There are some words that simply do not belong in a poem,
forlorn, unfurl and possibly soul to name a few.
That’s not to say they ought not exist at all,
but only that they no longer name anything genuine.

Were these words once chokingly grand?
I don’t exactly know how they lost their souls,
though overuse and vagueness are strong contenders
with obsessive rhyming taking the lead in the race.

A poetic word should have a persona, a grace,
not a clunky bustling, fattened on stereotype,
but a blossoming fragrance, slowly undressing
luring the imagination into the petals not yet unfurled.

No, these words are either too chewy or too salty,
Insipid to the point of emotional clamminess,
neither giddy nor forlorn, precipitous nor stable,
so no self-respecting poet dares today to use them.

May they rest in peace, knowing their lives were full.

Photo by V. H. Hammer

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