A Child’s Vocabulary




from a newly minted glossary
Blackberry a glossy substitute
for juicy blackberries
acid slipping between leaves
of grass
consonants drift
like dandelion seeds
words crumble
like cremated bones


[I wrote this poem in response to reading that a children’s dictionary was no longer going to feature a number of words to do with the natural environment. In their place would be words from socia media. I also wanted the poem to link somehow with my painting.]


4 comments on “A Child’s Vocabulary

  1. Gone Wild says:

    I like your painting and poem very much. Could you send me info on the children’s dictionary? If you don’t mind, I’d like to do a post on it. Thanks, Gone Wild


  2. erikleo says:

    It’s the Oxford Junior Dictionary. Sorry I don’t know when it was published. I read about it in an article about language by Robert Macfarlane. In Guardian books.


  3. I suppose it is a sad reflection on our time but social media words often change fast and ironically I don’t think kids need to look them up. Anyway if a kid sees the word cowslips they are likely to google it and come up with an image so maybe not all could be lost!


  4. les1pin says:

    I agree with @navalsolanature, children are learning so many things now that nature is second priority in some ways. By the way, I like your poem very much


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