Words, or: Control

Poetry Partners #2

‘Words’, a poem by Judy Dykstra-Brown of ‘LifeLessons’

By their adjustment,
I change their drift,
but when I alter their lilt,
I am as transformed by them
as they are by me.

I am inebriated by words.
I reel in their power
as they call my bluff.

They reflect the changes in me
I would otherwise not know.
I can float in their buoyant comfort
or shoot the rapids of emotion.

Words are my river and my raft,
my cushion and that daredevil conveyance
into a new stream of thought.

from which I never return
to the exact same world
I left from.

A poem by ben Alexander of ‘The Skeptic’s Kaddish’

That's a word, isn't it?
I have no idea
what I'm writing [about] half the time. Do you?
I have no idea
what words mean. Do you?
I have no idea
how to control them. Please, 
help me [understand].

Another word, [clearly] an illusion.
Sometimes, I return
to my poems many months after my
having written them;
Sometimes, I return,
for how else can I relate [if at all]
to my readers, to my words in their own right?
Sometimes, I return
only to be turned away by them, those bastards,
just as I was that first time.

distinguishes poetry from prose,
right? So I pack my words into forms
until they're seeping over the edges, only
to discover that I haven't
accomplished anything at all, and the free
verse poets have gotten it right.
So, who the hell
am I kidding? The words know. Honestly,
sometimes, I think they'd like nothing more than to
penetrate my too thick skull with

Words -
mine are in your eyes, your eyes, your
mind; and I can't take them back 
from you. 
I can't put them back in me. My pores pour 
intentions out, but my life 
raft is porous. 



Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

List of Poetry Partners

45 thoughts on “Words, or: Control”

  1. I adore Judy’s work, and this one is so deep. Your response is exactly how I feel about writing poetry and words compared to the control Judy has over them.

    1. Well done, Q.

      BTW, if you like writing poetry and playing with poetic forms, I high recommend that you follow the d’Verse group here:


      They have poetry prompts on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday every week, and anybody can participate and share their poems with the group – it’s a very welcoming community!


      1. Yeah, I’ve been following them for a while…. its just that I am not able to start on their topics for poems, having spent my time concentrating on my topics. So I’ll prolly start from now on 🙂

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