Tag Archives: words

Catching some Zs


[This one is best appreciated if you read it aloud!]


Zapata, wizard, zany, zinger, spritz,

Bedazzle, frazzle, zebra, zygote, fuzz,

Zucchini, gizzard, bozo, schnozzle, Ritz,

Horizon, dazzle, vuvuzela, buzz.


Cadenza, swizzle, zesty, guzzle, booze,

Piazza, pizza, cozy, zeitgeist, wheeze,

Organza, drizzle, zombified, kazoos,

Gazebo, breezy, zephyr, lazy, sleaze.           


Embezzle, rhizome, stanza, panzer, blaze, 

Byzantine, bite-size, mozzarella, fez,

Zootoxic, lizard, ouzo, orzo, daze,

Amazing, ozone, paparazzi, Pez.


Bamboozle, nuzzle, muzzle, guzzle, whizz,

Emblazon, crazy, buzzard, zip, zap, fizz!


© Helen Lewis, 2011


P.S. If you enjoyed this, you might also like The Joy of X

Apollo and Daphne


Rome in August. Only the tourists and the feral cats are left.

Fugitive from the heat, I take sanctuary in the Villa Borghese.

Beyond its heavy doors, the squeak of trainers and the smell of beeswax.


In a wedding cake of a room, a sculpture in white marble:  

A youthful Apollo chases a naked Daphne. As his hand touches her waist

She turns away, arms reaching up, fingers sprouting leaves,

Toes sending forth roots, bark closing around her legs and hips.


This binary star pulls me in to its orbit.

As I circle my perspective shifts.


Now the bile of Daphne’s revulsion rises in my throat.

Now the softness of her belly gives way beneath my fingers.

 Now my skin tightens and scabs over.

 Now my fingers are pinched between closing layers of bark.

 Now I’m high with the sugar-rush of rising sap.

 Now I breathe in the warm, woody scent of bay leaves.


I stop.

Below Daphne’s feet words are carved into the plinth –

Mediaeval graffiti ordered by a fat cardinal:

‘Pursuing earthly pleasures always ends in tears.’

An object of passion and beauty ten million years in the making

Reduced to a sound bite in Latin.


I close the cover on my mental notebook.


In the eternal city

Gian Lorenzo carves scalpel lines in space-time

While I hack away at nothing

With a sledgehammer of words.


(c) Helen Lewis, 2009

Eye ewes two suck at spilling

Eye ewes two suck at spilling,

Each were die rote war sarong.

My tea chair off untold me

My rye ting adder pong

Like deacon posing sigh ledge,

Ore old tramp sunder where.

Eyed smile and shrug my shoaled errs

As if eyed id dent care.


Butt tea chair’s quips tongue de-plea

Inn every sing gull weigh

Bea coz it is my dream too bee

Adjourn a list sum day.


Mime um bore tack um pewter

Witch Phil’s me with deal light,

Cause now this grate spill chucker

Make Saul my spellings write.

My dick shun Aries does tea,

Knot oh penned it sins May.

Dough knead it any longue Ur —

Aisle throw thee thing eh whey!


© Helen Lewis 2009


P.S. If your brain’s been mangled into mush, here’s a translation:


I used to suck at spelling

I used to suck at spelling,

Each word I wrote was wrong.

My teacher often told me

My writing had a pong

Like decomposing silage

Or old tramp’s underwear.

I’d smile and shrug my shoulders

As if I didn’t care.


But teacher’s quips stung deeply

In every single way

Because it is my dream to be

A journalist some day.


My mum bought a computer

Which fills me with delight,

‘Cos now this great spell checker

Makes all my spellings right.

My dictionary’s dusty,

Not opened it since May.

Don’t need it any longer –

I’ll throw the thing away!



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