well written and scathingly honest.

This poem was not written to be a Laing-like copy. But I confess to being drawn to poetry that explores the specific intensely. Having got to the age I am, I am more comforted by the hope and support of emotional honesty and the belief that despite our misfortune to be human, we can build divinely inspired relationships if we are humble enough and try hard enough.

Thank you for reading In truth we lie. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.


© 2013 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. This poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © 2013 by John Etheridge,


Filed under Poetry

4 responses to “In truth we lie

  1. Cindy

    Is this the same as “‘…its only -20 C but is not really cold because it’s a dry cold!!!’ or my personal favourite…” with the wind chill factor it feel like -60C but in actually it’s not that cold ’cause it’s really only – 33C and really it would feel warmer if the sun was shining!!!!!!”……yea I really dislike the lies we tell as truths or is it the true we tell as lies?!?!?!?!? cindy

  2. Aaahhh…I’m not sure. But you sure gave me an idea for another poem!

  3. Barbara C Minor

    after explaining “There”, then the spiritual side came into your poem giving me a heightened understanding that was thrilling; even forgiving myself for being human!