Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-90


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. knot (noun): an interlacement of the parts of one or more flexible bodies forming a limb or knob; the lump or knob so formed; something hard to solve (a problem); a bond of union; a cluster of persons or things; etc.; (verb): to tie a section of rope, string, etc.; to make the score of a game tied or equal; etc.
2. not (adv.): used to form the negative of modal verbs and other parts of speech;  used humorously at the end of a positive statement to show that you really meant the opposite

“I do not like you”—so she said
And flipped her hair upon her head.
And so I promptly made her dead …
Not.

I tied a knot with that thick rope—
And found a guy—he had no hope!
I hanged the guy, that stupid dope …
Not.

BOSS: “It is a problem—such a knot
That all of us, I fear, have got.”
So stupid! So I aimed and shot …
Not.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sound & Sense, 2-89


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. know (verb): to perceive directly; to be aware of the truth; to have sexual intercourse with (archaic); (noun): knowledge
2. no (adv.): used to give a negative answer; used to introduce a statement that corrects and earlier statement; (adj.): not any; (noun): a negative answer; a vote of no

Todd had no reason—no, nor cause—
To try to kill old Santa Claus.

The man in red, who seemed to know
The naughty/nice of man and crow

And dog and cat and … everything
With foot and hoof and fin and wing,

Somehow did not become aware
Of danger in the Christmas air

Until mad Todd sprang his surprise—
Some mace he shot in Santa’s eyes.

But Santa had no fear of mace—
He was invulnerable, his face

Protected by his age and beard,
And so what Todd had deeply feared

Indeed came very, sadly true:
“No gifts!” cried Santa. “None for you!

In fact, you’ll never ‘know’ cute Anne—
Try as you will, try as you can!”

So Todd crept off and wept a tear.
“I’ll try again!” he vowed. “Next year!”

Monday, November 28, 2016

Sound & Sense, 2-88


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. 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 chess piece shaped like a horse’s head; a man who is given a special honor and the title of Sir by the king or queen of England; (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

Sir Dan—that fabled fearless knight
Preferred (when he was forced to fight)
To  choose the hours of the night.

It’s not that fighting late is fun—
He didn’t like to fight—a ton—
At night, he knew that he could run!

And why would someone knight this guy—
Who loved his night-work (darkest sky!)?
He was so handsome—that is why!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sound & Sense, 2-87


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. nicks (noun—plural of nick): a small cut; a small broken area
2. nix (noun): nothing; a water sprite of Germanic folklore; (verb): to refuse to accept or allow; (adv.): used to express disagreement

He always played his stupid tricks—
Asked me to join, but I said, “Nix.”

He flashed at me a flashy blade—
Some nicks it caused (oh, will they fade?).

I went down to the local pond,
Invoked a nix from far beyond.

The sprite advised me to avoid
The nixter—I was so annoyed.

He called me later—“We should go
To drink a bit? A picture show?”

But my reply was simple: “Nix!
You cut me, Dude—and just for kicks!”

And in my will I’ve left him nix
And posted (Facebook) ugly pix

Of him absconding with a swan
He’d stolen from the judge’s lawn.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Sound & Sense, 2-86


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. gneiss (noun): a foliated metamorphic rock corresponding in composition to a feldspathic plutonic rock (as granite)
2. nice (adj.): giving pleasure or joy; attractive or of good quality; kind, polite, and friendly

It isn't nice to throw a rock—
Especially at an older man,
Who’s merely walking down the block,
Who makes his way as best he can.

And when that rock you throw is gneiss,
And when it hits him in the face,
And when he then slips on the ice,
And sprawls in pain—oh such disgrace!

So if you choose to be more kind—
To be more human, far more nice
It’s better if you search and find
A softer rock—that isn’t gneiss.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Sound & Sense, 2-85


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. moo (noun): the throat noise of a cow; (verb): to make the throat noise of a cow
2. moue (noun): a little grimace, pout

She liked to moo as sunset fell,
And she could moo so very well—
Accompanied by that thick bell

That Farmer Jones put round her neck.
A bull he owned—his name was Beck—
Just loved that moo—made Beck a wreck

Emotionally. But what to do
To get to hear that magic moo
For all of time? And this is true:

Beck eased up next to her one day,
Revealed his feelings (it was May).
Her moue was better than sweet hay.

