The Naughty Word
A word was bent and lying in the dust,
its syllables in helter-skelter sprawl.
I heard its wistful sigh and picked it up,
to gently prop its form against the wall.
It stared with eyes of innocence and hope,
and whimpered that it longed to find a home.
An inspiration hit -- I asked if it
would like a fine position in a poem.
It giggled, said "I'd love to!" So we left,
and I began to ponder on its line.
I set it on my desk, repaired its parts,
then polished it to quite a glowing shine.
But when I tried to put it in its place,
it squirmed and kicked its neighbor in the shin.
I scolded, but to no avail. It ran
and hid, then teased me with a sassy grin.
"You silly word, I'll toss you back outside!
Why you weren't even worth my while to save."
"So go ahead!" it dared me. And I did.
Now someone else can teach it to behave!
My Word Sonnet
My words are so unruly! They're inclined
to jostle in the hallways of my mind.
They grumble at restrictions I impose
(at times I've even seen them thumb their nose
at me), retaliate collectively
by disappearing. Poof! Totality
of blank is not a comfort zone. I pray
for days when they submissively obey
and conjugate a neatly-patterned row
with isometric syllables in tow.
A most annoying battle of the wits;
for just when I have found a word that fits
the silhouette of thought I want to trace...
another comes along and takes its place!
Hup two, three, four!
Okay, words -- now hit the floor!
Fifty push-ups, each of you --
no one leaves until we're through!
Adjectives, line up in rows...
jumping jacks and touch-your-toes;
stretch those sinews, bend those knees --
I want flexibility!
Attention, nouns! You have your space,
so let's achieve a steady pace,
sounding out those treadmill blues.
Verbs will form in barbell queues,
work on building muscle tone.
Hustle now! No wimpy groans
will let you off. There's no escape --
I'm gonna get you words in shape!
He had hoped he’d be presented
in a poet’s structured rhyme,
dressed with careful punctuation,
standing proudly in his line.
Or perhaps inside a novel —
a magnificent depiction
to be quoted by the critics,
autographed at large receptions.
He was shocked to be inserted
as a casual afterthought
in a phrase between two brackets
and so easily forgot.
But his worst humiliation
was the final blow that fell…
when exposed upon the printed page
he saw he was misspelled!
© Laryalee Fraser