Sunday, 30 November 2008

Prescience

PRESCIENCE

—noun
knowledge of things before they exist or happen; foreknowledge; foresight.






















If prescience is the art of foresight
What type of science is that of hindsight?
History?
Could history be a science instead of a mere learned man's dream?

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Pernicious

PERNICIOUS

—adj.
1. causing insidious harm or ruin; ruinous; injurious; hurtful
2. deadly; fatal
3. Obs.evil; wicked.



Sometimes when the weather was just so
Pernicious melodies would bring tears to his eyes
And melt the world from under his feet.

Francis John McComas makes a guest appearance, courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution

Friday, 28 November 2008

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Solace

SOLACE

noun
1.Comfort or consolation in a time of distress.
2.A source of comfort or consolation.






















Bundle of solace
Recharging its batteries
Purring slice of sun

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Sutler

SUTLER

noun
(historical) A person who followed an army and sold provisions to the soldiers.



He sold all matter of things
Food, drinks. Girls. Dreams.
But when the ghosts came back after the battle
Even the sutler had no spare lives for them.

Picture courtesy of the LIFE archive.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Opaque

OPAQUE

adj.
1 : not letting light through : not transparent
2 : not reflecting light




In opaque ponds
I looked for a reflection
Of what might be
Finding more obscure mysteries
In the form of mental leeches.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Elegize

ELEGIZE

verb
1. transitive and intransitive verb: commemorate somebody or something sorrowfully; to write or speak about somebody or something in a mournful sorrowful way
2. intransitive verb: write or deliver an elegy; to write, read, or recite an elegy




I elegized our love so much
I was fooled into thinking
It was a good thing once more.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Tomnoddy

TOMNODDY

noun
1.The puffin.
2.A fool or dunce.






















He'd wanted to glide,
A graceful being
Slicing through the ice.
But instead...
A Tomnoddy.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Catafalque

CATAFALQUE

noun
Decorated or elaborated bier on which a coffin rests in state during a ceremonial funeral. It sometimes involves a canopy and other structures.























We appreciated the catafalque provided
Though it did seem out of scale
With the humble dish proffered.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Scuttlebutt

SCUTTLEBUTT

noun
1 (nautical) A keg of water on board ship, around which sailors would gossip.
2 (informal) Gossip, rumour, idle chatter.



Scuttlebutt sloshed over
Drenching everyone in scandal
Cries of libel were raised
But too many enjoyed it.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Echolalia

ECHOLALIA

noun
1. Psychiatry: the uncontrollable and immediate repetition of words spoken by another person.
2. The imitation by a child of the vocal sounds produced by others, occurring as a natural phase of childhood develop



Echo, Echo… Echolalia
Alalia, Alalia, Alalia,
Laelia, laelia
Lilly.
Lilly has an echo, an echo in a gecko.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Edentulous

EDENTULOUS

adj
Toothless.



Their criticism could not break my spirit
Or tame the wild creature in me
For all their acidity,
The comments were rather edentulous.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Prehension

PREHENSION

noun
1 : the act of taking hold, seizing, or grasping
2 : mental understanding : comprehension
3 : apprehension by the senses






















So much for prehension!
No grasp would ever make
The dead leave stay
The dead heart play

Monday, 17 November 2008

Adduce

ADDUCE

verb
to offer as a reason in support of an argument; bring up as an example; give as proof or evidence; cite



His argumentation was rolling on and on
Drowing the argument in an ocean of empty words
And hollow pretexes,
Failing to adduce any credible fact.
As to why he just had to have that one more cake

Ben Foster appears courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution,

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Hewn

HEWN

adj.
1. felled and roughly shaped by hewing: hewn logs.
2. given a rough surface: hewn stone.






















His lips and hands had been hewn
By sandy storms of strewed feelings
By stray splinters of servitude;
His heart, pristine.

Thomas Cole appears courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Debridement

DEBRIDEMENT

noun
surgical removal of foreign matter and dead tissue from a wound.






