They formed a pair there on the farm—
He had the power; she had charm.
He kept her from the smallest harm.

And so they lived throughout their days—
With moos and moues, their love ablaze—
Reminding some of Shakespeare plays.

(The happy ones.)

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Sound & Sense, 2-84


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 recognize, discern; to be aware of the truth or factuality of
3. new (adj.): not old; recently born, built, or created; not used by anyone else previously; recently bought, rented, etc.
4. nu (noun): the 13th letter of the Greek alphabet

While learning the Greek alphabet,
She most adored that letter nu.
(In fact, she later took a jet
To Greece—the kind of thing she’d do.)

She thought she’d stop in Africa—
It’s what she often did: She flew
To places that she loved. And the
Weird outcome here? She met a gnu.

And this was somewhat new for her—
An animal she learned to love,
A thing with horns and lots of fur.
(Oh, what was she then thinking of?!?!)

But we all knew it wouldn’t last:
Her love for nu, her love for gnu:
Those love affairs could both be classed
As very weird. And so we drew

Conclusions. And when she returned,
We nabbed her, grabbed her, took her to
A “special place”—a place she’d earned:
We knew about that nu and gnu!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Sound & Sense, 2-83


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 with your hands; to pres and squeeze a person’s muscles with your hands.
2. Kneed (verb—past tense of knee): to hit (a person) with your knee
3. Need (noun): a situation in which someone or something must do or have something; a strong feeling that you must have or do something; (verb): to be needful or necessary; to be in want; require

When he was baking bread (a need
So powerful: he hoped to feed
His fam’ly for a week), he’d speed

Along, sans recipe, and take
A lot of time—and then he’d bake
All afternoon. One day … mistake.

You need, of course, to knead the dough—
It helps when you are fierce and slow—
Then watch the mixtures rise and grow. 

But he forgot to knead the bread—
He had some foreign beers instead.
And woke up later in his bed

Without a single memory
Of his routine. He went to see.
The dough cried out: “Now you must be

Attentive, Dude! Know where it’s at!
And be alert—yes, that is that!
If not, you see, I turn out flat!”

He felt as if he had been kneed
Or, like a possum, had been treed.
Oh, such a dire, neglectful deed!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Sound & Sense, 2-82


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. gnatty (adj.): filled with those small flies that bite people and animals
2. natty (adj.): trimly neat and tidy

So Natty Bumppo, Cooper’s guy,
Could not avoid the gnat, the fly.
He roamed the woods—and we know why:

He found the paths and slew the deer—
And this went on from year to year—
Till he grew gnatty, toe to ear,

And looked less natty all the while—
That buckskin woodsman sort of style—
But never too macabre or vile.

But then he never more awoke—
Was this some kind of awful joke?—
Gnats ate him—deer just watched him croak.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Sound & Sense, 2-81


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. nay (noun): a no vote; (adverb): no; used to correct what you have said by replacing a word with one that is more accurate or appropriate
2. neigh (verb): of a horse: to make a loud, long sound; (noun): the sound of a horse

'Twas time to vote. His vote was Nay!
The simple bill passed anyway—
A bill to buy the steeds some hay.

The horses wished to cry “Hooray!”
But all they knew to do was neigh.
So neigh they did, all night, all day.

The man who voted nay, nay, nay
Was such a massive jerk—well, nay,
He was a creep! No more to say.

Or neigh.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sound & Sense, 2-80


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. mustard (noun): a thick and spicy yellow or brownish-yellow sauce that is usually eaten with meat; a plant with yellow flowers; a brownish-yellow color
2. mustered (verb; past tense of muster): to work hard to find or get (courage, support, etc.); to gather together (a group of people, soldiers, etc.) especially for battle or war

The men were mustered—questioned why
That late the night before someone
Had sneaked into the kitchen (sly!)
And stole the mustard jars—each one.

