The pure in heart are forming ranks
And fingering their guns,
So best reach for a crossword
And polish up your puns.
When single minds say history
Is made of marching boots,
Seek out the wilderness of words
And live on roots.

        For though the boots crunch down
        Still the words twist free
        And the song they sing
        Is multiplicity.

Words aglint with wickedness
Wink from all around,
Though hygeinists with acronyms
Would stamp them to the ground.
One little word'll make them itch
To throw you in the quod,
Extend the laws of blasphemy
Or fetch the kneecap squad.

        For the boots clamp down
        But the words twist free
        And I'm in love
        With the O.E.D.

The single-minded have The Word
And slogan it in chorus.
Introduce it to some friends -
Recite the whole thesaurus


Words of granite, words of bone
Words you whisper when alone
Words in Bibles, words in drag
Words as British as the flag
Words that have the power to hurt
Words courageous, words inert
Words that stutter, words that flow
Words that only women know
Words abandoned, words precise
Words that may be breeding lice
Words that sailors use on boats
Words that bite each other's throats
Words galumphing, words effete
Words that bluster, words that bleat
Words exotic, savage words
Words as somnolent as turds
Words with Middle German roots
Words in Doctor Marten's boots
Words Miltonically tremendous
Words with bit-parts in East Enders
Words that glitter, words that droop
Words in recipes for soup
Words caressed in cocktail bars
Words like foetuses in jars
Words in lovesongs, words in jail
Words that keening women wail
Words delightful, words euphoric
Words that smell of paregoric
Words that bounce and words that buckle
Words that child-molesters chuckle
Words indecent, words in pain
Words we'll never use again
Words we gabble on the phone
Words that rural deans intone
Words resounding, true and brave
Words that market aftershave
Words unfit for human eyes
Words that children vandalise
Words that fondle, words that tear
Words describing Rupert Bear
Words as warm as cups of tea
Words in captions on Page Three
Words that fiddle, words that fake
Words that think they're William Blake
Words announced on railway stations
Words with Freudian connotations
Words like "voguing", words like "surd"
Words unlike every other word
Words that Mother used to sing
Words that suddenly take wing
And lift us in amazing flight
Through the terrors of the night
To gently leave us, open eyed
Smiling on the other side.

George Simmers

(This poem was originally published under a pseudonym)

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