Magpie Tales (89) (“These Words Are No Nest”)


This is a post (1001th – an apology to those who subscribe) made for Tess Kincaid’s Magpie Tales. Each week Tess posts an interesting photograph as a prompt. The above is my personal take on the photo–I’ve revised it a bit to fit in with the poem below, a sonnet of sorts.

No Nest

These words are no nest.  They won’t warm you
when I’m gone.  You won’t be able to tuck
your head under a t, though it starts true,
slip fingers down n‘s curve, deftly pluck
replies from even the unsilent e‘s.
They won’t warm me either–no echoes
in ashen brains, though spread upon a breeze.
As twigs and hair and grass and dust close in,
words will be somewhere else; just as what peeps
behind these eyes, this voice, this flickering
insistent maw of self, will, at best, sleep
long.  But for now, I’m here, a bickering
steadfast word monger, building a place
of syllabic lingering, would-be embrace.


(I am also linking this poem to The Poetry Palace weekly poets’ rally.)

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39 Comments on “Magpie Tales (89) (“These Words Are No Nest”)”

  1. Well said. It is always a mistake to think of words as possessions and of what we possess as meaningful at the deepest levels.

  2. Mohana Says:

    Love the flow…

  3. rob kistner Says:

    …this opens for me as a strange and fascinating look at death… but then, I’m obsessed with that final throw…

  4. Martin Says:

    I’ve read this through three times now. It’s delightful.

  5. I absolutely love this, wordsmith! Every line is memorable and the cadence dances– “These words are no nest. They won’t warm you
    when I’m gone.”– fabulous. xxxxj

  6. Other Mary Says:

    Congrats on #1001! What a memorable poem for it. I love the word play, the extended metaphor, and your musings on mortality. Don’t apologize for this – it’s great!

  7. This was quite a unique direction you took off in. I really enjoyed it.

  8. Beautifully turned. And your image has a soft feeling of fog on a remnant-strewn beach, with the paper rising luminously white, the only ship in the sea worth knowing.

  9. Mama Zen Says:

    Terrific write! I really enjoyed this.

  10. Tumblewords Says:

    Love this – so well layered and lush.

  11. Laurie Kolp Says:

    I love this… the use of letters. Our words are our legacy.

  12. Jinksy Says:

    I loved your illustration as well as your curvacious letter-body in danger of demise…

  13. Jane Jones Says:

    no echoes
    in ashen brains


    of syllabic lingering, would-be embrace

    Excellent word-craft! Inventive!

  14. brian miller Says:

    ah who knows…find the right agent and those words might keep food on teh table and you warm at night…smiles. nice verse….

  15. Jo Bryant Says:

    so many layers to go through with this – great images – loved it

  16. Isabel Doyle Says:

    from the heart! nicely original and well written

  17. I pray that you’re always around to build these stories. Nests or not, they’re comforting nonetheless 🙂

    Arnab Majumdar on

  18. Tess Kincaid Says:

    I. Love. This. And not just because I consider myself a magpie. It’s a stellar piece of writing. Thank you…

  19. I read this out loud and it stings a little bit. Very nice writing!

  20. Jacqui BB Says:

    Nice summed up the feeling of us word mongers.

  21. Nel Says:

    This got me: You won’t be able to tuck
    your head under a t, though it starts true.

    Creative play of words. I also find the structure quite interesting. Nicely done.

  22. And the embrace is strong! A captivating poem.
    “These words are no nest. They won’t warm you
    when I’m gone. You won’t be able to tuck
    your head under a t, though it starts true,”

  23. ZQ Says:

    I was first confused (I think on purpose)then it came together with clarity. Awesome!

  24. I ABSOLUTELY love this! You are definitely a “steadfast word monger, building a place of syllabic lingering” and you made me want to hang out a bit. Your flow and meter are pitch perfect. I’m looking forward to reading more!

  25. Jess Says:

    words can bring comfort and memories, but it’s just not the same. good job

  26. Sometimes I save poetry from the rallies to read over again, and this is certainly one I’ll be re-reading. I have so much respect for people like you; those who take words and turn them into something beautiful and something I can entirely relate to.

  27. CC Champagne Says:

    For some reason this made me think of my very first, manual, typewriter which should still be hiding away in its case in the basement storage… Powerful words (and I don’t know exactly why it made me think about that, but who cares?)!

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