The Oxford English Dictionary


Somewhere in England

The dictionary resides,

Holding in its immense self the rich past,

Baffling present, blank future.


If I wish to find the shape of the word “soft,” or

If I wish to know the travels of the word “belay,” or

If I wish to understand the origins of “think,”

I need to click then type my request.


The OED is more cornucopia than panacea.

I will not find there any consolation

For the aches possessing my heart, or

For the answer to the big questions:

Where do I come from?  What am I doing here?

Where am I going?


Yet, the rich color, heft, and shape

Of “soft,” belay,” and “think” are tender gifts indeed.


--March 18, 2013