Friday, September 30, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-30


Time for more instances of the homophone: a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not, as heir and air.

1. lacks (verb): 3rd person singular of lack—to not have something; to not have enough of something; (noun): the state or condition of not having any or enough of something
2. lax (adj.): not careful or strict enough;  (noun) abbreviation for lacrosse, that outdoor game with sticks and running people a ball and a net

“You know what this poor college lacks?”
He asked while drinking to the max.

“It needs more lax, that awesome sport.”
He waited for some wise retort.

“The students here ARE lax,” he heard.
He looked to see who’d said that word.

He saw a prof just standing there—
The beard, the book, the unkempt hair.

“You’re all TOO lax,” the guy went on.
“You drink each day from dark to dawn

And never even take a look
At homework—or a classic book—”

But that's as far as he would get:
The others stomped him—oh, you bet!—

Then sat back down there at the bar.
“That prof down there was too bizarre,”

The first guy said. “He’ll never learn.”
They later burned him. Ashes. Urn.

Then buried him beneath a tree
For speaking so, well, thoughtlessly

About the sport of student kings
’Bout books and other retro things.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-29


Time for more instances of the homophone: a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not, as heir and air.

1. knows (verb): 3rd person singular of know—to perceive, to have understanding of, to recognize or be acquainted with
2. noes (noun): plural of no—a negative answer; people who are voting no
3. nose (noun):the part of the head through which a person or animal smells and breathes;  (verb): to push or move something with the nose; to search for or find something by smelling

We always hear the many noes
That echo through the night.
Those noes are numerous, I fear,
And rarely get it right.

I guess that everybody knows
How negatives can win:
Just drown the positives in sound—
Create a daunting din.

But we still do retain the nose
And we can use it well
To learn the human, better way,
Relying on the smell.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-28


1. knight (noun): a solider in the past who had a high social rank and who fought while riding a horse and usually wearing armor; a man who is given a special her and the title of Sir; a chess piece shaped like a horse’s head;  (verb): to give a man the rank of a knight
2. night (noun): the time of darkness between one day and the next;  (adj.) of or relating to the night; happening at night

I played some chess (was late at night)
But had some trouble with my knight:
I couldn’t get his moves down right.

But night skills are not strange to me—
Read on, dear friend, and you will see ...
Though night brings much … uncertainty.

Sir Dork (a knight) came here to play—
He had a firm, convincing way
To beat me. But it was my day

(I should say “night”): I kicked his butt—
I really cracked his coconut.
He drew his sword, prepared to cut,

But I was really on that night
And won the soon-ensuing fight.
I threw him out—but said, “Night, knight!

(I always like to be polite.)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-27


Time for more instances of the homophone: a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not, as heir and air.

1. gnu (noun): wildebeest
2. knew (verb): past tense of know—to perceive directly; to have understanding of, etc.
3. new (adj.): not old; recently born, built, or created
4. nu: the 13th letter of the Greek alphabet (like our letter N)

There were so many things he knew
The alphabet, the color blue,
The quickest route to Timbuktu.

He always loved the Ancient Greeks—
Like other sorts of language geeks.
He learned their alphabet (took weeks).

His favorite was the letter nu
Which thrilled our hero, through and through.
He named his dog for it (cat, too).

But on a trip abroadwhere he
In Africa had wished to see
The animals all running free—

Instead he learned things very new
And this, I swear, is sadly true:
He fell, so hard, for some young gnu.

No, not in love (no, that is gross!)—
He tripped before the gnu, morose,
And quickly bid us “Adios!”

That new gnu knew just what to do
When weird guys seem to lack a clue:
He trampled himand all was through.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-26


Time for more instances of the homophone: a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not, as heir and air.

1. knead (verb): to prepare dough by pressing a mixture of flour, water, etc., with your hands
2. kneed (verb): past tense of knee (verb): to hit a person with your knee
3. need (verb): to be in a condition or situation in which you must have something: to require something; (noun): a situation in which someone or something must do or have something


Yes, every guy has got the need
But it can cool when you get kneed.
So better off to mix and knead
Or ride your old velocipede
Or read a bit of Adam Bede
Or drink some flagons of some mead
Or buy a brand new suit of tweed
Than have to stand in court and plead
Your innocence. For then you’ll need
A lawyer who must needs succeed—
Or you’ll be jailed until you’re freed
For your most heinous, thoughtless deed.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-25


Time for more instances of the homophone: a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not, as heir and air.

