Wild Things

Oh, such fun!
A play with words

The creative genius
invents a language
but indifferent
is the machine
to elegance and form

Words won’t dance
even to the breathing
rhythm of people upstairs.

note: The poem was inspired by Odgen Nash’s poem, The People Upstairs.

I know I moan about poets, who don’t seem eager to embrace the digital format. But in earnest, who wants to play with code when you can spending all that time writing instead.

Perhaps, poetry was meant to be sung and recited. What do you think, dear poets? Is it better to go busking on the streets, instead of trying to contain poetry in digital formats?

So, to answer Rommy…when words won’t dance, I take to the woods.

Khaya Ronkainen
Khaya Ronkainen is a writer, poet and creative professional. Her blog focuses on all things poetry and creative nonfiction.


  1. “indifferent to elegance and form”
    I , too, take to the woods “when words won’t dance,” though I often don’t know what I am avoiding and seeking. I hope the “machine” hasn’t completely left humanity behind–not yet.

  2. I have done reading of my poetry and really enjoyed it. It’s a little nerve wracking, wondering how well a piece is going to be received though.

    I need to get a good ramble through my local woods in too. We have some gorgeous trails around here.

  3. I luv this “Words won’t dance”
    You sparked my interest so I read ‘Odgen Nash’s poem, The People Upstairs.’

    much love…

  4. I’m a lover of different. I love delighting in the same story/poem/book using different ways. Poetry–and writing, in general–changes from medium to medium, from voice to voice. I have always cringed at the thought that a poem stops being good enough because of how it’s packaged.

    I mean, yes, pretty paper is lovely, but a good poem shines through its own spirit. No one can drain the elegance out of piece of writing that is full of its own life.

    I’ll stop here. But, as you might’ve noticed, I have strong feelings about this topic, lol!

  5. I love “when words wont dance, I take to the woods.” I never would have dreamed, starting out with poetry when I was young, that one day there would be an online community of poets, where we could share our work. It changed my life.

  6. I love this “Words won’t dance— Even to the breathing rhythm of people upstairs” Yes playing with words is fun The digital world is enough for me.

  7. Whatever medium is fine with me. I do love the digital though. It facilitates more fun for me. When my words won’t dance I head out to the desert. No woods where I live.

  8. The woods would definitely resurrect the muse!

  9. Aaaahhh… woody words… or, wordy woods?

    The mere mention of Ogden Nash reminded me of this cool song from long, long ago…
    The Small Faces – Mad John from their LP Ogdans’ Nut Gone Flake … the words at the start by Stanley Unwin – he too has South African roots!


  10. We live in a digital age, and the machine is advancing. Perhaps, I’m too old school because I still want to hold books (not gadgets) in my hand, when I read. Anyway, I was just frustrated with the eBook I was formatting; it looks nothing like the print version…*sigh*

  11. I too enjoy reading poems, though it’s always nerve-racking. But it’s a wonderful feeling, when the audience connects with the poem.

    Yay, to the woods!

  12. Yeah, I feel your passion on the topic… 😀

    I agree that a poem changes from medium to medium but packaging sometimes can be a really issue, for me. Look I’m a forgiving reader, when I read digital books where formatting has sort of gone haywire because I know that it’s sometimes out of the author’s control. Yet it’s difficult to do that with my own book…*self-criticism at play*

    But the from-voice-to-voice idea excites me. And I think I’m going to try an audio version with this second one. I just need to find that voice. 😀

  13. This is the great thing about internet. It connects us with like-minded people, and sometimes friendships develop beyond…
    We are never truly alone, if we choose to connect. 🙂

  14. Ha…ha! You made me laugh. 😀 Well, when woods aren’t dancing they speak, and I take time to listen. I might even take to words are afterwards.

  15. Now, the desert certainly intrigues. I love the digital world too, but sometimes I yearn for that face-to-face connection.

  16. Wow, what a lovely song! It’s really awesome for them to have come up with a song from that poem. I really like the humour in Ogden Nash’s poems. Thank you for sharing the link, AJ!

  17. “When words won’t dance” – Love that. I have a book of all Ogden Nash’s poems. He was a genius.

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