Category Archives: Words

R.I.P.


R.I.P.

They say he was a bastion of the community.
Of what their youth should aim for, the exact epitome.
Mothers named their kids for him and he was so discreet,
his name labelled a shopping center and a city street.

Asked to speak at graduation, his words were most succinct.
Not one old lady fell asleep. Nobody even blinked!
Moral, staunch and upright, he was everyone’s ideal.
He always used the crosswalk. He didn’t cuss or steal.

No forensic laboratory ever had a label
or test tube or fingerprint of his upon their table.
In short, his reputation was one without besmirch.
He went to each town meeting, every Sunday, went to church.

He did not exceed the speed limit, use liquor or smoke pot.
Every single vice on earth was something he was not.
His genes were the best of genes. His relatives all lasted
at least until one hundred, and he dieted and fasted.

Ate kale and probiotics, whole grains and leafy greens.
He sponsored many charities and lived within his means.
So when he died it wasn’t from alcohol or drugs.
He did not die from violence–his own or that of thugs.

He did not perish from obesity or accident or whoredom.
In the end, they say that he simply died of boredom!

For RDP prompt bastion.

and Daily Addiction’s prompt forensic

and Fandango’s is succinct.

On Strike

On Strike

The word “inchoate” is absurd!
Does anybody use this word?
For the first time, I draw the line—
won’t use it in a poem of mine.
Guiltless in the abuse of it,
I will you all the use of it!

in·cho·ate inˈkōət,ˈinkəˌwāt/adjective: just begun and so not fully formed or developed; rudimentary.

“a still inchoate democracy”

 

The prompt today was inchoate.

The Gatherers

 

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The Gatherers

We gather a new world
every time
as we collect marks
in  black lines
on white paper,
and we have the power
of each world
that we pull around us.

I might have called this poem
“Utter Sovereignty,”
but I did not, for rulers are
sad folks, and lonely.

We are the gatherers and so
we draw to us what we need
and are never alone.
There is nothing we lack for
in this storehouse where
the shelves hold words,
the air is heavy with ideas
and the walls are covered
by imagination.

We gather words to set them free again.
This is the pattern of the world
that no one has ever broken.

Everything flying apart,
every moment of the day,
and all of us
gathering
it back together
again.

 

 

This is a rewrite of a poem written four years ago.  The prompt word today is imagination.

Diddly Squat

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Diddly Squat

Every language must be fraught
with words most definitely not
the loveliest to human ear.
They are the ones we hate to hear,
like crotch and bunion, scab and clot,
chunk or fetid, honk and rot;
but in my mind, the worst we’ve got—
the very ugliest—is “squat.”
The one who coined this word must be
the one gone down in history
for inventing the least lovely word
since phlegm or curdle, moist or turd.
Yet, how more perfect could one word be
to describe us when we bend each knee
and sit with heels pressed to our rear
close to the ground, perhaps, to peer
at insects crawling through the grass
while lucky others peruse our ass?
And so, despite its ugly sound,
no better word could ever be found
to name that pose wherein we bend
to expose our worst side to the wind.

The prompt word today was squat.

Words Pluperfect and Perfidious

A few days ago, I asked you to send me words you hated. Whether ugly in sound or meaning or overused or incorrectly used, you sent me those words you despised and I promised to make a poem out of them. My apologies to Leland, who made the mistake of sending me a few and who thus became the brunt of it all. Let me say that the situation is completely fictional, the fact of which Leland may rue or applaud. The truth of the matter we’ll never know. (In the poem, I’ve italicized the words you have presented to me.)

Words Pluperfect and Perfidious
(Recycled Words)

It’s amazing at the end of day
when there’s so little left to say,
they still go on with “Blah blah blah.”
Like, he goes, “Just saying, that
it’s fucking perfect that that cat
knows how to rhyme and rap and scat.”
What does this mean? Would it kill you
and would fetid cancer fill you
if you just spit the right words out
devoid of swearing, rhyme or shout?

Leland has said that he hates rap,
but then he’s just an ancient chap.
Not “awesome,” as you young folks say.
(That word used less back in the day.)
He thinks his taste pluperfect, but,

I think he doesn’t know quite what
pluperfect really means at all.
(I bet it’s the same with y’all!)
Yet still he’s very, very cool.
Nuh uh. Surely no one’s fool.
He’s pretty gray on top, but then
his uvula’s above the norm––
different to the usual form.
Shaped like one a them argyle socks,
it kicks right forward when he talks.

“Sweet!” the ladies bill and coo.
“As gigolo, we’re choosing you!”
But Leland is just bored of that.
He’d rather sit around and chat.
I’ll kill you!” is what he just knows
his wife would scream if ever he chose
a life that was much different to
the life with her he always knew.
But with the ladies texting him,
and pulling at him shirt and limb,
it is impossible to choose
his old life’s slow dependable ooze
over a life so huge and sweet
with all the new gals he might meet.

