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Jack Stewart


Chilliwack, BC, CA

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Eye of the Beholder


Jack Stewart

It all began when my step-sister phoned, supposedly for a chat,
They were moving and needed a permanent home in which to place their cat.
It was a female Himalayan, a breed unknown to me,
She was slightly flawed and spayed but most important, she was free.
I had seen the animal before and I really wasn't keen,
Quite frankly, it was one of the ugliest things that I had ever seen.

At first glance she resembled a mop with an unkept mass of fur,
And her head looked like she hit a wall at 90 miles per.
Her nose was non-existent and her lower jaw protruded,
All the beautiful features cats possess, in this one seemed excluded.
Still there's one redeeming quality... a "saving grace" I said,
Her expressive eyes, so big and blue, were a part of this odd shaped head.

But I accepted the cat and gave her a home and a couple of months passed by.
Gradually, she became less ugly and even humorous to the eye.
Her personality came shining through which was different, to say the least,
And it seemed to fit her appearance so I simply named her "the beast".

Although she's demanding and impatient and, without an 'if you please',
It's a fact that when a pet is near it makes you feel at ease.
Now I look at other cats and think that they too, might be fine
But when it comes to comparing, they aren't as beautiful as mine!

Poem of the Day (Mar 11, 1996)


Jack Stewart

sa.pi.ent \'sa--pe--*nt, 'sap-e--\ aj [ME, fr. MF, fr. L sapient-, sapiens, fr. prp. of sapere to t]aste, be wise : SAGE, DISCERNING - av

sapient is the word to-day and could describe someone of foresight
Certainly not some people we've known who have their share of boresight
A venerable man of recognized prudence and wise as he can be
Sounds like someone I'd really like - with qualities that describe me.

Poem of the Day (Mar 12, 1996)


Jack Stewart

phat.ic \'fat-ik\ \-i-k(*-)le-\ aj [Gk phatos, verbal of phanai to speak] : revealing or sharing feelings or establishing an atmosphere of sociability rather than communicating ideas {~ communion} - av

Phatic is the word to-day and has nothing to do with weight
It's the atmosphere two people create when going out on a date
or any other social event in which two minds can become one
Even email - from a special person, is not only phatic, it's fun!

Poem of the Day (Mar 13, 1996)


Jack Stewart

sed.u.lous \'sej-*-l*s\ aj [L sedulus, fr. sedulo sincerely, diligently, fr. se without]+ dolus guile - more at IDIOT, TALE : diligent in application or pursuit : ASSIDUOUS - av

The word to-day is sedulous and it means persistency
It can also mean assiduous, which means consistency
To use these words in writings with appropriate infusion
I need a brain implant and tutor, to avoid complete confusion.

Poem of the Day (Mar 14, 1996)


Jack Stewart \'h*m-'din-*r\ n [prob. alter. of hummer (humdinger)] : a person or thing of striking excellence

Humdinger, the word to-day, is a word I've used before
It means something that appeals, or personalities that soar
It can be used in any phrase from fantasy to fact
Although it wouldn't be romantic to describe a sexual act

eda.cious \i-'da--sh*s\ \i-'das-*t-e-\ aj [L edac-, edax, fr. edere to eat]

Poem of the Day (Mar 15, 1996)


Jack Stewart

eda.cious \i-'da--sh*s\ \i-'das-*t-e-\ aj [L edac-, edax, fr. edere to eat]
1: of or relating to eating
2: VORACIOUS - edac.i.ty
n 1866 R. CHAMBERS, Ess. Ser. II. 182 "His edacious peculiarities-whether..he was..most partial to lamb or turkey."

