Words which clamber for birth,
eager to cling to the page,
words which would raise to self-worth
modestly seeking a place.
Words which admit, words which deny,
words deftly-chosen, words misapplied.
Dominatrix words which try
to overpower a subtle punchline.
Words which have something to say,
each syllable tuned in its own way,
conciliating or armed for the fray,
screaming surprise or mumbling cliché.
Words that edge to the ideal mate;
working their way towards standing up straight,
shuffling their way into ship-shape phrases
like uneasy conscripts with falsified ages.
Words scrubbed out and aptly replaced,
jackets buttoned and shoes tightly laced,
a tidy battalion of lines and stanzas;
meter supplanting the weapons of battle,
bragging the spit and polish of rhyme,
till all might concur that the verse is sublime,
the meter is perfect, the message shines.
for all their courageous claims
of muscle, weight and girth,
often wither and fade
into an insipid blur
Written for Word of the Day Challenge: Insipid
©Jane Paterson Basil