Sunday, June 26, 2011


Editor's note: "Written and spoken language separates us humans from lower animals, but the inability to use words sometimes gives animals the edge," Dad wrote as the introduction to this poem.

Words are tools
Of kings, philosophers and fools;
Tools that mold the mortal clay,
Or bend the twig, or lead the way;
Tools that move the common herd,
The written and the spoken word.

Some words are kind,
Bringing comfort, peace of mind;
Words of care, and words of praise,
That help to brighten gloomy days;
These words of kindness, I have learned,
Are seldom lost - they'll be returned.

Some words are keen,
harp and cutting, vile and mean;
Use of evil words, we find,
Will indicate an evil mind,
For they are now, have always been
The implements of little men.

Words we say
We may regret another day;
From lessons gathered long ago,
And painful still, how well I know
Words we've spoken soft and sweet
Are never the ones we have to eat!

Hominy Grits (1986)

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