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Promises and Lies - Poetry Telling It Like It Is

John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded "Poet of the Year 2014" Hubby Awards and has had two poems become songs.

Almost all human interaction involves the use of promises and lies at some level. Many people make promises but not all intend to keep them. It is quite a skill to separate the truth from lies.

Some individuals and organizations are experts in deceit or deception. Promises are thrown around willy-nilly, and lies are seen as an acceptable part of life and business.

Moral standards seem to be on the decline and you need discernment and judgement to differentiate the truth from lies and sincere promises from shallow ones.

Promises and Lies

Don't believe everything you're told,

Promises and lies.

Conmen say what you want to hear,

Promises and lies.

False prophets preach to simple minds,

Promises and lies.

Pretending to be what you're not,

Promises and lies.

Don't offer more than you can give,

Promises and lies.

Fingers crossed

Fingers crossed

"I promise to be there for you,"

All promises and lies.

"You know I'd never lie to you,"

More promises and lies.

Pretending to be what you're not,

Is promises and lies.

Is it too good to be true,

Or promises and lies?

Say what you mean, mean what you say,

Not promises and lies.

Tell me what you really feel,

Not promises and lies.

Truthfulness a welcome trait,

Not promises and lies.

Honesty will bear rewards,

Not promises and lies.

Wise discernment is a gift,

Against promises and lies.

Gaining knowledge is your power,

Against promises and lies.

Two Face Statue, Mexico

Two Face Statue, Mexico

© 2016 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on June 14, 2020:

Thank you for reading another of my poems, Anupam. Your kind comment is greatly appreciated.

Anupam Mitu from MUMBAI on June 14, 2020:

Outstanding it is!

Promises and lies!

Wise indeed in putting the words so well to reach deep within!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 28, 2019:

Thank you Brenda. There are wise words in your comment too.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on July 28, 2019:

Wise words in this poem of yours.

Gaining knowledge, becoming wise does help but I believe those promises and lies will probably always find a way.

If something sounds too good to be true, it probably Is. But the little ones, like i will be there for you...one must take with a grain of salt. You will know when the time comes to pass if it is true.

Good write.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 20, 2016:

Yes, Lawrence, I have heard that slogan, and in fact it was what I always try to put into practice. Blessings back.

Lawrence Hebb on October 20, 2016:


I'm sure you've heard the slogan 'under promise, but over deliver!' it won't get people elected, but when you get a reputation for doing it people begin to trust again!



John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 28, 2016:

Yes, Dianna. The politicians especially need a massive truth injection. Thanks for reading.

teaches12345 on September 28, 2016:

We do need a dose of truthfulness in our world today. This should be read before the next political debates.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 24, 2016:

Thank you for the generous comment, Missy. Lies are for losers!

Missy Smith from Florida on September 23, 2016:

Yes, it is so much better without all those promises and lies. I loved the poem, John. You always make great points in your poems. They are refreshing to read and tell the truth. No Lies! Loved it!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 22, 2016:

Thanks Mike, it's always great to get a comment from you. That line could be from a movie or real life. This isn't my best poem by far, but I think it does get the message across.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on September 22, 2016:

John, you packed a lot of wisdom in this short piece of poetry. As far as politicians are concerned, if their mouths are moving, they are telling lies. "We can't handle the truth." Is that the line from the movie?

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 21, 2016:

More people need to choose to live your way Shauna. I really hate it when people promise things that you know they can't deliver. Most of the time I can tell when someone is lying luckily. The trouble is with the media, politicians etc ...that is where most of the deception is. I am not really pissed off with any one incident... But have had a few things happen recently to affect my mood.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 21, 2016:

I've gotten to where I tune out most of what I hear. I rarely listen to the news and am very picky about the articles I read in the paper. I simply don't want to hear it. Maybe I have my head in the sand, but I choose to live in a way that I see more truth and beauty than promises and lies.

Your poem is quite intense, John. Did someone piss you off?

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 20, 2016:

That's a wise way to be , Nell. I used to believe everything people told me..very naive. I have learnt from experience to question most things i am told.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 20, 2016:

Thank you manatita. Your comments and insights are always appreciated.

Nell Rose from England on September 20, 2016:

Nice one John, yes there are lies everywhere, on tv, in real life and so on, I have got to the point in life where I don't believe anything until I check it myself! lol!

manatita44 from london on September 20, 2016:

Cool! I like it. In this mad world of ours, any wake up call is worthy of commendation. Written well; flows well.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 20, 2016:

Thank you, Al. I am sure I will write more. Cheers.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 20, 2016:

Thanks, Blossom. It just seems too easy to say what people want to hear (or you want them to) without worrying about the consequences.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 20, 2016:

Yes, it is a pretty pathetic stat, Flourish. Glad you felt the repetition worked for this.

Al Wordlaw from Chicago on September 19, 2016:

Good poetry here John, I enjoyed the read. May you be blessed to write many more.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on September 19, 2016:

What a great little poem and with such a good moral and great message to us all to watch what we say. Love it!

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 19, 2016:

Some people are more practiced liars than others, although we all do it from a young age. One study found that 60% of adults couldn't even carry on a 10 minute conversation without lying once. Pathetic, huh? At least some people are a little ashamed of it or realize they're doing it. The repetition in your poem was an effective tool.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 19, 2016:

Eric, being honest with oneself is a whole different matter and would probably require another article or poem. I am sure you have already touched on that in one of your Sunday Sermons. Thanks for your honest comment.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 19, 2016:

I am glad you can relate to this, Diana, but not that broken promises and lies have become common place in your life. I certainly hope there is much more honesty in your future.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 19, 2016:

I really enjoyed this piece. But I cannot jump on the band wagon. I too often have trouble being honest with myself.

