An Uncle's Explanation
By Luke Siler
The child ran into the kitchen where a family lunch was being prepared.
"Uncle Luke, I need a poem," the child dared to say.
"What for?" asked the uncle, drying his hands.
"My teacher wants us to write and read a poem for the class."
The uncle turned to face him. "I might know one, but wouldn't that be cheating?"
"No one reads poetry, who's to say if I wrote it or not?"
"That is a sad thought, but I will recite one for you." The uncle hopped onto the counter.
"I hope you will not use it, but maybe you will like it. Then some good will be done."
"Well what is it called?" asked the child expectantly.
"How do you spell it?"
"'P-E-W-R-U-N-T,' but don't ask anymore questions about words you don't know.
Just listen until the end."
The child sat at the table with a scrap of paper and pencil, "Read slow, okay?"
"Of course," said the uncle, "It's poetry."
The Pewrunt went Reclunking
To gestigate a spizement
For the Ewtooberoos, who were calisious,
and would miniscrate him to Islent.
So blindly he plodded on,
with a "Kaspishpulunk," and "Shpeeng"
Until he heard a foljingle.
The foljingle made him tingle.
He scured away the phoe.
What he did not expect to find
In his Reclunking mine
Was a Capsadore.
It was smine, and adowine.
He dephoed and checked for skicks.
How the Ewtooberoos would pine
For a Capsadore so perfect.
The Pewrunt thought to skrip it
But kept Reclunking with a song.
There would be more Capsadores.
And the Ewtooberoos were badong.
"So, my nephew. What did you think of that?"
The child, for once, was thoughtful. "I don't really know. What did all those words mean?"
"That is why you must go to college, but I'd be happy to explain it to you."
They sat together to look at the verse scribbled down by the child.
"You are a creative speller," marveled the uncle. "Where's the trouble?"
"What's a Pewrunt?"
"A Pewrunt is a person smaller than their size."
"I don't understand."
"You may when you're older."
"And the Pewrunt went reclunking?" asked the child.
"If you'd been reclunking you would know what it is."
The child stared, dully.
"Reclunking is like mining for gold or gems in a cave... except it's in your head."
"Couldn't you have just said thinking?"
"No," he paused, "Have you ever said something wonderful to your mother only to have her ask, 'where did you come up with that nonsense?'"
The child nodded as though the uncle knew a deep secret.
"Well, how did you come up with something, unless you had gone down to find it?
That is reclunking. 'Thinking,' is just spinning in circles."
"'To gestigate a spizement!'" interrupted the child, suddenly impatient.
"To gestigate means to discover and create something all at once,
which is a wonderful thing.
But a spizement is a bad idea ripped off a good one."
"Why was he reclunking for a bad idea?"
"It was 'for the Ewtooberoos who were
calisicious and could miniscrate him to Islent!'
You wrote it down; don't you remember?"
The uncle remembered himself and apologized.
"You see, Ewtooberoos are lazy gods who can create only what they see.
They are emotional creatures but also lazy, so when they don't care about something,
they do so passionately, which is the definition of callisious.
It makes sense then that they could miniscrate someone,
that is to not look at someone until they disappear.
(Most of us have tried to do that to someone or had someone do it to us.)
And Islent is where people who have been miniscrated go.
It is a small island where trees fall with no sound and no one ever visits."
"Sounds awful," said the child.
"Some people prefer it," mused the uncle.
"But a spizement is like fool’s gold.
It's shiny and kind of pretty but it isn't worth anything.
So imagine you were a Pewrunt and you wanted to be sure
the Ewtooberoos could see you so you could continue to exist.
A spizement is enough to get their attention.
Ewtooberoos are not known for their discriminating taste."
"My head is starting to hurt."
"That's how you know it's good poetry." the uncle laughed.
"Let's try to speed this up."
"Kaspishpulunk and Shpeeng is, in poetry terms, an onomatopoeia.
Meaning a written interpretation of a sound like 'squeak' or 'oink'.
In this case the sound of unsuccessful recklunking.
A 'Fojingle' is a pleasing sound that unexpectedly turns sour
(usually a dead give away for a spizement.)
And here, 'He scured away the phoe.' Let me think.
To scure is similar to miniscate, but instead of not looking at something
until it disappears, you look at it until it vanishes.
Phoe is the muck that makes up most of the space in your head.
It is useful because it absorbs light and sound to keep your head quiet,
but some people's heads are overstuffed with phoe.
"But what is the Capsadore?" asked the child, understanding less and less.
"Ah the Capsadore, 'it was smine and adowine.'
That means it was smooth and fine.
And adowine means that it was prettier the more it was looked at.
Very few things are like that."
"But what is it?"
"Well you never know what a Capsadore will be for sure,
most people never see one, or one without skicks in it.
Skicks are hairline cracks that can break a Capsadore into tiny spizements."
"So a Capsadore is a good idea?" guessed the child, who was certain once he said it.
"Yes! So you can see why the Ewtooberoos would pine for it.
Which is a silly word meaning, 'to long for.'"
"But he didn't 'skrip it?'" pondered the child.
"I'm sure it was tempting,
but to skrip something is to break something while taking it,
like a flower from its root, or even better a light bulb from its socket!"
"So he just left it there to find more for his own enjoyment?"
"That does sound a bit selfish doesn't it, nephew?" conceded the uncle.
"However, you must understand that to skrip something that beautiful is no small matter."
"Can't you take it without skripping it?"
"Perhaps, but it is a lot of difficult work.
Do you have any idea how many Capsadores Michaelangelo
skripped and destroyed before successfully retrieving his, 'David?'"
"And the Ewdooberoos would be happy with spizement?" Recalled the child, feeling a little sick.
"Well, don't worry too much about it," the uncle tried to assure him.
"Remember, the Ewtooberoos were badong anyway."
"Bad and wrong?" said the child flatly.
"And worse than both!" said the uncle.
"I still think the Pewrunt is selfish."
"That is a common fault among Pewrunts," the uncle admitted.
The child walked away carefully from the table. "Maybe I should just write my own poem for the class."
"That sounds like a Capsadore," the uncle smiled.
"What rhymes with 'Uncle?'"
"You'll come up with something."