Monday, April 23, 2007


(response to Sunday Scribblings prompt, 'Rooted')

Words get pillaged.
Some get carried off
by Genghis Khan in full drag.
'Gay' went that way.
One day it frolicked at summer picnics
children's parties and merry Christmases.
Next day it was gone
abducted in the night.

I suspect 'rooted'
shifted ground more subtly.
A well-founded worthy word
it shunted noble elements
in deep osmotic transfer.
Building foundation for high
branching futures of all varieties.
But sometime in the decades after
the Americans shafted
their colonial lords,
the Australians, perhaps some
crudely cultivated convict mind,
first leered at penetration by
root of tree in moist forest soil
and found there an
excuse for prurience.
Whatever the source
it is regrettably hard
to say 'rooted' in the Antipodes
while maintaining much hold on dignity.

(Aussie joke: Wombat eats roots & leaves.)


Janie Hickok Siess, Esq. said...

Great job . . . very unusual but held my interest, as always. I love visiting your blog to see what you have come up with. I always learn something. Tonight it was about the wombat. Thanks.

My Sunday Scribblings are posted, too. Stop by!

Crafty Green Poet said...

Before this prompt, I hadn't known the Aussie use of the word! its strange how words can mutate.

gautami tripathy said...

"A well-founded worthy word
it shunted noble elements
in deep osmotic transfer."

Very beautifully put.

missmellifluous said...

I can't believe you included that joke. I'm trying not to laugh, so as to hold onto my dignity.

The American saying "We're rooting for ya!" has always produced a snicker from me and I always feel like replying with a very polite, "Oh, please don't."

I just hope I never come across this word while studying literature with a class full of Year 10 boys. That would be the end!

I don't get the Genghis Khan reference... but the "full drag" touch is nice. I like your word play.

missmellifluous said...

Oh, and I only don't get the Kahn ref because I am not savvy when it comes to history...

missmellifluous said...

See, I can't even spell it. Pathetic.

ish said...

Thanks missmel. I can't spell. I can also tell Marion (bless her)has been in to this and has done a couple of corrections for me including the spelling of Genghis Khan. He's in there because he was such a brute and a likely candidate for pillaging anything including words. Also maybe a metaphor of an aggressive homosexual male appropriating for the 'cause'. It might be him in drag, or the word 'gay' itself in drag after being coopted. (Or both.) I like how drag can double up in meaning, like the word being carried off unwillingly and 'enslaved' to other usage.