Of Honey and Vinegar

Honey, Honeycomb, Sweet

The power of words is immense. Ideas have the ability to sway emotions, and to spawn their own natural offspring. How one presents these ideas, however, has the power to stifle or to nurture the core message. What is said must have merit if it is to truly have sway, or at least it should be so. But history has shown that golden ideas misrepresented or construed have failed, where ideas bearing no nobility have encouraged crowds to do the unthinkable whether they are from some podium in Munich or in Washington DC.

I value logic. I embrace semantics and philosophical truths. Yet, I have to acknowledge that rhetoric has the ability to obscure truth, to make emotion override reason, and to lead to a lessening of the collective good. That being the case I must respond to Fandango’s question: “In the context of blogging and writing, what do you think is more important: what you say or how you say it?,” that it is how you say it that matters most.

What we write and blog is diminished if our ideas are poorly framed. What we post is as susceptible to dismissal because of “bad writing” as any other form. If we annoy with our grammar, we lose the readers heart. Furthermore, no matter how true our premise, or sound our conclusion, if it offends because of a lack of tact, we have often lost the battle. “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar,” it has been said. It is here that I risk losing support for my well-considered response by equating my readers with flies. Trust me, however, that you are neither small minded insects, or nuisance-some bugs, but the mirrors of, we the bloggers’ inner voices.



Barbie, Doll, Waving, Wave, Hello

It is amazing how quickly good intentioned practices become mere cliché. Greetings do this. “How do you do?” is not so much an enquiry as to someone’s well being as it is a formal hello. The response of “Quite well, thank you,” is the expected retort, as the asker does not genuinely want to know your life story. “Howdy,” while less formal, still generally expects no deep response, though a rustic “Fair to middl’n,” seems an appropriate response. While some in the USA might actually care to hear how someone is doing, the British are far less eager to hear. “How are you,” should be greeted with an “Okay, and you?” or an “All right.” Lately however this has morphed into an “Allright?,” which is responded to with an “Allright.”

Another thing that has my hackles up a bit is the insistence of many Americans to thank Veterans for their service. While the acknowledgement of service is appreciated, it become cliché when it becomes a constant, as a by rote exercise rather than a statement of true appreciation.

Heartfelt gestures are always appreciated by me, and I am sure this is true of most people. But please say what you mean, and mean what you say; and if you mean to be mean, then just don’t say anything.


FOWC with Fandango — Service

Genius Thriftiness

Mark Twain, American, Author, Writer

The dVerse challenge is to enter into a conversation with a poem (and thereby the poet) that has called to us in 2020. Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) penned his poem Genius in his private journal.

Genius by Mark Twain

Genius, like gold and precious stones,
is chiefly prized because of its rarity.

Geniuses are people who dash off weird, wild,
incomprehensible poems with astonishing facility,
and get booming drunk and sleep in the gutter.

Genius elevates its possessor to ineffable spheres
far above the vulgar world and fills his soul
with regal contempt for the gross and sordid things of earth.

It is probably on account of this
that people who have genius
do not pay their board, as a general thing.

Geniuses are very singular.

If you see a young man who has frowsy hair
and distraught look, and affects eccentricity in dress,
you may set him down for a genius.

If he sings about the degeneracy of a world
which courts vulgar opulence
and neglects brains,
he is undoubtedly a genius.

If he is too proud to accept assistance,
and spurns it with a lordly air
at the very same time
that he knows he can’t make a living to save his life,
he is most certainly a genius.

If he hangs on and sticks to poetry,
notwithstanding sawing wood comes handier to him,
he is a true genius.

If he throws away every opportunity in life
and crushes the affection and the patience of his friends
and then protests in sickly rhymes of his hard lot,
and finally persists,
in spite of the sound advice of persons who have got sense
but not any genius,
persists in going up some infamous back alley
dying in rags and dirt,
he is beyond all question a genius.

But above all things,
to deftly throw the incoherent ravings of insanity into verse
and then rush off and get booming drunk,
is the surest of all the different signs
of genius.

Genius Thriftiness by Padre

If genius is a thing comprehended

It is in itself a thing rare as you say

For there may well be more in a gifted mind

That can easily be presented in mere wordplay

Yet if genius is truly one’s muse

Who are you oh Clemens to them abuse

Though much of your reflections have some worth

There is far more in the spirit of those who write verse

And if you are correct in you musings

It speaks volumes that you have such a muse

So be careful in your assertions

When true genius you abuse

Now clever I may well be

Though genius may well possess me

But in its exercise I shall be thrifty

To state the point more succinctly

Genius and the poet can be one

Checkmate Twain, I’ve won


Plural Confusion


One goose is goose

Two gooses are geese

On moose is moose

But two mooses aren’t meese

One mouse is a mouse

Two mouses are mice

One house is house

But two houses aren’t hice

Plurals of confusion

Terms that confound

And is couples or pairs –

When one and one you compound?


Before Gen Z

Red Telephone Booth
Mike at Pexels

Way back in the olden days

A phone was in a red box

And by the call you did pay

Coins were needed

And the time went by quick

Only the rich had mobiles 

And they were the size of bricks

A phone was a phone

No camera or text

And dial was a rotary

No buttons to press

And yet we each day did survive

Even without a phone – we stayed alive

So do not tell me you have too much to say

Especially to those with whom you’ve spent the day

What is it that cannot wait?

Just wait till tomorrow you chatter-lust to sate










Woman, Girl, Young, Human, Female



“Your verbal hygiene is atrocious,” Amy said in disgust.

“What?  Does my breath stink?” Karen said, putting a hand across her mouth to speak. “And isn’t the term supposed to be ‘oral’ hygiene?”

“No, there isn’t anything wrong with your breath.  And ‘verbal’ is exactly what I meant to say.  Do you even listen to the diseased crap that comes out of your mouth?  No wonder you mom named you Karen.”




FOWC with Fandango — Verbal



“Ed – Mate, I really don’t get you.  I am starting to wonder if you listen to a single word I say,” Gareth ranted.

“What?  I did exactly what you said!” Ed challenged.

“Okay.  Tell me exactly what I told you to do.” Gareth replied.

“You said, go into Felixstowe and order a skiff.  Then you said to have it delivered here by noon today.  That’s exactly what you said.”

“Skip!  I said, ‘Order a skip’.”

“Ah – um, skip?” Ed repeated un-surely.

“Yes, a skip so we can clear out the workshop,” Gareth reiterated.

“It is a nice skiff though, don’t you thing?  And I got a really good price,” Ed said after a long pause.

“Skip!” Gareth repeated.




Crimson’s Creative Challenge #92