Faster than the speed of light

Words, especially the lovables,
adjectives such as humble, kind, gentle, meek,
each a personality, each a timid thing.
The hint of a harsh noise, they go fleeing
faster than the speed of light.
Hardier stuff, a replacement,
shooting stars spewing from a warp drive of a mouth.
The prodigals make for home, begging forgiveness—
though they should be the asked, their nature the asker—
Turned away and out into the cold,
broken hearts lost in space.
Astronomers, their giant telescopes
scanning the cosmic ocean of sky, they spot
a blue dot, a wanderer named Planet 17.

 Could it be?

Probably not.

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Near 500 words: Grammar-ing rhymes with hammering

Note: For all who wanted the mystery, “The Great Squirrel Caper”, it’s in the works and on its way. 

In need of a writer, I’m your man. I can make a screwdriver sound sexy. You want to spunk up your orange juice, just pour in some vodka. Then turn it with a screwdriver and that screw goes write in. Folks, as you can see. I have those mixed metaphors down pat. And talk about similes, well, we shouldn’t gossip.

If you want your house to stand, you want to use a screwdriver that’s going to drive in them screws good and hard. (Now get your heads out of the dirt. I’m not talking sex here. ‘Course if I was, same words might work in reference to condoms.)

When it comes to clichés, I’m your man. My philosophy is why take the road not taken when you can hit the hammer of the head and take the easy way out. That road not taken is going to have a lot of weeds and burrs. Who knows? It might even have some lions and tigers and bears, oh my. I know I would prefer being a cowardly lion than a dead one. So I’m taking heart and using my brain. I’m taking the Yellow Brick Road. If it was good enough for Dorothy, it’s good enough for me.

I just want you to know I got those parts of speech all wrangled and branded. Why, ladies and gentlemen, there isn’t an -ly adverb I haven’t used. And talk about split infinitives. Isn’t “to boldly go” so much sexier than “to go boldly”.

I think so. And so did James Tiberius Kirk. Otherwise he wouldn’t have written it in the Captain’s Log so many times. And after taking so much gup from Spock over “to boldly go does not compute”. Of course, it computes. It’s write there in the Captain’s Log. It may not be logical, but it sure is a Kirk-ism. Absolutely.

There I did it. I managed to put in an interjection. Don’t you think it spices up my writing a punch?

Unlike grammarians everywhere, I have a passion for the passive. When you think about it, you never want to take a pass on the passive if you want to be passionate. Why I used to date a girl who was all the time asking me, “Where were you last night?” If that ain’t passionate, I don’t know what is. And she said it so passionately. In spite of everything.

Uh-oh. I done gone and done it. I can hear them grammarians chomping at the bit, telling me not to use a sentence fragment. Here I go fragging my sentences all over the place. I can see the smoke coming out of their ears. Well, all I have to say is there just ain’t any pleasing some people. Like Abe Lincoln said, you can please some of the people all the time and you can please all the peeps none of the time. That leaves no time left for pleasing moi.

Anyway. (There I went and did it again.) If you’re looking for a writer who can write all formal like, I’m not your man. My motto, after all, is why not end a sentence with a preposition. Everybody does it. Oh, I know what my mother would say. “If Everybody jumped off a cliff, would you?” Of course, I wouldn’t. It’s a cliff, and I am afraid of heights.

Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Creator: Derek Walcott, Poet

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Spotlight Creator is the poet, Derek Walcott:

Derek Walcott on writing and painting.

Oh, what a beautiful language we have, this English. We strip it and we tear it down, we ignore it and abuse it and lose a bit of it along the way. It not only survives. It rises like a phoenix and soars. Especially when it is in the hands of a poet. William Shakespeare was that kind of poet, and Seamus Heaney too. So was Derek Walcott.

Derek Walcott was an island man, so he gave us islands and the sea. He showed us that poetry could rise out of the least of places. That it was possible for a black man from a very small place could become a great poet. And he did it with this magnificent language of ours.

 

Grammarlogically Speaking

“I didn’t mean–” her daughter spoke back at her mother.

“Of course, you did,” her mother disagreed with her. “You wouldn’t have said it if you didn’t mean it.”

“But, Mom,” the daughter pleaded her case.

“That’s what you’re always saying,” the mother was announcing her victory. “There’ll be no ifs, ands, or buts. Not in my house.”

“How about a however,” her father said with a smile on his face.

“That’s as bad as a yet,” the mother was not happy about his however. It usurped her authority. It was bad enough that her daughter wanted to give her a hard time. Now she had to take on two members of the family instead of one. “That’s a nyet if ever there was one.”

“And yet,” he came back at her.

“What’d I tell you about starting a sentence with ‘and’.” The English teacher in the mother was coming out big time now.

The daughter was happy for the reinforcements. “Even though—“

“Now hold on,” the mother was not accepting the challenge with ease.

“Oh,” the father chipped in. “now you’re pulling one of those now-hold-ons. You know how we hate those. That’s hitting below the belt.”

“You think?” the mother wasn’t having none of his sass either.

“So you want to conjugate,” the father had a big smile on his face. “You think, you thought, you thunk.”

“Thunk?” the mother was not believing what she was hearing. “I thunk not. It’s you think, you thought, you had thought.”

“I spent a long time thunking it,” the daughter was trying to catch up with her parents.

“That’s enough,” the mother came back.

“Oh, now we’re getting a that’s-enough,” the father.

“You know you’re all wet,” the mother said. She had completely forgotten where the argument had started, forgotten enough to use a cliche’.

“So it’s going to be water pistols at ten paces,” the father said.

Fermenting

One of my favorite words is fermenting. It’s such a fine word. Letting something sit on the brain and allowing the subconscious to work on it. That’s fermenting for you. I get a line like: “I am a horse, have always been a horse, would always be a horse. Until the witch turned me into a boy.”

The first thing that happens: I am startled. Where did a line like that come from? I don’t know but I am ready to follow wherever it leads. Whatever dance it chooses to perform.

Now some may think I should whip it into shape, make it become what my little pea-sized brain wants.

But that’s not the way of the tao, as Laotse let us know over twenty-five centuries ago. I let it go fermenting. I stick it in the back of my mind, check in every so often. Used to think I was the only one who did this. Then I heard the playwright Edward Albee talk. He said that he will get an idea, stick it away to allow the subconscious to work on it. Check in six months later and see where the idea has flown. Then back into the subconscious again. He does this over a two-year period. Eventually it is full-grown, and a work of art.

After a bit of fermenting, I pull it out for the old look-see. Just so you know, a bit may be six months, sometimes shorter, sometimes more. Nope, it’s not ripened and back into the old subby-conscious it goes, tucked away in the cool, dark places where it gets a chance to grow healthy. From time to time, I pull it out for some nourishment.

Once the idea is ready for the garden, I take it out into the warm sunlight of consciousness. Water it some. Feed it some plant food. And off it sprouts. Soon I have a full-blown work.

It takes a lot of patience for fermenting. It is well worth the time I give it. Look at what it did for Ernest Hemingway, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen. What a lot of writers blame on writer’s block, I call fermenting, giving a work time to sprout muscles and spread its roots.

So be patient. Do some fermenting.

Do you have a favorite word?