Words

They are hitchhikers and stowaways from our past
that happened to come along for the ride with us
Such treasure! Better than cathedrals
You can keep your Mona Lisa – words need no security system
Just keep using.

They are nuggets of humanness
So irrepressible – you try telling a word to shut up –
Each is the perfect crystallisation of an idea:

 ambivalence     tantamount      taonga
quizzical      dank

They form around the germ of a notion:

disconcerting     chirrup      warp
Antarctica      tundra     whiff

Or a feeling:

huddle     grit      umbrage      quail
ardent     tendentious     outrage    bruise

What a gift for us all:

kerfuffle     crumple    musafir   nostril    consummate    merry

Some get lost along the way –

Did you know that a ream used to mean the ripple made by the nose of a swimming otter?
That dimmity once meant twilight?
Or that a shippen was a shelter for cattle left open on one side?

Drop them one at a time into some pond into your mind
let them ripple out in welling concentricities
Where did they come from?
How did this
Come to express exactly that
So beautifully?

 

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