John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

Poet's Corner: poems about words

I mentioned the other day that I've been playing the Facebook game Words of Wonder a lot recently, and that's still true, so how about a couple of poems about looking for words among other words?

Some Words inside of Words

For Children and Others

If you've washed your clothes, and they're still wringing wet,
Don't put them on! You mustn't wear then yet!
No, hang them on the line, and you'll learn why
It's best when laundry ends by being dry.

* * *

Someone in every family photograph
Has moved his head, or blinked, or had to laugh.
Sister may be a blur, Great-Aunt a smear,
and Uncle, too, is frequently unclear.

* * *

Funambulists are acrobats who dare
To walk on tightropes high up in the air,
While we look up at them, enthralled and thrilled,
And hope that they won't tumble and be killed.
In what they do, I'm sure there's lots of fun,
So long as they remember how it's done.

* * *

In a flower bed, the ranks of bright-faced plants
Look like a choir that's singing hymns and chants
And psalms and Christmas carols. That's how come
We find an anthem in chrysanthemum.

* * *

When face with anything I loathe and fear,
I try to grit my teeth and persevere,
But there's one gritty thing I just can't stand —
A sandwich that is halfway full of sand.

* * *

There seems to be a camel in Camelot.
Does it belong there? Absolutely not.
Wouldn't Sir Galahad have been a chump
To ride some desert animal with a hump?
King Arthur's knights went forth to do their deeds
Mounted exclusively on trusty steeds.

* * *

When a cool gust come sin August, people cheer
Because that month's the muggiest of the year.

* * *

The eland is an antelope whose horns
Are twisty-looking like the unicorn's.
He's found in Africa — and in Ireland too,
Where he has quarters at the Dublin zoo.

* * *

Another antelope, the gnu, is found
Inside a pignut. Falling to the ground,
The pignut opens, and out pops the gnu.
I don't believe a word of it, do you?

Richard Wilbur (b. 1921)

* * *


Many have rearranged their names
To test themselves with anagrams.
I diced up David Wagoner,
But Dowager Diva, Avoid Anger,
And Weird Vagina wouldn't answer.
(Neither would Video Ad Rage.)
I filled up nearly a whole page
With unsuccessful verbiage,
Rejected some like Drived a Wagon
And shook my head at Wived a Dragon.
Then near the end of this old game
In competition with my elders,
I dropped my chilly middle name,
My highland Russell's seven letters,
Into the stew-pot with the others —
Up came Protectors of the Arctic,
Defenders of the Cold Eclyptic,
Whose banners bore a strange device
As they sank slowly through brash ice —
It read: No Avid Walrus Gelders!

David Wagoner (b. 1926)

Tags: poet's corner, poetry

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