Faithfully and Avid


(for Peter Nicholls)

Each little pronoun is a cutting knife,
Verbs want to be in the race
Rushing or dithering all over the place,
But worldly adverbs dwell with you for life.
In time your nouns will all get up and go,
The flash ones first, with poncey capital letters
Designating them among our betters.
An adverb nods, murmuring I told you so.

Syntax hangs in there to the bitter end.
Fumbling in bed, you have your clauses still,
Word-order and mental punctuation:
They do not falter in your situation.
Healthy as vitamins or chlorophyll
Your adverb is the uncomplaining friend.

Chris Wallace-Crabbe


Avid for language
with real bite in it
my mouth is stuffed again
mumbling over a tongue
through which my teeth have met.

Aileen Kell



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