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
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