1. carat (noun): a unit for measuring the weight of jewels
2. caret (noun): a wedge-shaped mark made on written or printed matter to indicate the place where something is to be inserted
3. carrot (noun): the long orange root of a plant that is eaten as a vegetable
4. karat (noun): measure of weight of gold

A single carat—that’s enough
To stir us to to some theft of stuff.

A single carrot—that’s enough
To make me act a little gruff.

A single caret—that’s enough
To make me know rough drafts are rough.

A single karat—that’s enough
To stir us to some theft of stuff.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-24


Time for more instances of the homophone: a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not, as heir and air.

1. genes (noun): plural of gene—a part of a cell that controls or influences the appearance, growth, etc., of a living thing
2. jeans (noun): plural of jean—a durable twilled cotton cloth used especially for sportswear and work clothes; pants usually made of jean or denim—usually used in the plural

She seemed to have the sort of genes
That made her look so good in jeans.

But she grew tired of men who stared—
She would have slapped them, had she dared—

Or blasted all to smithereens—
Employing help from several Jeans

She knew from work. But she just sighed,
Ignoring men (she wished they’d died!)

Who thought they had the right to stare,
Those men who’d never have a prayer


With her.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-23


Time for more instances of the homophone: a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not, as heir and air.

1. jam (noun): a food made by boiling sugar and fruit to a thick consistency; a difficult state of affairs; the pressure or congestion of a crowd; etc. (verb): to fill a place completely; to press or push an object into a tight place; to play music informally with other musicians; etc.
2. jamb (noun): a board that forms the side of a door or window

Oh,what an awful, crazy jam
I somehow found that I was in.
So I decided bread and jam
Might help remediate my sin.

I leaned against the door’s new jamb
And thought about my awful state—
I thought perhaps that I could jam
With friends, who all played really great.

And then it was I tried to jam
The money I had just then robbed
Into my pocket. Such a jam
Of cops! So I just stood and sobbed.

The cops then took me—jammed me in
A seedy cell. The judge—no smiles—
Then tossed me in the county bin,
Where I now wait my coming trials.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-22


Time for more instances of the homophone: a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not, as heir and air.

1. invade (verb):to enter a place (such as a foreign country) in order to take control by military force; to enter or be in a place where you are not wanted
2. inveighed (verb): past tense of inveigh—to protest or complain bitterly or vehemently

So while we heard how he inveighed
Against the Groundhog Day Parade
We kind of wished that he had stayed

At home. And here’s the thing he feared:
An alien would come (with beard
And goo and all). And we all jeered.

An alien invade! No way!
But then, of course, came Groundhog Day!
A craft swooped in, took Hog away.

We later learned their king had died—
There, hogs are king (hard to abide)—
So off he went—a saucer ride

To where he now would be the king—
With Queen and Prince and everything.
What shocks a Groundhog Day can bring! 


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-21


Time for more instances of the homophone: a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not, as heir and air.

1. inciteful (adj): stirring up action or excitement (generally in a negative way)
2. insightful (adj): having or showing a very clear understanding of something; full of insight (the power or act of seeing into a situation)

He thought that they were praising him—
It really wasn’t so.
Inciteful is the word they used,
And, if you didn’t know,

That word means you are dangerous—
At least they think you are—
And this is why the FBI
Took him away by car.

He should been insightful and
A bit more in the know.,
But he was not, so now he lives
There in Guantanamo. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-20


Time for more instances of the homophone: a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not, as heir and air.

1. incidents (noun): pl. of incident—an unexpected and usually unpleasant thing that happens
2. incidence (noun): the number of times something happens or develops; occurrence

The incidence of incidents
Was soon alarming everyone—
From governors and presidents
To Goth and Roman—even Hun.

These UFOs were everywhere
Yes, north and south and east and west.
And every single grizzly bear
Thought hibernation might be best.

In unison the aliens
Emerged from their huge saucer-craft
“We are Episcopalians,”
They said. Oh, were these creatures daft?

The grizzly bears came out again—
It seemed much safer to them now.
The aliens said one “Amen”
And spun away—we’re not sure how.

It seems they were afraid of bears—
So when they saw what they could see,
The said their very frightened prayers
And flew back to their galaxy.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-19


Time for more instances of the homophone: a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not, as heir and air.


1. eminent (adj.): successful, well-known, and respected
2. immanent (adj.): indwelling, inherent
3. imminent (adj.): happening very soon

He hired a surgeon (eminent)
To find out where his poor soul went.
It used to be, well, immanent.