Then his wife bellers out “As if!
and waves a fist all coiled and stiff,
suggesting senseless violence
were he to choose pluperfect tense
to describe their perfect marriage
of baking bread and baby carriage.
So his life’s sentence he will parse
sittlng right here on his arse.
Over new love, he will choose
both less and fewer, and drink more booze.

(You can see my solicitation for words HERE.)

Judy’s “Prompt Answers” Challenge #1: Dastardly Words.

Dastardly Words

Because it is a rainy rainy day and too wet, even, to make my way down to my studio, I’m going to recruit your efforts in trying to keep me busy and out of trouble. With this in mind, I’m posting a challenge for you to tell me the word you hate most in the English language. (This challenge was prompted by Helen Miekle’s absolute refusal to answer this question.  To console myself, I’m calling upon friendly bloggers to show me theirs if I show them mine.)  Not really fair, as if you’ve followed me for awhile, you already know that the word I hate most in the world is . . .. Nope, can’t say it.  Instead, I’ll reblog this poem I wrote about it a few years ago:

img_2272This is!!!!


Empty Praise

There was a time when awesome really meant ”inspiring awe”—
events like the moon landing that made one drop one’s jaw,
sights of numbing beauty or achievements of great skill,
art pieces by the masters or achievements of great will.

Yosemite is awesome and so is Everest.
Those climbing it are awesome.You know they are the best.
But today the word has fallen into widespread use—
ubiquitous right to the point where it’s become abuse.

Rap music is most awesome, as is that way-cool blouse.
You drive an awesome car and live inside an awesome house.
My friend’s boyfriend is awesome. So are her dog and cat.
Her garden blooms are awesome, like her new purse and her hat.

You might have guessed by now that awesome’s not my favorite word.
I think the overuse of it is frankly quite absurd.
This pizza is not awesome, though you may find me petty
for saying it is merely good, and so is the spaghetti.

Your child is lovely, so’s your dress, your silverware and smile.
But none of them are awesome—that word brings up my bile.
Please use some other word for it—some adjectival jaw full.
Because in my opinion, using awesome’s simply awful!!

 

img_6979This isn’t!!!!

So now that I’ve told you mine, please participate in this challenge in one of two ways. Either post your answer in your own blog with a link to this post and a link to your blog in my comments section, or simply answer in the comments section of this blog posting. It won’t take long, so please participate and if I receive enough words, I promise to make a poem out of them.

Update: I’ve written the poem! You can see it HERE.

Mutability

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Mutability

Farthingale and flour glue,
catamaran and kangaroo,
lamplit lizard, croquet pie,
tyrant’s glare and jam on rye––
there is nothing I can do
when words come marching two-by-two
but grab a pen to herd them in,
then quiet down their awful din
by separating them with commas.
Sitting here in my pajamas,
I refuse to start my day
in any other sort of way
than stacking words into neat piles,
sorting them by usage styles.

Verbs in rows where they might jostle
nouns like cupcake and apostle.
Adjectives like proud and pretty
aggravating, stuffy, petty––
have to line up in a row
and go where I tell them to go!
Sometimes I feel it is absurd,
how I imprison every word,
take it from its family
to serve me here on bended knee.
Do my bidding, tell my tale,
imprisoned here in each poem’s jail
’til other writers come along
to use that word in book or song.

Then once more the word’s set free
to go where it wants to be.
We pass each word—a bouncing ball––
to be exchanged between us all.
The words that Ogden Nash has used?
The very ones that I’ve abused.
Walt Whitman owned not one word more
than the pile in my store
of wordy possibilities,
to use however I may please.
I gather words from here and there––
words stark and silly, profound, bare.
The order that I put them in,
how often they appear and when
is the power I execute––
the sword I wield, the horn I toot.

I crack the whip and words line up.
“Naughty” shoulders “new” and “pup.”
“Sand” drifts over “bird” and “sea”
as words flow in to be with me.
New words invade my memory,
augmenting “seen” with what I see,
so old stories change a bit
accordingly, as I see fit.
History is made and changed,
altered, prettified, deranged
by new words slipping in to alter
facts where memory might falter.
The gore of war is changed to glory
as time steps in to tell the story.

The power of words might then be seen
to coat facts with nostalgia’s sheen.
A simple word like “maybe” might
distill the impact and the plight
of those whose suffering and pain
should be remembered as a stain
on the world’s humanity.
“May have been” should never be
confused with “was” in history.
Those of us who bandy letters,
using words to joust with betters
sometimes with hilarity,
need also heed their verity.
For words I fear are spoken in vain
if truth is altered to entertain.

The Prompt: Not Lemonade. When life gives you lemons… make something else. Tell us about a time you used an object or resolved a tricky situation in an unorthodox way.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/not-lemonade/