With my word-weaver
clasped tightly,
fingers sweat with effort to complete
the task laid before me.
I lasso the thoughts
pouring from imagination-central
knowing all the while that
the hands of the space-marker
sweep too fast –
there is no leeway,
I cannot knee-bend for
grace and favour.
‘Tsk! Tsk!’
bony digits admonish,
epithet-hurlers curl
ready to strike.
‘Axe-wield afore clock-strike!’
Is all they will say.



This week, Bjorn, our host at dVerse Meeting the Bar has introduced us to the concept of kennings. To quote Bjorn, ‘a kenning is a very brief metaphoric phrase or compound word and it means “to know”‘. It comes originally from Icelandic, but also exists in other languages such as Swedish and German. I can also tell you that ‘I ken’ is also used in Scots dialect in the same way! So, in brief, it is a way of using a compound phrase in place of the normal word in use.

I really enjoyed this – although it was quite tough to get my brain into the right gear! I hope my offering has worked – do let me know what you think.

44 thoughts on “Dead-Line

  1. Ah I enjoyed writing for this prompt too – and playing with words is always a great thing. Your poem brings out that last busy moment very much alive.

    1. I didn’t know that about Icelandic words. That’s another place I want to visit before too long – it fascinates me (including the knitting!). Thank you for the prompt, Bjorn, it was great.

  2. Oh how often have my fingers sweat at the task before me, especially in the poetry blogosphere where ‘imagination-central’ really does not always co-operate as I wish it would. I do hope for grace though sometimes & will never throw epithets at someone else’s efforts!! (Ha, we all do the best we can!)

  3. These days I use a keyboard more often than a word weaver, especially at work where I rarely feel I weave words. I hope the epithet-hurlers do not strike too often. The pressure is very tangible in your poem. Hopefully this is not the way you feel too often.

    1. To be honest, I think my epithet-hurlers are my inner critic, rather than people outside of my head! No, I don’t feel that pressure too much, really. Not in the way it is expressed here – call it poetic license!

  4. ‘Tsk! Tsk!’
    bony digits admonish,
    epithet-hurlers curl
    ready to strike.” These words have the nightmarish quality that being under the gun creates. Very good portrayal of pressure and use of the kennings.

  5. A pox on deadlines, even though most of us who run with the dVerse dog-poets do find ourselves under the gun to meet the Pub opening deadline. I missed it by 15 minutes myself today, working on my epic kenning saga; your poem said as much as mine without the length; good job.

  6. I really like it… the kenning part of it is especially wonderful.. 🙂 from word-weaver to epithet-hurlers, nice pairing of words and that which produce clear images.

  7. Interesting as the digit of art and creativity..are in a keyboard..of either and or choice of only one digital key at a time..
    when at one time words..actually flowed without staccato dissonance..
    from a key at a time…in

    But then there is playing a keyboard..which in a way is staccato dissonance as we..peck..
    not like the direct strumming of a string..that hold true in analog..flow…

    But i am one of the fortunate ones..
    my hand;)
    no art there for
    me..i’ll keep playing my keyboard..
    for real meaning still…a peck at a time..
    with tapestry flow…

    1. Yes, pen versus keyboard is interesting. I can be equally creative with both, although my handwriting is fairly illegible these days too… sometime seven I struggle with it!

  8. I am so bad about waiting until the last minute to do anything, that I had to smile when I read your poem. You nailed the sense of anxiety and the feeling that you brought it on yourself. I think the Kennings work well and I love the title.

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