Friday, January 27, 2017

Week in Seven Words #327

circumfluous
During the blackout, we're both downstairs, and the only ones awake in the house. We move as if we're underwater. The candlelight wavers against the cabinets.

claims
Suddenly, there's a dog on my lap. She gives me a look - "You got anything to say about that?" - then inspects the room from her new vantage point.

puffed
On a walk through a cold drizzle, we enter a street full of mansions. They seem like inflated bouncy castles, mushrooming from the dark green lawns.

surfaces
He's easygoing when he's awake, says there's no need to worry about things. I find out he has nightmares. ("Call the police!" he urges in his sleep.)

survey
Every room is tidy and lovely. I pause in each, anticipating the days of rest.

tart
This is the weekend of pie. One richly lemon, the other rhubarb and apple. Leave me the filling and a fork, and I'm good.

zookeeping
I help him build a giant zoo with blocks and plastic fences to make the pens. It's intricate and cramped. He has elaborate reasons for why different animals should be corralled together. Under his supervision, they wouldn't dare attack each other.

4 comments:

Roderick Robinson said...

Two countries separated by a common language, eh? When I started work in the USA just after Christmas 1965 it took me some time to realise I'd entered a foreign country, more foreign in some respects than, say, France and Germany. Language was a snare and a delusion. Thus, for me, "blackout" (in your first evocation) was what happened during WW2 when we had to seal our windows at night, to ensure enemy bomber planes weren't aided by slivers of light escaping round the curtains (which you would have called drapes).

Later you mention "pie". Used without qualification in the US it implies something sweet. For me it is a savoury dish and during the early weeks eating in caf├ęs I made grievous mistakes

But here's the irony. My magazine dealt with technical matters; academics and engineers submitted learned papers and we turned them into readable articles for a wider public. This was my job! To render the prose of highly educated professors (MIT, Berkeley, etc) and senior technicians (Boeing, RCA) more accessible. And it is to the credit of those authors that they approved and even sent me thank-you letters. In the UK this would never have happened; class barriers and inflated views about professional status would have prevented it.

Just to reassure you I do use words for other things. Here's the first four lines of a formal (ie, rhyming) sonnet about choir practice:

The darkened nave entailed a womb of light
Gilding our boyish group. Standing, we sang
The Nunc Dimittis, Angels ever bright,
Stainer – all proof our aims were Anglican.

Brian Joseph said...

With your comments under "circumfluous", You captured the feeling that one experiences during a power outage so well. Moving like one is underwater, is a perfect description.

The Bookworm said...

I like "claims", that's exactly what they do lol

HKatz said...

@ Roderick - "Language was a snare and a delusion." I agree, it can be, between cultures, generations... (though I also experience it sometimes with people my own age in my home city). It's always interesting to note the changing definitions across contexts.

@ Brian - Thanks! Yeah, I felt like I was swimming in the dark.

@ Naida - Shameless, aren't they? :)