Blog, broadband, voicemail, chatroom.
How plugged-in the new dictionary is,
how clean. No more need for words like
beaver, boar, bullock, cheetah, colt,
nor even gerbil, goldfish, guinea pig, hamster.
Too much mess. When our children learn
to cut and paste they do it cleanly with a mouse
or better, a practised swipe on the touch pad.
No more bramble, bran, bridle, or catkin;
no call for cowslip, crocus, or dandelion
when brainy, bilingual and bungee jumping
fill their dictionary columns.
Imagine the mess tracked in by
fern, fungus, gorse, and heather.
What need for oats, parsnip, porridge or prune
when Pop-Tarts and frozen pizza fill the bill?
No more radish, rhubarb, spinach or turnip.
They are little grown-ups and need, instead,
apparatus, block graph, colloquial, idiom,
and whatever else will help them get ahead;
committee, conflict, cope, debate.
Ottawa poet Colin Morton has published more than ten books, ranging from visual and sound poetry (Printed Matter) to historical narratives (The Merzbook; The Hundred Cuts). His other work includes a novel, many reviews and essays, and the award-winning animated poetry film Primiti Too Taa (with Ed Ackerman). www.colinmorton.net