In Praise of Ordinary Words by Kris Spencer

In Praise of Ordinary Words

I said spillover, containing ill and pill
and lover, because I wanted
things to flood
meaning too much.
For dissipate, I said leak.
For moment, I said gesture.

When? she said;
sitting on the wooden floor
in my white shirt. We took
a week for the contact sheets
from the shuttered shop.
The man bought the camera from me,
for the magic in the old lens.

She said, I have been like a bird,
and words in a book. We took to
the flow and tumble of the river,
and stayed—living on the flood plain
above mud and gravel. Sometimes
we were things washed up and found,
sometimes things held broken as precious.
The words recover. Words like birdsong,
rising. When I say, complete; she says,
the whole world.


Kris Spencer is teacher and writer. Brought up in Bolton, he now lives in London. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a thread running through his written work is a sense of place. Kris has written seven books. His poems have been published in the UK, Eire, Europe, the US and Australia. His debut collection, Life Drawing (2022), is published by Kelsay Books.

Kris tweets at @KrisSpencerHead

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