The word to-day "edacious" means an appetite that's big
In fact it can be said of someone eating like a pig
Although we shouldn't criticize the pig because they eat that way
We'd eat fast too if we were served the same thing every day

Poem of the Day (Mar 16, 1996)


Jack Stewart \-l*\ aj [NL infundibulum + E -iform] : having the form of a funnel or cone
1753 CHAMBERS, Cycl. Supp., "Infundibuliform Flowers, or funnel-fashioned flowers..."

infundibuliform is the word to-day and a real mouthfull to say
It means funnel shaped or cone shaped a certain kind of way
A shape like this has uses both in pleasure and in toil
It's a "humdinger" of a shape with which to fill your car with oil

Poem of the Day (Mar 18, 1996)


Jack Stewart

fest.schrift \'fest-.shrift\ \-.shrif-t*n\ \-.shrif(t)s\ n or fest.schrif.ten or fest.shrifts [G, fr. fest festival, celebration + schrift writing] pl often cap : a volume of writing by different authors presented as a tribute or memorial esp. to a scholar

Festschrift is the word to-day and it's certainly new to me
And looks like it comes from the German language as anyone can see
A collection of works by authors which is presented a certain way
The type of thing I would like to receive for rhyming Word-A-Day

Poem of the Day (Mar 19, 1996)


Jack Stewart \'fas-i-k*l\ \-k*ld\ n [L fasciculus, dim. of fascis] 1: a small bundle : as 1a: an inflorescence consisting of a compacted cyme less capitate than a glomerule 1b: FASCICULUS 2: one of the divisions of a book published in parts - aj

The word to-day means a part of a book and its name is fascicle
A same-sounding word and meaning absurd is a word named farcicle
I know that both words can be used in many purchases I've made
- Encyclopaedias, to the point where I've needed financial aide.

Poem of the Day (Mar 20, 1996)


Jack Stewart \-.bu.k\ n 1: a child's primer consisting of a sheet of parchment or paper protected by a sheet of transparent horn 2: a rudimentary treatise

1874 MOTLEY, Barneveld II. xi. 30 "Ignorant of the very hornbook of diplomacy."

Hornbook is the word to-day - a former teaching tool
and can be compared to modern methods as a car to a mule
It's not a word that you'll normally use in to-day's conversation
unless you're discussing the contents of a 19th century publication

Poem of the Day (Mar 21, 1996)


Jack Stewart \p*-'rik-*-pe-\ n [LL, fr. Gk perikope- section, fr. peri- + kope- act of] cutting; akin to Gk koptein to cut - more at CAPON : a selection from a book; specif : LECTION

Pericope, the word to-day - is Wordsmith correct?
My dictionary doesn't show it, something I didn't expect
It means the act of cutting but is unconfirmed to me
So to hell with it, I'll grab my clubs and head for a tee.

Poem of the Day (Mar 23, 1996)


Jack Stewart \'sko--le--*m\ \-le--*\ n or scho.lia or [NL, fr. Gk scholion comment, scholium, fr. dim. of schole- lect] pl ure 1: a marginal annotation or comment (as on the text of a classic by an early grammarian) 2: a remark or observation subjoined but not essential to a demonstration or a train of reasoning

Scholium is the word to-day and means a marginal comment
An informative annotation made that should enhance the content
We experience this sort of thing in education days
On marginal notes our teachers made correcting errant ways

Poem of the Day (Mar 24, 1996)


Jack Stewart

screed \'skre-d\ n [ME screde fragment, fr. OE scre-ade - more at SHRED] Scot 1: RENT, TEAR 2a: a lengthy discourse 2b: an informal piece of writing 3: a strip (as of plaster of the thickness planned for the coat) laid on as a guide

1902 A. DOBSON, S. Richardson v. 117 "Richardson's reply is a screed of malevolence."

Screed is a long tirade with nothing nice to say
It could also mean a strip of mortar laid a certain way
We could use the former meaning in any legislative day
Describing politicians' promises and what they have to say

Poem of the Day (Mar 26, 1996)


Jack Stewart

eclair.cisse.ment \a--kler-se--sma:n\ \-sma:n(z)\ n or eclaircissements [F] pl : CLARIFICATION, ENLIGHTENMENT

1815 SCOTT, Guy M. xx, "Such..restraints as might prevent any engagement or eclaircissement taking place."

Eclaircissement is the word to-day and certainly new to me
It's directly from the french because you don't pronounce the "t"
But if I were writing something that required such a meaning
The simpler word "enlightenment" would definitely be my leaning

Poem of the Day (Mar 27, 1996)


