Wednesday, July 12, 2006

New Poetry by Elizabeth Thomas

Lies My Mother Told Me

If you eat raw spaghetti

you'll get pinworms,

then I'll have to make

a necklace of garlic for you to wear

each night while you sleep,

until they go away.

If you're mean to your younger brother, I'll know

because I have a special eye

that watches you when I'm not home.

You cannot hide from it,

so don't try.

If you touch your "down there"

any time other than when using the toilet,

your hand will turn green and grow warts,

so everyone will know what you've been up to.

If you keep crossing your eyes

they will stay that way

until the wind

changes direction.

It is bad luck to kill a moth. They are

the souls of the dead and it

might be Papa paying a visit.

If you kiss a boy on the lips

your mouths will stick together

and he'll use the opportunity

to suck out your brains.

And if you ever lie to me

God will know

and rat you out.

And sometimes

God exaggerates.

Trust me -

you don't want that

to happen.

Elizabeth Thomas designs / teaches writing programs and workshops for schools and organizations throughout the U.S. These programs promote literacy and the power of the written and spoken word for all ages. Thomas is the founder of UpWords Poetry, an organization dedicated to creative arts programming, particularly for young writers. As a poet and performer, her work continues to be featured throughout the U.S. A partial Calendar of upcoming readings and workshops is available @ Her first book of poetry, 'Full Circle' may be purchased through Hanover Press. She is currently working on her second collection of poems and has just finished a book on creative writing for children and teachers entitled, 'If Only Red Could Talk'. For information on ordering, please email to


RSamul said...

I thought I would comment on some of the creative stuff. Looks like the political and justice work is getting along just fine.

Elizabeth's poetry speaks to the idea that if we tell our kids lies about things, then it will keep them safe and innoccent. However, these lies turn into myths that are continued. Like Grimm's Tales the moral of these lies are just as strange and subverted as the old fairy tales. They are also amusing to us, because we have heard version of these fables and wold wives tales. This poem speaks to that idea and leaves the reader on the brink of realizing that eventually children will find out that parents lie to them.

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