Tuesday, 1 January 2013


Words, words, words, words,
Used by sages, used by fools,
Used by those who write the rules.
Used to flatter and deceive,
Used to make the poor believe
That heaven is their just reward,
That death upon the victor’s sword,
That butchery in holy wars
Is dying in a noble cause.

Words, words, words, words,
Used to chide and used to praise,
Used to wound and to amaze,
Used to seduce and to persuade,
Used to make the weak afraid,
To mould their minds, and control
The fate of their immortal soul.
To command them, and ensure
Obedience to the rule of law.

Words, words, words, words,
Used by beggars and by kings,
Used to give ideas new wings,
Used to comfort and cajole,
Used to act the tyrant’s role,
So all conform to power’s need
To feed the unremitting greed
Of those contemptuous of the poor,
Forever taking more and more.

Words, words, words, words,
Used by the young and by the old,
Used to fashion and to mould.
Used by warriors and priests,
Used to calm life’s savage beasts
So we can sleep though fearful nights
Dispelling ghosts with words of light
Connecting us with other minds
Where we may make surprising finds.

Words, words, words, words,
Used to condemn and to forgive,
Used to say who dies, and who may live,
Used to teach and used to learn,
Used to say who’ll crash and burn.
Yet, the finest use I know,
Is when words are used to show
We value friends, and that above,
All things on earth, we value love.

© James Rainsford 2012

Note to readers: Posted as my contribution to the first Open Link Night of 2013 at dVerse Poets.
Kind regards and a very happy New Year to all who visit the pub this evening. 


  1. What a way to kick off the first OpenLinkNight of 2013! Too many fantastic points driven home to list them all, flawless in presentation and rhythm, brilliant...just didn't you just go and make my day :) Happy New Year wordweaver!

  2. first, cool picture man...

    words carry as much meaning as we give them, whatever our station in life...they give life and they take it...a healer or killer...with as much meaning as we give them...

  3. words are incredibly powerful and you capture this just perfectly in your poem...they can heal and destroy, give wings and weigh down.. awesome

  4. This poem is absolutely splendid. It has the feel of a latter day Kipling. I'm so glad I read it!

  5. Wonderful write James. Clever and tightly done.

  6. Well said words :)

  7. A great capture of how powerful words can be. Happy new year !

  8. Fantastic == great tour of the domain of language with a hopeful ending! Thanx

  9. Well done. Words mean anything and everything. But the ending was great.

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