The Colonel loved his mustard, so
He was, of course, upset a bit.
The brig was where the thief would go—
And then a noose (just think of it!).

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Sound & Sense, 2-79


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. mussed (verb—past tense of muss): to make something such as clothing or hair messy or untidy
2. must (aux verb): to say something is required by law; to say that someone should do something; to say that something is very likely

She must have left her hat at home,
For when the wind blew (there in Rome),

It mussed her lovely golden locks—
And made her wish she had a box

To cover up her tousled hair.
She knew her boyfriend wouldn’t care,

But she still felt some certain pride
In having hair that seemed she’d tried

To keep it neat—and in control.
She heard the wind, the thunder roll,

And just gave up—or so I guess.
For when I saw her? Such a mess.

But one must be so very kind—
Pretend, perhaps, that one is blind—

When saying things to one’s true love.
(You know what I am speaking of?)

Friday, November 18, 2016

Sound & Sense, 2-78


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. muscle (noun): a body tissue that can contract and produce movement; physical strength; power and influence; (verb): to move something by using physical strength or force; to move forward by using physical force
2. mussel (noun): a type of shellfish that has a long dark shell

The mussel had a muscle that
Alarmed the other dudes
Who lived beneath the wine-dark sea
And ate their simple foods—

A Schwartzenegger sort of bulge
Affecting ocean tides
That gave the cruise ships up above
Some terrifying rides.

But when he tried to muscle in
On Sammy Shark’s terrain,
The mussel learned what happens when
Sharp teeth meet mussel brain.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Sound & Sense, 2-77


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. murderess (noun): a woman who murders
2. murderous (adj.): very violent or deadly; very angry; having the purpose or capability of murder

The murderess, so murderous,
Became so bloody furious
She aimed her weapon right at us.

She cried aloud, “Just shut your face!
You make me sick, you human race!
Your failures are a dark disgrace!”

“That sounded harsh,” said smiling Rand,
A cappuccino in his hand,
While looking fit and very tanned.

“Why be so rude?” a girl asked next.
Her sneer showed well that she was vexed,
Her thumbs a-flying on a text.

The murderess just chose to stare
At this, a very strange affair,
And realized: “I just don’t care.”

She dropped her weapon on the ground,
Took one last look and turned around,
Got on a plane, Hawaii-bound.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-76


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. morn (noun): morning; dawn
2. mourn (verb): to feel or show great sadness because someone has died; to feel or show great sadness or unhappiness about something

They could but mourn that dreary morn
When hope collapsed and fear was born.

They tried excuses (none convinced)—
So many things they railed against.

But hope (as Emily declared)
Has feathers—and is never scared.

So they went on—or so I’ve heard.
Their leader was that hopeful bird.

And when the sunset spread its glow,
Their every yes replaced each no

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-75


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. moat (noun): a deep, wide ditch that is usually filled with water and that goes around the walls of a place, such as a castle, to protect it from being attacked
2. mote (noun): a very small piece of dust, dirt, etc.

The King was feeling insecure,
And so he built a moat.
But he ignored an enemy—
A super-powered goat.

The goat just drank the whole thing down—
The troops then swarmed inside.
They caught the King, who’d been online
And had nowhere to hide.

They took him to the chopping block—
He saw the axe, the guy.
He cried aloud: “Just wait a sec!
A mote is in my eye!”

That didn’t work, I’m sad to say—
So bid the King farewell.
He’ll join the Headless Horseman—and
Such grisly tales they’ll tell!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-74


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. moose (noun): a large animal with very large, flat antlers that lives in forests in the northern part of america, Europe, and Asia
2. mousse (noun): a cold and sweet food made with whipped cream or egg whites and usually fruit or chocolate; a foamy substance that is used in styling a person’s hair

And when Bullwinkle went on a tour of the place—
It was Wonka’s, you know; it consumes lots of space—

He felt 
just like a moose (which, of course, he must be),
But he acted so human—just like you and me.

