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  • D. Ellsworth

Just A Word

Today I was thinking how sometimes just a single word will be the catalyst for writing. Poetry may be more prone to this than other writing, but it can work for anything. I am posting three poems that started with just exploring one word. It is somehow extra pleasing when a poem almost springs from a simple seed. Enjoy.

Needed Change


loose fit flannel

warm toddy, blazing fire

aging dog reclined at the feet

evening giving respite from daytime's rigors

sleep through all the nocturnal hours

stiffness settles slowly in bones

coffee jolt to dulled mind

start morning tasks


Rewritten Definition

There is no need to talk

silence says it all—

just listen to soft breathing

see chest rise and fall.

'Tis the love transcending

species or race—

just abiding with another

sharing air and space.

The bond making family

is not genetic traces,

it's the caring and aiding

that differences erases.

Thus pets become family,

as do close friends—

the boundary is nebulous

and definition bends.

The opposite is also true

it grinds upon the ear;

that the nuclear "family"

is not always dear.

For if there isn't love

but genetics alone

then family is a blasphemy

burning to the bone.

A canker is inseminated

in the living soul

that as it grows

tends to taint the whole.

Don't save the nuclear family

at any cost,

be circumspect and realize

some things are best lost.

So there you have it

family is just a word

to place it on a pedestal

is dangerous—and absurd.


I am standing here naked;

I dressed in misconception,

but the rest of the world

wasn't buying my deception.

There is nothing more revealing

than the emperor's new clothes,

for the saddest fact of life

is "the wearer never knows."

So dress yourself in facts,

use the shield of disbelief,

with naught to be revealed

there will be a sweet relief.

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