Words are like money in that they are gifts to spend. If you can’t find the proper words for what you are trying to say, your thought collapses. I am prone to think at this stage of my life that the problem is ‘old age’ but what is age really except the accumulation of years which in itself provides a larger ‘bank’ from which to draw. I wrote a poem at age fifteen about my love of words. I called it Word Images. See if you like it.
Images drift across my mind,
Word pictures tinged with color,
One syllable, two, unlimited
Consonants and vowels woven
Into complex, infinite patterns.
My images possess both beauty and pain,
Though sometimes unadorned they’re plain.
Always, they shift like drifting sand,
Will I use these words of mine
Share my exclusive treasure?
Or keep them for my own
What a marvelous thing are words,
What wondrous means to an end,
Yet what tragedies are incurred
When carelessly conceived to spend.
Yes, images drift across my mind,
Word pictures tinged with color
Splashed upon life’s canvas, capable
Of happiness or sorrow.
Isn’t it strange that as I paint,
Another picture evolves complete
A shadowy reflection for all to see,
Tentative image of my soul.
(Marie Hunter Atwood)