Posted in National Poetry Day 2019

National Poetry Week, Lie Poem by Philip Waddell

Originally from Guyana, Philip Waddell has lived in England for most of his life, these days near the wonderful city of Oxford. He particularly enjoys writing humorous poems and likes directness, wordplay and poems with a twist. Since 1997 Philip’s poems have appeared in well over a hundred anthologies, many published by Macmillan and Bloomsbury, and with his good friend Ian Bland, performance poet, he has co-written and illustrated two collections of poems, A Bug in My Hair! and Go to the Head! .


Compulsive Liar


My best friend tells lies all the time.

He says he’s lost his homework

when he hasn’t even done it.

He says he’s feeling sick

when he wants to bunk off school.

I’ve even heard him lie about his name –

when we got caught scrumping apples one time.

My friend is such a liar that he’ll even lie

for absolutely no reason at all.

For example if you ask him,

‘Do you like chocolate ice-cream?’

which everyone knows he’s crazy about,

he’ll automatically say ‘No, I hate it.’


My dad says, ‘That boy’s a compulsive liar,’

which means that it’s so natural

for him to tell lies that he can’t help it.

But yesterday something happened

which I believe shows that there is some hope for him.

Our teacher asked him who, in his opinion,

was the smartest pupil in the school.

Quick as a flash he pointed at me and said, ‘He is.’

I don’t know why everyone laughed.


© Philip Waddell (Originally published in anthologies by Brian Moses and Tony Bradman)


Thank you for this great poem, Philip Waddell!




Award-Wining Children's Poet, Author, Wildlife and Climate enthusiast, NPD Ambassador, blogger and owner of Lola the retired alert dog and Paddy the alert dog in training. Books include CLiPPA shortlisted Being Me, Poems about Thoughts, Worries and Feelings, Editor of Shaping the World, Author of Be the Change, Apes to Zebras, The Same Inside, Reaching the Stars and Animal Magic. I visit schools, libraries, literary festivals via Zoom and give lessons on writing poetry for children. @Lizpoet

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