The Words

Hiding somewhere in this fluff is the thing I want.
Somewhere in this pile of not-quite-right and
Almost and nearly-had-it-there
Is what I’m looking for.
I just haven’t found it yet.

Mushy words, breezy words,
Slanty-wise, wordy-word words,
Words of confusion, searching,
Wrong turns, blind alleys
(Overused cliches)
And all the crowds of everyday,
Every-man, every-woman,
Ordinary, unassuming,
Obstinate and utterly unhelpful words
Are obscuring the thing I want:
The Words.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against
All of the words lying around here;
I’ve used a lot of ’em before and will again.
But today they’re making me dig,
Making me work, making me feel my way
Inch by inch, syllable by syllable
Toward the thing
The thing that the right words will lift into life.

What is the thing?
I don’t know yet.
I will know it when my words
Strike the right sound, when
The thing that feels like truth
Reverberates to the bottom of me.
I must keep honing these words,
Cutting away the false,
Because the right words
In the right time
And the right way, to me
Are joy.


2 comments so far

  1. ap on

    Nice :)

  2. NancyN on

    I love this post – reminds me so much of Billy Collins’ poetry. I just wish I could hear you read it out loud.

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