This is why I love reading: it opens so many doors.
While reading Allan Peterson’s Precarious (published by 42 Miles Press, 2014), I began to consider less-than-common terms, synonyms that are so interesting and unique that we often do not use—for instance, why use the term “precarious” when we could just as easily say “dangerous” or “unsafe” as they are more commonly used in the mainstream?
Intrigued by this thought, I looked up the definition of “precarious” in my old, old, old dictionary and loved what I found—so much so that I wanted to write a poem, and not just a poem, but a series. I began to consider those less-common, lovely synonyms of words we so often use, looked them up, and began to write a set of dictionary poems that each begin as definitions and then spin off.
Anyway, this is not revised, but it is the first from the collection, all of which are titled “DEFINE” and then open with the word researched.
precarious —to be
not securely (surely) held
or in position —dangerous
likely to fall; collapse; dependent
on chance; uncertain
uncertain; insecure; unpredictable; risk-
y; hazardous; dangerous; un-safe un-settled un-stable un-
steady; (I’ll bleed the wine right out
of you); shaky; (both bees
and limbs like trees, left falling
left falling—collapsing across
your driveway, lightning struck, or is it
the other way around, your chimney
smoking, like birds—the raven—left calling
left calling; return)