Jack Stewart

eclat \a--'kla:\ n [F, splinter, burst, e`clat] 1: dazzling effect : BRILLIANCE 2a: ostentatious display : PUBLICITY archaic 2b: NOTORIETY 3a: brilliant or conspicuous success 3b: ACCLAIM, APPLAUSE

1847 MRS. SHERWOOD, Lady of Manor II. x. 44 "The glitter and eclat of foreign levity."

Wordsmith chose eclat as the word we learn to-day
It means bursting out, or brilliance or a dazzling display
Showiness of achievement, or renown, is where it's at,
And Lady Godiva's ride could be described as an eclat.

Poem of the Day (Mar 28, 1996)


Jack Stewart

pour.boire \pu.(*)rb-'wa:r\ n [F, fr. pour boire for drinking] : TIP, GRATUITY

1979 Times 5 Dec. 14/3 "Commissioners may acquire the much-coveted Cabinet boxes..if they pay for them... Until [1978]..the boxes were a kind of pourboire."

Pourboire, the word to-day is not in our vocabulary
To use it should warrant vengence from the constabulary
Since the french feel corruption from English phrasology
It should make us careful about using their terminology

Poem of the Day (Mar 29, 1996)


Jack Stewart

pour.par.ler \.pu.(*)r-(.)pa:r-'la-\ n [F] : a discussion preliminary to negotiations

1900 Nation (N.Y.) 11 Oct. 279/2 "Meanwhile, the Powers are doing a vast amount of negotiating and pourparlering with each other."

Are the distinguishing qualities of spoken french annoying just to me?
For instance, consonants are silent unless followed by an "e"
English, German and Spanish pronounce each word the way it looks
Besides, not speaking these languages correctly doesn't make us feel like schnooks.

Poem of the Day (Mar 30, 1996)


Jack Stewart \'prak-s*s\ \'\ n or [ML, fr. Gk, doing, action, fr. prassein to pass through, practice - mo] pl re at PRACTICAL 1: exercise or practice of an art, science, or skill 2: customary practice or conduct

1892 J. ROBERTSON, Early Relig. Israel xv. 390 "This code is merely the embodiment of praxis or the crystallisation of custom."

Praxis is the word to-day and means practice of an art
But the example of its usage shows that someone's less than smart
crystallization, is shown with an "s" instead of "z"
You're doing a great job, Wordsmith, but don't enter a spelling bee.

Poem of the Day (Apr 2, 1996)


Jack Stewart

fa.rouche \f*-'ru:sh\ aj [F, wild, shy, fr. LL forasticus belonging outside, fr. L foras out]doors; akin to L fores door - more at DOOR : marked by shyness and lack of polish; also : WILD

1880 OUIDA, Moths I. 298 "She is a little farouche."

Farouche, the word to-day, is from the french for shy
It can also mean a wild one and could describe a gadfly
It's obscure enough to use on me in seriousness or in fun
Without my comprehension or realizing what's been done

Poem of the Day (Apr 15, 1996)


Jack Stewart

turn.ver.ein \'t*rn-v*-.ri-n, 'tu.(*)rn-\ n [G, fr. turnen to perform gymnastic exercises + verein club] : an athletic club

Turnverein is the word to-day and is something I should use
to tone my aging muscles and shake those aging blues
It seems as though the only one men think about with age
Is a certain one that's down below - the most difficult to gauge

Poem of the Day (Apr 17, 1996)


Jack Stewart

1. ana \'an-*\ av [ME, fr. ML, fr. Gk, at the rate of, lit., up] : of each an equal quantity - used in prescriptions
2. ana \'an-*, 'a:n-\ n or ana or anas [-ana] pl 1: a collection of the memorable sayings or table talk of a person 2: a collection of anecdotes or interesting or curious information about a person or a place

1881 Sat. Rev. No. 1320. 214 "To sweep ana and gossip out of..biographies."

Ana, the word to-day means a collection of literary notes
Like sketches or scraps of anything written, even famous quotes
In fact, it really doesn't have to be, by any top banana
I have a lot of off-colour jokes that could be called an ana