Tongues Spin and Weave

Tongues spin and weave their sophistry,
a slick and silken tapestry,
from golden throne and ivory tower
and each elitist seat of power
through labyrinths of history.

Such linguistic sorcery;
such honey-spun chicanery
is trickery that sweetens sour.
__Tongues spin and weave.

When syrup-dipped toxicity
disguises vile duplicity
with evil veiled in virtue’s flower,
your liberty they will devour.
Perceive, beguiled society—
__tongues spin and weave.




Make sure all banter’s feather-light and trite
(don’t pain the brain with sensibility)
and speak with only those who know you’re right.

To function in an era spiked with spite
safeguard your ears from savage honesty—
make sure all banter’s feather-light and trite.

If wild words wound and wind ‘til you’re uptight,
don’t welcome speech that’s feisty, fresh and free;
just speak with only those who know you’re right.

When taunting tongues among us lash and slight,
croon “Kumbaya” in spaces safe to be;
make sure all banter’s feather-light and trite.

If truth is apt to bruise, confuse or bite,
just name it “hate” or “impropriety”
then speak with only those who know you’re right.

When in a flap or flux of fight-or-flight,
caress a pygmy goat while sipping tea,
make sure that banter’s feather-light and trite
and speak with only those who know you’re right.




sutor, ne ultra crepidam*

If lexicons are lacking lingual lure
the poet must endeavor to invent
a word to leave the reader more than sure
of eloquent yet relevant intent.
In this case to disgrace the pompous sod
who bloviates and blathers ceaselessly
in overbearing airs that ride roughshod
o’er polished pearls of soft sagacity,
while spewing garish gossip out in gluts
of smut that bends the ear and burns the cheek
with vile, defiling bile that twists the guts.
I’m searching for a word that’s far from meek;
a fearless, feisty noun designed to fit
a meddling, loose-lipped peddler of bullshit.


*”Cobbler, no further than the sandal!” Thus, don’t offer your opinion on things that are outside your competence. It is said that the Greek painter Apelles once asked the advice of a cobbler on how to render the sandals of a soldier he was painting. When the cobbler started offering advice on other parts of the painting, Apelles rebuked him with this phrase in Greek, and it subsequently became a popular Latin expression.



Susan Jarvis Bryant is a church secretary and poet whose homeland is Kent, England.  She is now an American citizen living on the coastal plains of Texas.  Susan has poetry published in the UK webzine, Lighten Up On Line, The Daily Mail, and Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets).

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20 Responses

  1. Joe Tessitore

    I’ve yet to read the other two (which, of course, I will), but I had to stop at “Tongues Spin and Weave” – it takes my breath away!

    Dr. Salemi recently wrote about breathing life into a poem and I believe you’ve done it.


    I can still feel it in my chest, which I’m holding as I write!

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      I’m thrilled you enjoyed “Tongues Spin and Weave”, Joe. The rondeau form seemed to suit the subject matter perfectly, and I thoroughly enjoyed writing it.. Thank you very much for your beautiful comment. Your words are very encouraging.

  2. Mike Bryant

    I just read the first poem as well, and like Joe I love it. I noticed the meter break on the first line of the second verse. It is brilliant in that it emphasizes the effrontery you, and we, feel. You’ve wrangled that rondeau into doing just what You wanted. I also agree with Joe that it is spectacular. You write like a dream.

  3. Mike Bryant

    “Triggered” is an instant classic. I have a feeling that it will be required reading on campuses across this land!

    • Julian D. Woodruff

      Pardon, Ms Bryant! I’ve seen your name often enough that my mistake is incomprehensible.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      I adore your sunny outlook and appreciate your optimism… if only, Mr. Bryant.


    Dear Ms Jarvis,
    Concerning the third
    of your offerings, I am reminded
    of Rimona Quimby’s famed bad word
    (to which our world is usually blinded):
    “Guts, guts, guts!” she exclaimed in a rage—
    alas, failing her purposed effect.
    They are oft wrenched, but on today’s stage
    guts are otherwise hard to detect.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you for taking the time to read my poetry, Mr. Woodruff, and thank you for the amusement.

  5. Joseph S. Salemi

    “Triggered” is an amazingly appropriate and relevant villanelle these days. The tragedy is that no mainstream magazine or website will dare to publish it, other than here at the SCP. Too many snowflakes out there would go screaming to their support groups.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      I’m apt to agree with you, Dr. Salemi, which is why (to echo my husband) I love SCP. Thank you very much for taking the time to read and comment.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you very much for reading and commenting, Karyn. “Artistry” happens to be one of my favorite words… I’m smiling.

  6. Sally Cook

    Your meter is solid and unwavering; your use of adjectives is beyond compare. I am (and have been) delighted to see you posting on this site.
    You have inspired me to try .new forms.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Sally, this is a beaming gem of a comment. I’m glad to have inspired you. You have most certainly inspired me with your huge talent, on the poetry and painting front. I feel a poem about the wonder of color coming on, all down to my virtual visit. Thank you for YOUR inspiration. I will admit (as you well know) that having a turtle who’s a self-defining male human as a husband is inspiration in itself. We are very lucky ladies!

      • Mike Bryant

        Sweetheart, I think it’s important to note that, as a turtle, I was already male. So, actually, it is more correct to say that I’m a self-defining human. We wouldn’t want anyone here getting any crazy ideas… 🙂

  7. Mike Bryant

    In “Tongues Spin and Weave”, I noticed a fascinating bit of eye candy in the last verse. You have the three words, vile, evil and veil(ed) presented as a tasty triangle on the plate. The three words share the same four letters and every time I look at the page they jump out at me. I know that was fortuitous, but it would not have happened without the time and energy You put into editing. Just wanted You to know…

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you very much, Mr. MacKenzie. I really appreciate your words.


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