Poetry is Written in Words: Sixteen

Poems from my Merriam-Webster Word of the Day project. For more information, look here.

akimbo : having the hand on the hip and the elbow turned outward

doing the limbo
in his living room window
elbows akimbo

haiku 1022 : 7/15/22

brandish : to shake or wave (something, such as a weapon) menacingly

The archives
their arthritic hands
much stronger
than you’d thought
brandish the truth in your face.
Give up, you liar.

shadorma 447 : 8/31/22

genteel : maintaining or striving to maintain the appearance of superior or middle-class social status or respectability

genteel white cotton
a left hand lies in the mud
palm down and pointing

haiku 1043 : 10/24/22


“Akimbo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/akimbo. Accessed 15 Jul. 2022.

“Brandish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brandish. Accessed 31 Aug. 2022.

“Genteel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/genteel. Accessed 24 Oct. 2022.

8 thoughts on “Poetry is Written in Words: Sixteen

  1. The last one is poignant. I can’t decide if it’s a body or a glove (or maybe you meant something else).

    As for the archives–so true! Lots of people want to re-write history.

    • Hmmm, I will leave the last one a mystery (just as it was to me. I think this one wrote itself, I had the thought as soon as I saw the word of the day. !!! And you bet, re-writing history seems to be a basic human urge, I think.

  2. “Limbo” and “Akimbo” are very fun to rhyme. The middle poem speaks to me as someone whose research in archives has led to the truth being exposed when certain people would much rather have just stuck to the fiction they had created or had been fed. The last poem is both poignant and spooky. Something about the whiteness of the now soiled glove seems ghostly to me or maybe even cadaverous.

    • I love the word akimbo and when I saw it the word limbo came to mind, and I just had to go from there. I also think people mostly would rather accept a pleasant fiction any day, oh yes. And as for gloves, I do think they are kind of odd little creations, they are just too much like the human hand (compared to say, socks or the like).

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