Tag: Nonsense

Looks Like a Pretzel


Looks Like a Pretzel


He told me it looks like a pretzel, but isn’t.

But isn’t? What looks like a pretzel but isn’t?

A tangle of noodles? The Gordian knot?

A piece of pastrami that’s twisted a lot?

Infinity, broken and drooping? A sin?

The handles of scissors? A pretzel-shaped pin?

The shape of an ear if you squint your left eye

and turn your head sideways? A smile in the sky?

A shredded umbrella? The orange of a peel?

(Or peel of an orange if you get what I feel.)

Two italicized e’s with a mirror between?

The path of a shirt in a washing machine?

The wires in your brain? The shape of your heart?

A crumpled up dumpster posing as art?

He told me it looks like a pretzel, but isn’t.

But isn’t? Let’s just say it doesn’t.


No News


No News is Good News


No news is good news.

New lies are good lies.


No news is great news.

No news is late news.

Possibly, hate-news.

Then comes the short fuse—

—Saturated and funny

And miserably punny—

They gun down reviewers

Carting off money,

For whales with tales,

And tails of wails,

The fails and flails.

And bales of sales.

Gales of falsified

Trails to sail.


But it’s all made up:

The hate and the carting,

The late-coming starting,

The fails of folks at the mall.


No news is good news.

No news is bad news.

No news is no news at all.



For those of us who need to overcome a spell of writer’s block. -M.M.



I cannot write a poem today.

I have nothing new to say.


I feel I’ve hit a giant wall,

Altogether much too tall

For me to climb and risk the drop,

Falling from the very top.

So I shall sit and, for my sake,

Sleep until I fall awake,

Beside these smoking, charred remains,

Of my former thinking trains.

But no, to sit is just as bad,

For who can tell, for all it’s had,

If this wall might soon collapse,

And wipe my dot off all the maps.


I cannot write a poem today,

But to keep my thoughts at bay,

I’ll write this poem yesterday.


The Empathy Amphitheater

I do not usually write nonsense, but when I do, I don’t. -M.M.


The Empathy Amphitheater


Welcome to the Empathy Amphitheatre.

Really, we know how you feel.

You feel like the door greeter-meeter,

Who’s waiting for cherries to peel.


Just Joking. No Nonsense.

I hear from the heart,

And speak from the ear,

And see all and part.


If you are cold, I’ll give you a coat.

If you are hot, that’s too bad.

If you’re unsure I’ll share a bad coat,

Of the fuzziest leather I had.


Sharing is caring, but staring works too,

But glaring, we deem with disgust,

Is a gesture best left for the taxes collector,

Best to be banished to rust.


Hear the heat from the fire that scorches the sky,

The stars that stick to the black,

Up overhead in their upside-down bed.

Do you feel them staring back?


If you don’t, well, I quite understand.

If you do, I knew that you would.

My empathy true, and sympathy too,

Feel just the way that you should.


Sit down. Have a seat.

Or stay where you stand.

To stand is to understand me.

Emphatically I implore you to explore,

Expressions which you share with me.


For I am not you, and you are not me,

And neither of us can agree,

Or then pretend to full comprehend,

Each other to any degree.


So Empathy really, cannot exist,

For imperfect people as we,

So let’s sit downs with smiles or frowns,

‘Cross a cup of some sweet sympathy.



Collecting Words

Among other things, I collect words. New, unusual, or uncommon. Used, broken, or left out on the curb. Words that do more than say- words that describe. This week I wrote down words that I found intriguing, novel, and/or needed a refresher on. They are as follows:

pedantic: (adj.) 1. ostentatious in one’s learning     2. overly concerned with minute details or formalisms, especially in teaching.

ubiquitous: (adj.) 1. existing or being everywhere, especially at the same time; omnipresent

mutability: (adj.) 1. liable or subject to change or alteration     2. given to changing; constantly changing; fickle or inconstant

quotidian: (adj.) 1. daily     2. usual or customary; everyday     3. ordinary; commonplace

querulous: (adj.) 1. full of complaints; complaining     2. characterized by or uttered in complaint; peevish

unguent: (n.) 1. a less common name for ointment

diatribe (n.) 1. a bitter or violent criticism or attack; denunciation


Whether you knew these words already or not, it doesn’t hurt to review. One of the things I love about the English language is its seemingly bottomless spring of new words to discover. (Of course, if you can’t find a word that’s rambasclerous enough for you, you can always make one up.) ‘Tis a beautiful thing discovering new words.

