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“Why use long, smart-arse words?” my brother said.
“’Cos I’ve got so many in my head.
I collect them there like pretty shells
and rack them up on carousels,
like those for greetings cards display
you look at when on holiday.

Mostly I can take my time
to find the one to fit the rhyme,
or closest to meaning I intend
for the message that I want to send.
Sometimes I’ll take a closer look
and check their history in a book ..

.. say a word like ‘carousel’ –
we think we know its sense quite well,
but it’s derived from ‘carouse’ –
getting pissed and making rows.
That seems quite appropriate
and you’ll relate to it I bet.

Other times I’m in a rush,
give the carousel a push
and, as the colours spin round fast,
grab one as they speed on past.
It might be right, it might be wrong;
I’m sorry if they turn out long.”

rs 23.8.16