Tag Archives: poem about homonyms

A Letter from Mother Earth: NaPoWriMo 2019, Apr 14


All of these photos are either taken from my house or from an area within one block of it. These are photos of just one fire and one flood/avalanche that have decimated the area where I live, and they are nothing, I’m sure, compared to the California fires and the cyclones  and tidal waves elsewhere on earth.


A Letter from Mother Earth

All the riches you have stolen may be won in vain.
As you exploit my waterways and open every vein,
surely you can hear me crying out in pain?

When it comes to my riches, each madman wants a piece
at the cost of reason, willing to break the peace.
Will there be no ending? Will the warlords never cease?

As you grow one more spare tire around your spreading waist,
the spoils build up around you: the garbage and the waste.
How much plastic carnage will serve to suit your  taste?

As you fill me full of chemicals, I become more weak.
Yet still you spray and pillage, hour by day by week.
The death of soil that nourishes can’t be what you seek!

Fluorocarbons, Roundup, radiation, lead––
all the earth’s blind children just follow where they’re led.
Swallowing all the poisons, devouring what they’re fed.

All the bleating sheep, the entire driven herd
do their best to overlook all the things they’ve heard—
every threat of doomsday, every warning word.

The cyclones swirl above you. The fires burn me bare.
How many floods and blizzards will your children bear?
Why don’t you heed the warnings? Don’t you even care?

When it comes to what you’re leaving to your son and heir,
there may be no more water and there may be no more air.
Does this ever bother you? Do you even care?

If every son and daughter voiced their pleas aloud
and questioned all these foolish sins their fathers have allowed,
would they bend their heads in grief? Can they be shamed and cowed?

If they beg and bargain, if they plead and pray,
will parents listen to the ones who’ve been their prey,
or will they keep on throwing their children’s lives away?


Here is the NaPoWriMo prompt: Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates homophones, homographs, and homonyms, or otherwise makes productive use of English’s ridiculously complex spelling rules and opportunities for mis-hearings and mis-readings.

Confusing Near Homonyms

Confusing Near Homonyms

A meddlesome fellow is one who is bound
to mess in our business and boss us around,
while a mettlesome person is lively and gritty,
spirited, vigorous, gallant and witty.

They may be fine athletes, actors, or explorers,
but meddlesome people just tend to be borers.
Mettlesome’s interesting. Meddlesome? Deploring.
With one we’re enraptured. With the other, just snoring.

Why would a person who thinks up a word
Make opposites sound similar? It is absurd.
Mettlesome people turn out to be heroes.
They score a full ten to meddlesome’s zeroes.

Most mettlesome people please and amuse us,
but meddlesome people, by contrast, abuse us.
Considering this, our confusions suffuse us.
Was  the word mettlesome coined to confuse us?


mettlesome: full of vigor and stamina; lively, gritty, spirited, gallant
meddlesome: interferingmeddlingintrusivepryinginquisitiveofficious.

The prompt word today is mettlesome.