But then one day it simply fled—
And in his heart he felt such dread
That he just simply went to bed.

But help, he hoped, was imminent.
The surgeon to his task was bent.
But though he cut, there was a dent

That formed along the hard bright blade
The scalpel had. The thing was made
Of finest steel. He was afraid

When he woke up, the surgeon gone
In those, the early hours of dawn.
He sat up then—and such a yawn!

And there he saw the surgeon’s note:
“Your heart’s too hard—a double coat
Of cruelty. That’s all she wrote.”

And so he gave up any hope.
He found a sturdy length of rope.
And then he hanged himself—the dope!

But even hanging didn’t work—
He was so thoroughly a jerk
The rope just snapped. He went berserk!

A woman found him in a heap,
Said, “Try not being such a creep.”
He listened. Changed. And now can sleep.


With her.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-18


Time for more instances of the homophone: a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not, as heir and air.

1. aisle (noun): a passage between sections of seats; a passage where people walk through a store, market, etc.
2. I’ll (contraction of I will)
3. isle (noun): island

I guess I’ll just confess it: I
First saw her walking down the aisle,
And I, a wedding guest, to try
To woo here there? Not subtle style!

But woo I did—so shamelessly.
But I’d misjudged—a country mile!
So quickly they disposed of me—
Marooned me on this desert isle.

I do not have much company—
A bottle floats up now and then—
A palm, of course, the only tree.
All this for just a social sin!?

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-17


Time for more instances of the homophone: a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not, as heir and air.

1. idle (adj.): not working, active, or being used
2. idol (noun): a greatly loved or admired person; a picture or object that is worshipped as a god
3. idyll (noun): a simple poem or other piece of literature that describes peaceful, country life; a happy or enjoyable scene or experience

While reading Idylls of the King,
He feared that he’d be recognized,
For in a Starbucks, everything
Is public—usual or prized.

But he was feeling idle when
He headed out that fateful day.
He couldn’t think of when he’d been,
Well, free enough to act this way.

He was, you see, an idol, who
Was popular—the music scene.
And folks like him should never do
Appearances for mere caffeine.

He was, of course, swarmed over by
Adoring masses at the store.
They smothered him—and our poor guy
Was trampled—dead!—there on the floor.

So Starbucks offered them a drink—
It was the least that they could do.
It was so fruity, sweet and pink.
Their name for it? The Idyll Brew.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-16


Time for more instances of the homophone: a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not, as heir and air.

1. eyed (verb, past tense of eye): to watch or look at in a very close or careful way
2. I'd (contraction of I and had or would)

I'd eyed her much too long, I guess,
For she had had enough:
“You’re kinda creepy,” she declared—
With other unkind stuff.

"And so," she said, "I'm warning you:
This eyeing stuff just stops.
If not, well, be prepared,” she said,
“For I will call the cops.”

But I did not, and so she did,
And now I’m growing pale:
Without the sun it’s hard to tan
Here in the county jail.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-15


Time for more instances of the homophone: a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not, as heir and air.

1. humerus (noun): the long bone of the upper arm between the shoulder and the elbow
2. humorous (adj): causing laughter

Why did they think it humorous
To see me break my humerus?

I would not think it funny if
They lost their little bunny (Biff).

But, yo, when I fell down the stairs,
They stood there laughing—just like bears,

The grizzly kind, when hikers think
They can outrun a bear. They wink

(The bears)—oh, blunt and bloody breed!
And then proceed to feed, feed, feed.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-14


Time for more instances of the homophone: a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not, as heir and air.

1. hostel (noun): an inexpensive place for usually young travelers to stay overnight; a shelter for homeless people
2. hostile (adj.): of or relating to an enemy; not friendly—having or showing unfriendly feelings; unpleasant or harsh

His hostel room was not the best
(The worst, in fact, from east to west),
But it was his—and he felt blessed.

But then one day some hostile guy
Moved in next door—I’m not sure why.
But he was very much nearby.

Our friend was not too sure of it—
And was not happy, not one bit.
And, sure enough, it was a hit!

The hitman tried to play it cool—
But he got taken straight to school.
(This hitman was a total fool.)

Our friend had lured him through the door—
Then hit him with a dresser drawer.
The hitman hit the hostel floor.

Our friend became a hero then—
A viral story—ten of ten!
And now he’s back in bucks again!