But he tripped and he fell (such a silly old goose),
And emerged from the vat like a great chocolate mousse.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-72


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. mood (noun): a conscious state of mind or predominant emotion; a prevailing attitude
2. mooed (verb—past tense of moo): to make the throat noise of a cow

When Elsie mooed, well, Elmer knew
Exactly what he had to do:
He calmed her with his taurine skill—
And found for her a daffodil,

A flower Elmer knew she loved—
So with his horn that flower he shoved
Below her gorgeous bovine nose
And struck a studly, bullish pose.

The pose and gift—they fixed her mood,
Improved her general attitude.
Then Elmer, Elsie found a spot—
Where … should I say? … ’twas very hot!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-71


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. mode (noun): a particular form or variety of something; a form or manner of expression; a possible, customary, or preferred way of doing something; the most frequent value of a set of data; etc.
2. mowed (verb—past tense of mow): to cut down with a scythe or sickle or machine; to kill or destroy in great numbers; etc.

Collecting what he had been owed
For all those lawns that he had mowed
Required a different sort of mode

Of action than he’d thought was right.
He had to show up in the night,
A scythe in hand—and cause a fright

Of such a very wide extent
That debtors knew just what he meant
And paid him promptly—every cent.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-70


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. mewl (verb): to whimper
2. mule (noun): a hybrid between a horse and a donkey; a very stubborn person; a drug smuggler; a shoe or slipper without quarter or heel strap

A baby, he was wont to mewl
In comfort in his nurse’s arms.
A boy, he longed to own a mule
He grew up on some family farms.

An adolescent—such a mule!—
He would not listen to his folks.
A man, he knew he’d been a fool
To scorn his parents’ silly jokes.

A middle-ager, kids in school,
He erred (he didn’t like to fail).
He carried drugs—he was a mule
And ended up in county jail.

An elder man, he changed his ways—
Rejecting all his crimes and sins.
And so for all remaining days
His losses were transformed to wins.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-69


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. minks (noun—plural of mink): a small animal that has a thin body and soft, dark brown fur; the skin and fur of a mink used for making clothing; a piece of clothing (such as a coat) made of mink
2. minx (noun): a sexually attractive and playful woman who often causes trouble (not PC! Dates to 16th century; origin unknown.)

If you call a woman “minx,”
You’d better pony up for minks.
A word like that just really stinks
With anyone who loves and thinks.

So if you say it, minks must die—
To make a stole (you stupid guy!).
Of course, to think that this will fly

Is just another way to be
So very thoughtless, un-PC.

Don’t be a nut: Keep your mouth shut!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-68


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. mind (noun): the part of the person that thinks, reasons, feels, and remembers; (verb): to be bothered by something; to follow the orders or instructions of; to give protective care to
2. mined (past tense of mine): to dig a mine; to search for something valuable

Throughout his life he tried to find
Solutions to the hardest things.
He educated—taught—his mind
To profit from what knowledge brings.

And later on throughout his life
He mined his mind, oh, countless times.
He even found a loving wife,
Who loved his silly daily rhymes.

At times he had to mind their child,
Who grew up in a happy home.
And though his thoughts were sometimes wild—
He never felt the urge to roam.

He did not very often mind
The quiet life. He loved the stars.
He changed into the roaming kind
And built a craft and flew to Mars.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sound and Sense, 2-67


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. moan (verb): to make a long, low sound; to express unhappiness; to say something in a way that shows pain or unhappiness; (noun): a long, low sound that someone makes because of pain, unhappiness, or physical pleasure; a long, low sound; a complaint about something
2. mown (verb—past participle form of mow): to cut down with a scythe or sickle or machine; to kill or destroy in great numbers; to overcome swiftly and decisively

Yes, all of us could hear the moan
Out in our yard. The grass, just mown
Here on the grounds that we now own,

Was telling us that it was sad,
Considered all this cutting bad,
As if the mowing somehow had

Committed some egregious crime.
“But, geez, we mow it all the time!”
“And keep us from our lush green prime!”

The grass replied in dudgeon high.
That scared me—hearing grasses cry.
“How would you like it, human guy,

If after you had grown a bit,
We clipped you off, you little twit!?”
Well, I had heard enough of it.

I cranked the mower once again,
And cut it lower (not a sin!)—
Such silent grass brought me a grin!