Diana L Pierce from Potter County, Pa. on September 19, 2016:

It hit home for me. Many promises broken and lies that are hard to recognize have become common issues all of my life. I am glad to say most are in my past and the future holds a brighter look at reality. Good subject.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 19, 2016:

Yes, Gypsy. You said it all very well. Thanks for reading.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on September 19, 2016:

Your poetry speaks the truth. Unfortunately these days there is a very thin line between the truth and lies and sometimes lies overshadow the truth.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 18, 2016:

Thanks, Larry. Interesting but true I feel.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 18, 2016:

Thank you, Marion. Some people make promises willy nilly without really intending to lie, but the promises rarely are fulfilled.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 18, 2016:

Hi MsDora, thanks for confirming that the repetition of 'promises and lies" as effective in making the statement. I was a little unsure and thought it may have been overdone. Knowledge and discernment are very necessary if you have any chance of telling the truth from a lie.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 18, 2016:

The sooner the IS election is over the better, whatever the final outcome. At least you will know where the country stands going forward. Thanks for your comment, Jackie.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 18, 2016:

Ruby, I understand your frustration with the current political race. Politicians are the absolute worst at issuing false promises and lies and who knows what to believe. Our politicians are not much better but not as extreme as those you are faced with. I hope your prayer session offered some discernment.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 18, 2016:

Same here Clive. I rarely make promises, unless I can guarantee I'll deliver 100%

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 18, 2016:

Yes, Faith, women's intuition is a wonderful thing. I learnt long ago to never try and deceive women :) that was a great comment. I can imagine you are up close to the ultimate lies in the fight against public corruption and can understand your passion. Most of what I write during the day is published in the middle of your night so you can be greeted with it in the morning.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on September 18, 2016:

Interesting perspective.

Marion Drury from Sydney, Australia on September 18, 2016:

Sadly this is such a true observation of life and too many people now days - even people close to you, that you trusted, can get caught up in the 'promises and lies'.

A great poem. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 18, 2016:

The repetition of "promises and lies" is very effective in making us think about the gravity of such. Sometimes it's depressing to watch the gullibility of those who encourage the crime by accepting lies as truth when the lies are so blatant. Thanks for promoting "discernment" and "knowledge" as part of the solution.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on September 18, 2016:

I agree with Audrey. This sums up politics and well I am sure bombarded with that right now as you probably have guessed. lol Hope it will soon be over and then we get to see who was telling lies with all their promises!

Great poetry and yes poetry is so good to open up and say anything!

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on September 18, 2016:

John, as I read through your words my thoughts immediately focused on our political season here in America. We do not know what to believe, one day we're told something, then the next day something completely different. We had a special prayer session in church this morning, asking for guidance and healing. Your poem/message is timely and thought provoking. Clive is spot-on with his comment...

Clive Williams from Jamaica on September 18, 2016:

my momma always told me a promise is a comfort to a fool. I promise only what i am sure to deliver, nothing exceptional as no man knows what tomorrow may bring.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on September 18, 2016:

Your repetition of the words promises and lies really bring home your point well, John. Yes, unfulfilled promises are really lies right from the start when made without any intention of carrying out the promises.

Most women have the keen gift of intuition and, therefore, know pretty much when men are not truthful, but we tend to not let on we see through their lies just to see how far they will continue and to understand more of another one's true character. Well, it applies to both men and women. Women just love to hear the truth always. It is always best no matter if difficult to hear. We tend to ask a lot of questions when trying to get to know someone and when the questions are ignored, tells us much too.

On the other spectrum, I work in the field of fighting public corruption ...so, as you can imagine, untruthfulness grows weary.

Sorry for the ramble. Obviously, you've written on a topic about which I am passionate, truth.

I noticed you tend to publish in the middle of the night so that when we awake we are greeted with a new work from you ...but now I realize it is most likely the middle of the day there. Hahaha.

Peace and blessings

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 18, 2016:

Not by best poetry at work here, Bill. But it is the message I am trying to convey that is more important. As you say it is almost I possible to find a truly honest person among all the con-artists and snake oil salesmen.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 18, 2016:

Thank you , Graham. Everywhere you look people are trying to pull the wool over your eyes..it is hard to tell truth from false promises.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 18, 2016:

Oh my goodness yes, John! We just turn on the television and the lies pour forth.....but then the same could be said for just about any walk of life, on any day, with any companion. Finding a truly honest person....now that would be a treasure.

Graham Lee from Lancashire. England. on September 18, 2016:

Hi John. Very nice observations on life, all true of course. Great work in general from you as always. Tip top.


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 18, 2016:

Thank you, Frank. Without knowledge you are helpless to distinguish lies from the truth.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on September 18, 2016:

Knowledge is power against the promises and lies.. yeah I enjoyed this read my friend

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 17, 2016:

It's the same here, Audrey. You can't believe a word you hear, especially from politicians. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on September 17, 2016:

Here in the USA we hear promises and lies almost daily from politicians, corporations and those running for various elections. The decline of society seems to be based on lies as well as promises. Your poem says it all.

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