Tag Archives: Word of the Day Challenge

The Behavioral Linguist in Love: May 17, 2022

The Behavioral Linguist* in Love

A thoughtful, scientific man, he chose his words with care.
No ordinary words would do. Only ones most rare.
He first spied her in the springtime, finally met her in the fall—

a simply gorgeous maiden—comely, willowy and tall.
But months of choosing his first words seem to have done him in.
What should have been his saving grace turned out to be a sin.

Enthusiastic in his love, he just had to express
his much-gone-over feelings about her  loveliness.
He’d formerly determined not to use just any word,
but his final declaration turned out to be absurd.
He should have called her beautiful and just left it at that,
for when he called her pulchritudinous, she thought that he meant fat!


*Note: New to the world of behavioral science, Behavioral Linguistics is the science-based use of language to persuade. It’s rooted in nudge theory combined with psychology, sociolinguistics, and principles of marketing. language is a powerful way to change behavior.

Prompts today are behavioral, enthusiastic, pulchritude, fall.  Images by Fabio Lucas and   Mandy Zhang on Unsplash.

Word Friendly

Word Friendly

I have a rabid interest in snazzy ways of talking.

Sauntering or loping are more interesting than walking.
Dew is more refined than mere sweat or perspiration.
In short, words are much juicier infused with inspiration.

I isolate my favorite words, then bring them back together,
joining unacquainted words with hyphens as a tether.
I guess that I write poetry as an excuse to use them,
for words become your friends as you’re struggling to fuse them.

(If you’d like an illustration of this type of word-joining,  go HERE.

Prompt words today are guess,  rabid, isolate dew and  snazzy,



As life tautens its string and pulls me along,
I delay thoughts of my funeral gong
with a story, a rhyme, a poem or a song,

creativity being the one way I know
to write my own ending for the end of the show.
Our quota of years, that cessation of flow,

that furtive departure, that summons to go,
that human surrender to the undertow,
need not be an ending to all that we know.

That’s why I have chosen to come here and stow
what little I’ve learned in an orderly row
of words on this page, following head to toe,

that tell parts of my life, be they pleasure or woe.
I plant them here, hoping that they will grow
into tall verdant meadows that you’ll want to mow.

Prompt words today are creativity, human, furtive, tauten and quota.



I rue the day I sent my oldest kid to college,
for ever since he’s been deluging us with knowledge.
From “dermatones” to other concepts we can’t grasp,
his pedestrian lectures make us want to gasp.
He uses words archaic since majoring in Chaucer,
ostentatiously positioning his “cuppe” in his saucer.
He bores us all to death when his golf club raises turf.
He doesn’t raise a divot. Instead he cuts a kerf!
Constantly, he leaves us in a state of consternation
simply by engulfing us in too much information.



Prompt words today are dermatone, tear, archaic, kerf and pedestrian. Illustration thanks to Muhammad Rizwan on Unsplash.

Words for a Formerly Rejected Would-be Lover

Words for a Formerly Rejected Would-be Lover

The prospects are quite iffy that you’ll shift my view,
but come equipped with custard and I’ll take a spin with you.
We’ll see if we have anything in common other than
a taste for boiled custard and a mania for flan.

Prompt words today are shift, spin, custard, iffy and equipped. Image by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash.

Face Off!

Face Off!

It’s always there in front of me, greeting people first.
With having to live up to it, I always have been cursed.
When I want to look pious, it breaks out in a grin
revealing that within me there is a bit of sin.

It blushes when that boy walks in that I don’t want to know it.
I’m trying to be mysterious, and then I go and blow it!
It heats up and blushes when I’m trying to be cool.
How can something a part of me break every single rule?

When I doll up in my finest, then spend an hour on it,
adding shadow, blush and lashes, it decides to grow a zit!
I’m tired of facing up to its erratic bad behavior.
It seems to be my enemy when I most need a savior.

I’d like to go before it to decide what people see
before my face inserts itself, claiming to be me.
Then Covid comes along and gives me everything I ask.
Ironic that it takes a plague to furnish me a mask.


Prompt words today are faces, heat, pious, erratic, doll.

Night Traveler

Night Traveler

Beneath the moon’s rotation and a sky cobbled by stars,
I lie upon my back and search for Jupiter and Mars.
The Milky Way creates a bridge for my imagination
which journeys down its highway without any hesitation.

Sequestered as I am by walls and blackness of the night,
there are no other travelers to share my nightly flight.
Only approach of daylight can bring this traveler home
as the morning draws a curtain over heaven’s dome.


Prompts today are bridge, sequestered, rotation, cobbled and approach. Image thanks to Ibrahim Shabil on Unsplash.

Illegal Crossing

Illegal Crossing

The impatient pedestrian does not have time to wait.
If lights don’t change immediately, he’s going to be late.
The airs of his entitlement swirl busily about him.
He goes into a tirade when events begin to flout him.
He’s held his breath so long that his face is cobalt blue.
The city should adjust these lights. In fact, he’s going to sue.

Bliss for him is getting exactly what he wishes.
He is the shark who simply devours all the littler fishes.
And so he puts his hand up to stroll against the lights,
thinking all the motorists will grant him crossing rights.
But in seconds he is flattened and this just goes to show,
even if you’re a big shot, you can’t go against the flow.


Prompt words today are cobalt, pedestrian, bliss, tirade and entitlement. Image by Pawel Czerwinsky on Unsplash.



When she screams like a banshee, running through the house,
just because she saw a tiny little mouse,
the mouse bilks all her efforts to thus scare it away
by slipping in the closet where in time it may
produce many other creatures of its ilk
in a tiny nest it has established in the silk
contents of her drawer of sexy lingerie—
picking for its bed her favorite negligee.

So, if she’s so lucky as to score a kiss
and, planning for a night of amatory bliss,
she reaches in her drawer, completely unaware
of the little visitors housed in her underwear,
no doubt she’ll find reminders of that earlier day
and the previous companion she thought she’d chased away.
Then her latest conquest will beat a fast retreat
as her former screams she ventures to repeat.



Word prompts today are banshee, reminder, bliss, bilk and house. Illustration thanks to Frenjamin Benklin on Unsplash.


Admonitions from the Editor of the Southern Christian Monitor

Admonitions from the Editor of The Southern Christian Monitor

Good gracious, sir can you not mend your pertinent demeanor?
Clean up your language, cease your slurs. Find language that is cleaner!
When you speak, why must you be such a surly gent?
For once why don’t you try to say something we can print?
Your thoughts are fine. It’s just the words with which you choose to state them.
It simply is your word choice that makes us excoriate them.
As my southern mama used to say, “For goodness sakes, y’all,
if you can’t say it politely, don’t say anything at all!”


Disclaimer: There is to my knowledge no such publication as The Southern Christian Monitor. This poem is pure fiction, prompted by the prompt words!!!

Prompt words today are gracious, slur, pertinent, mend and print. Image by Roman Kraft on Unsplash.