A Word About Words
The past is a place in northern England
where the left-handed are gibble-fisted
or coochy-pawed or left-kaggy.
In another time and place, where freckles
were frentickles or branny-spackles.
When daddy long-legs were once called
harvest men or long-legged tailors.
Old words like yestermorn and overmorrow.
And new worlds and words, like lamestain,
hatewatch, flamebait, humblebrag;
cobbled together out of need and urgency.
And words I fail to understand –
seriatim, raillery, apotropaic.
Or words I fancy the sound of making –
belvedere, chromatopia, propinquity;
and how to fit them into conversations.
Though a dog would hear
the song of barbarous barking,
the human voice is of deeper value.
Words, the meaning of which increases reason.
And we speak of more than meaning.
We speak of ourselves.
Bruce McRae, a Canadian musician currently residing on Salt Spring Island BC, is a multiple Pushcart nominee with over 1,600 poems published internationally in magazines such as Poetry, Rattle and the North American Review. His books are ‘The So-Called Sonnets’ (Silenced Press); ‘An Unbecoming Fit Of Frenzy’; (Cawing Crow Press); ‘Like As If’ (Pski’s Porch); ‘Hearsay’ (The Poet’s Haven).