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Ways and Means


Poetry shouldn't always, really doesn't have to take itself too seriously.

It can be playful: enjoying words – their sounds, how they can alter depending on what else is around, their different meanings, even their meaninglessness...

Yes, the word play reminds me of the close association of poetry with music: music is played, poetry is spoken and sung – perhaps also played?

I found myself playing with a particular word, saying it out loud in different ways (ways – more of that presently) tossing it up in the air, catching it, flipping it to see what might be on the obverse, until the word itself turned into something else altogether.

I was left with no more than a sound produced by a widening of the mouth – a sort of smile – and an amused realisation that words can do so many different things, yet are as simple as that.

Join me then on an exploration of the word Ways.

No, that's beginning to sound a bit serious – this is more of a wander, a light-hearted wondering...

Way to Go


There are high ways and low ways, wide ways and narrow ways

subways and driveways, through ways and no ways.

Go through a gateway, slide down a slipway

travel by railway or drive up the motorway

take off from a runway, play golf upon a fairway,

wander down a byway – you will find it someway –

climb up a stairway and squeeze through the gangway

over the causeway – keep to the pathway –

passing the parkway, expressway and beltway…


We’re now more than halfway…


This way, straight and wide, might be called a broadway.

Above us the Milky Way, below is the roadway

(by the way, take care if it’s a One Way.)

When you’re feeling lonely – here’s the companionway.

Way back then, it felt such a long, long way away

but we each did it our way and most made good headway.

Now you choose your own way – just do it your way

we’ll someway get there in the end, any anyway.

There's not much need to add anything, but I did want to say how curious it is that words can sort of take over in their own right, as they gather leading towards a meaning that one wasn't originally aware of.

I set off determined not to be serious, seeking only as many rhymes as I could find and how many times this particular word could be worked in, but found myself, dare I say, actually thinking – even coming to some sort of conclusion.

Where did that come from, I wonder?

Well, I suppose that's the way, or at least one way, words work...


  1. How joyfully playful Richard. Who knew that a word could be so wayward.

  2. This goes along the super highway of information! Well done!

  3. Who would have thought of so many ways!


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