If making up words from scratch isn’t quite your style, you can tweak a well-established word. Some of my favorites include, but are not limited to:






A while back I wrote a poem which was and is complete and utter nonsense. I believe it originated from a confused thought about the story of Chicken Little and the sky falling. I twisted words to make them rhyme, and the effect was rather entertaining. (This one is definitely best read aloud.) And yes, the word is peoples-es (like peoples’s).


Crispy or Grilled?

 It’s raining like the Dickens.

The sky is full of chickens.

They squawk and they cry.

As they fall from the sky,

The peopleses faces are strickens,

Dodging plummeting chickens’ kickens.

If I had a big pot,

I’d catch me the lot,

And my fingerses I would be lickens.



Do you have any favorite made-up words?

How about any words you discovered this week?

If not, why not?

The world is full of words to be collected if you but keep you eyes and ears open.




The Jabberwocky and the Art of Nonsense Poetry

I love children’s literature. Indeed, most of the poems or stories I write could be classified as such. The part that I love the most about children’s lit. is its cheerfulness. The playful goofy verse of Dr. Seuss, the fairy-tale depth of the Chronicles of Narnia, the magic and complexity of Harry Potter, the innocence of Beverly Cleary, and the adventure of Curious George. Children’s books bring out the best in us. They present complex themes -life, death, happiness, forgiveness, and friendship to name a few- in simple, entertaining ways. There is no room for the snooty grown-up ‘that’s highly illogical’ or “that’s nonsense” or ‘that’s preposterous!” (And no one even cares what preposterous means!) Children’s literature is an escape from the staunch, professional world of adults into the fluid, vivacious world of kids.

For this reason, I love nonsense poetry. Nonsense poetry is pretty self-explanatory; it includes made-up words, fantastic or impossible situations, and seemingly random illusions. Think of Dr. Seuss, Roald Dahl, and Lewis Carroll. My favorite nonsense poem is from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. It is called “Jabberwocky”. Be careful as you read “Jabberwocky.” There is some sense to it, though less than most poems. Also watch out for portmanteaus. (Portmanteaus are words created from the combination of two words.)


`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought —
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Mostly, “Jabberwocky” is fun to read aloud.

I felt that this poem deserved an illustration, so I borrowed one from jabberwocky.com.

Fun fact: The word “chortle” was coined in this poem, formed as a combination of chuckle and snort.

And now for my own attempt at nonsense. I have included a list of portmanteaus I created in writing this piece, but feel free to try to figure them out before scrolling down to the bottom. And now, without any more interruptions. . .


The Brusted Wheel at Frempton’s Mill


The brusted wheel at Frempton’s Mill,

Bescraped away adown the hill,

Smusmashing gree and daisidill,

The brusted wheel of Frempton’s Mill.


It sprolled along the dusten woad,

Where the knortmen nobly rode,

In the dark with sneakret load.

It sprolled along the dusten woad.


It flurst out of the floriage,

And floppled o’er the clifflet’s edge,

And loafted out to Brinely’s Wedge,

Postflursting from the floriage.


Don’t bejudge the water wheel by finentual restination,

But atherly, mark it by its succete journeration.




Glossary of Secret things in this poem:

“Brusted” is a combo of Brown Broken and Rusted

“Frempton” is derived from Middle English “frempt” meaning “strange”

“Bescraped” is escaped and broke

“adown” means away down

“smusmashing” is smush and smash squished together

“gree” = any number of green trees

“daisidil” = hybrid flower combination of a daisy and a daffodil known for its bright yellow flowers and ordinariness

“sprolled” = sped and rolled

“dusten” is dusty and beaten

“woad” is simply way and road (or road with a speech impediment)

“knortmen” is a combo of horsemen and knight

“sneakret” is sneaky and secret

“flurst” is flew and burst

“floriage” is flora and foliage

“floppled” is fell, flopped, and toppled

“clifflet” is a small cliff

“loafted” is floated and drifted

“Brinely’s” is Lonely and briny (salty)

“Postflurting” means after flursting (see a”flurst” above)

“finentual” is final and eventual

“restination” is rest and destination

“atherly” is a combo of actually and rather

“succete” is success and complete

“journeration” is a weird way to say journey.

You might just say “Well that’s nonsense!”


Yes it is.