The Play of Words



She’s been known
to loiter with letters, tear words
limb from limb, trim
them down to their small
-est
syll
a
bles.

She’s been accused
of messing with mean
-ings, gleaning new
readings from hum
-bled spill, bending
words at her will,
sometimes leading them to
(s)laughter.

She can make an ar
-dent Pharisee of phrase,
pay a sent
-ence its due, barter pen
-ance for praise, bid words
bump and grind
and dance.

She’s decided
(with a devious laugh)
that life is a paragraph,
and a well-placed parent
-hetical phrase can keep
her high for days.

She’s guilty of dang
-ling a participle,
trashing a trochee,
tossing feet to the wind.
She’ll giggle and guffaw
and unflinch at the jaws
of pro
cras
tination.
(It’s really only funny
if you get her.)

But she’ll mosey-mosaic
………the sky
with word stars,
…………if you’ll only let her.

 

..

Prompted by Poetic Asides.

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6 Responses to The Play of Words

  1. This is very creative word play – love the “parent – hetical phrase” Pay, barter, bid -love the commands here.
    And of course we will let you! 🙂

  2. Shawna says:

    Right off, the title makes me think of Play-Doh. 🙂 Play-Doh words, I suppose!

    That first line is beautiful. It’s what we all deeply long for. I love “tear” as a homophone. Crying words. Ripping words. Both work. Same for “limb.” And “trim”!

    Smallest seal (marine animal). Smallest sill (the window variety). Smallest seal (closure; glue). Ooh, “seal a blessing.” Or seal a bleh(s). Multiple blahs, maybe. “gleaning new wings” “bending blood spill” (cool image) … “will” is another cool homophone (i.e., post funeral) … ditto on “to” (which also doubles as “two” and maybe “too”) … that “ar” is for pirate me, isn’t it? 🙂 Love the way you got “dent” out of that split. Same for “penance.” Or “pen ants.” Or “pen aunts.”

    Love this stanza:
    “She’s decided
    (with a devious laugh)
    that life is a paragraph,
    and a well-placed parent
    -hetical phrase can keep
    her high for days.” … love how you got “parent” and “hat-ical” out of those other words. Oh, and “he tickle”!

    “She’s guilty of dang” … LOL
    “-ling a participle” … double LOL

    “unflinch at the jaws
    of pro
    cras
    tination.
    (It’s really only funny
    if you get her.)” … LOOOOOVE

    But oh man, I adore that last stanza. Especially how you hint at “letter” inside “let her,” going right back to the opening stanza. And this also makes me think of a letterman jacket in high school. Like you’re lettering in lettering. 🙂 Letters themselves, and writing letters! Ooh, she’s a journalism nerd! Yum. So was I. 😛

    • Shawna says:

      P.S. “Play” in the title is also a theater reference. Were you in theater in H.S.? Just out of curiousity … I’ll need a list of all your activities. 🙂 Hey, I actually need a whole series of poems describing high school you. Every minute detail, please.

    • whimsygizmo says:

      Oh, yes. I was that, too, of course. Plus already a poet. I had a great AP English teacher in HS.

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