The new year brought in
Debridement
On the old scabs that used to be
Our love
Leaving sensitive new skin exposed

Friday, 14 November 2008

Flak

FLAK

noun
1. antiaircraft fire, esp. as experienced by the crews of combat airplanes at which the fire is directed.
2. criticism; hostile reaction; abuse



Flak, like a slap
Sounding harsh
Feeling harsher still

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Vapid

VAPID

—adj.,
1. lacking or having lost life, sharpness, or flavor; insipid; flat.
2. without liveliness or spirit; dull or tedious






















After a life of vapid tendencies,
Mid-life crisis came as a shock
Autumn never more flamboyant
In its poignancy.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Exorbitant

EXORBITANT

Adj.
exceeding proper limits; extravagant; excessive or unduly high



Exorbitant dreams was all he had going for him
They came at a cost he could not meet
Always relying on others to pay
For hope,
Tears and their salt.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Olfactory

OLFACTORY

adj.
Concerning the sense of smell.






















In the sun baked stones
I searched for olfactory evidence
Of a displaced world,
Civilizations away.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Crumpet

CRUMPET

noun
1.A type of savoury cake, typically flat and round, made from batter and yeast, containing many small holes, cooked on a griddle or the like and served toasted, usually with butter.
2.(UK, slang) A person considered sexually desirable.



On the mysteries of kitchen lore:
Making crumpets had proven more difficult
Than their namesakes had led him to believe.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Spadassinicide

SPADASSINICIDE

noun
1.The act of coaxing someone, usually through insult, into initiating a swordsman's duel, and subsequently killing them with superior skill.
2.One who performs such an act.




Eventually
The cats would bring the art of spadassinicide to a higher level
And leave their victims on our door mat as an act of bravado.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Wheedle

WHEEDLE

verb
1.To cajole or attempt to persuade by flattery.
2.To obtain something by guile or trickery.



We are entering darker days,
Where light needs to be wheedled away.
And smiles are painful.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Foozle

FOOZLE

noun
a clumsy or botched attempt at something, especially a shot in golf.
verb [with obj.]
botch; bungle




The screw-up fairy paid a call today and
Foozled all my efforts at poetry.
So I made you paper boats instead.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Callous

CALLOUS

Adj.
Lacking pity or mercy; unfeeling

















His callous approach to life
Had left her weighing little more than
A torn silhouette
Upon his wall.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Shanty

SHANTY

noun
1. A small crude shelter used as a dwelling.
2. A rhythmical work song originally sung by sailors.




Let’s sing the charms of derelict shanties
So picturesque under the light of holidays

Let’s not forget the people who live there.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Aquiline

AQUILINE

adj.
1. curved like an eagle's beak
2. of or like an eagle






















On top of the old volcano
Aquiline skeletons clawing at the sky
Remnant of flowers that were.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Salmagundi

SALMAGUNDI

noun
1.A food consisting of chopped meat and pickled herring, with oil, vinegar, pepper, and onions.
2.Any mixture of various ingredients; an olio or medley; a potpourri; a miscellany.






















Down the humid path
Nature's rich salmagundi
Titilates our nose.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Juggernaut

JUGGERNAUT

—noun
1. any large, overpowering, destructive force or object, as war, a giant battleship, or a powerful football team.
2. anything requiring blind devotion or cruel sacrifice.
3. Also called Jagannath. An idol of Krishna, at Puri in Orissa, India, annually drawn on an enormous cart under whose wheels devotees are said to have thrown themselves to be crushed.




The diminutive juggernaut
Hacked her way through bad dreams
Tinned salmon and mighty mice
Defeated all the way.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Élan

ÉLAN

—noun,
dash; impetuous ardor: to dance with great élan.






















When I grew up, I thought “élan
Was some sort of moose
And could not understand why
People said I had it
(at home, pets weren't allowed).

They've explained and I think I have it:
It's the moose doing all the driving.

Picture by René Beudin