What is the Metric Equivalent of Thirtyhunnert Pazillion Words?*

Digital illo: Birds' WordsA Flock of Words

How fleeting is the flight of birds

Compared to mine, on made-up words!

Vast verbal ventures fly me high

Above their wings—above their sky—

Above the reach of angels’ thought,

So lofty are the words I’ve got.

Proliferation I can send

Beyond the universe’s end,

Where birds and angels, so it seems,

Fly only on the wings of dreams,

And I, the master of the words,

Master the dreams, the angels, birds,

The flimsy few whose flight intends

To float to those far-reaching ends

Where language takes me—but I know

Linguistic lands where they can’t go,

Because they lack these fragrant words,

Unknown to angels, dreams, and birds,

And all whose wings are not enough

To keep up with such heady stuff.

Wafting aloft, flaring with fun,

I leap the moon, the stars, the sun,

The past, the present, times not yet,

The known and unknown, and I get

No weariness from flying here

Above the mental atmosphere,

But elevated past all birds,

I’m wild with joy on wings of words!

* One of my posts.Digital illo: Word Wizardry

Giggling among the Snapdragons

Digital illustration: Exploding SnapdragonSo many real-world things have such fanciful names that it’s a pity we really don’t pay much attention to them very often. Magical, rollicking words and names just roll off our tongues like music, yet we fail to pause and marvel at the wonderfulness of the sounds or ideas contained therein. If we must talk and listen and cogitate, why not relish, too, the sheer flavorful euphony of the language in which we do it?

I know, even as someone who barely manages a few words and phrases in various other languages (most of these, not surprisingly, food-related), that each language has its own elements of amusement, astonishment and alchemy embedded amid the ordinary terms and concepts of everyday use.

In the vestibule is one of the most wonderful of places one can be, in my estimation; it’s not for any innate fineness or elegance or appeal the room itself may well have or that being in it might confer upon me, but rather for the arcane and esoteric quality of the very word Vestibule, which leaps from lip to tongue to tooth with alacrity and verve long since arrested in lesser words that we use too commonly. For the same reason, one should seek out Encumbrances and Perspicacity, Snapdragons and Doodling and Capybaras: no such thing as a mere dictionary can explain the depth of pleasure derived from slurping the juices of a luscious, under-exercised word.

Persimmon Persimmon Persimmon

digital illustration

[To my readers who are better educated than I am : Please pardon my humble attempt at kanji. It’s well-intentioned!]

Some words are more delicious than others. It’s not simply that they represent something actually tasty, an edible something full of juice and jazz; the mere sound, even the thought, of these words just leaps up and dances and smacks you in the chops with irrepressible mirth.

I’m not terribly familiar with persimmons as food like those who grew up in its primary regions of growth, but Persimmon bounces as a word. I can’t really imagine a way in which that fruit could have much credibility as a subject for a tragic song, having such a sunny sound. Is it even possible to write a sad story about bananas, other than the gradual present decline of the world’s banana crops? Simply thinking the word Banana makes the corners of my mouth curve up in a silly parody of the fruit. It’s not hard to be Flabbergasted or Gobsmacked by any number of things in this day and age, but would I opt to describe myself with those words rather than Stunned or Mortified if I want a sympathetic audience? Could a pair of Galoshes or Gumboots with my Bumbershoot ever be as sober and somber as Wellingtons?

As anyone who writes with purpose knows, the choice of words is not always easy or obvious in crafting the proper atmosphere. But when the opportunity arises for play, why then there are a whole lovely mess of cantankerous and giggly, hyperbolic and incorrigible and snappy word delights just lying around in dusty corners waiting to be picked up and tickled back into action and it would be a pity to just say what is expected when we can chuckle out slobbery and salacious words that will startle readers right down to their anklebones. Great if I can feel a bit outlandish while thinking and writing it; better yet if someone reading what I wrote can garner a sense of the same otherworldliness too. Go ahead and bite.

A Sound Becomes A Light


In the interstices where

The calm exists, the stillest air,

A whisper falls as sweet as prayer–

A single word, as cool and kind

As falling snow, and intertwined

With light the stars have left behind–

A tender word that none can hear

But has it poured into his ear

By whom he loves most as his dear–

This modest word, spoken so low,

Both stops his heart and makes it go

Apace, swift as a river’s flow–

Such a small sound to mortal men,

He thinks–until his dearest then

Calls him ‘Beloved!’ once againphoto