An English In Kentucky



















October 30th 2009

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    While building this structure I wanted to call it a berme.  But I could have called it a dyke or a dam.  Because both words also have that association between soil and water that in my mind funded the process.   

    However, there is I suspect a theology behind this structure, and the word dyke has puerile confusion, while the word 'dam' to often reflects the word 'damn', which in a mind that feasts upon goodness can create a turmoil.

    The word 'damn' by itself, in my vocabulary, follows moments of realization, I think.  I will say for example, 'Damn! that is interesting'.  Then for consignment to darker worlds I admit to referencing 'damn you' on occasion, though I prefer expressions that do not drag third parties into dispute, and here 'bloody fool' achieves this nicely.

    The word 'dyke' is one I am fond of.  There are 'bull dykes', 'dykes on bikes' and dykes that protect land from water.  'Dyke' is a solid and stoic expression, in my view reflecting clog wearing men staring grimly into a grey horizon where a tide is rising, and their sometimes sensitive counterparts.


    I thought the word 'berme' quite without nuance.  And yet, 'dam' in the sense of 'damn! what am I doing' did for some time present an aptness of expression I could not find in 'dyke' or in 'berme'.

   As well 'berme' reflects serious purpose.  I can hear someone telling me, "You need to put a berme there."  And as this particular garden structure solves no problem whatsoever, I quickly found my resolve to call this structure a 'berme' or 'berm' weakening into a confusion of 'dang!'.  

   So better to define it and then allow it to sit nameless.  "A convivial episode in the worship of soil."  Just hope nothing miraculous occurs, otherwise I may have to make more of them.

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tim candler

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