Bryana Johnson is a homeschool graduate with a passion for poetry, political science, and art. She has won cash prizes in multiple poetry contests, including the grand prize in one of the 2011 Utmost Christian Writers contests, and her poems have been published in several literary journals including the Boston Literary Magazine, Time of Singing, The Mayo Review and Adroit Journal. While she grew up in Turkey and lived for a time in Ankara and along the coast of the Black Sea, she currently resides in a rural community in Texas. She loves G.K. Chesterton, acrylic paints, guitar and children.
Don’t use words too big for the subject: don’t say “infinitely” when you mean “very”;
otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.
Never say savor when you only mean taste –
one is a holding on the tongue and an intoxication
and the other is cursory, a sampling, connoting
reluctance to bask. Never say a thing you don’t mean.
Never say agony for pain or vast for very big or
love for the agitated chemistry of bodies unknown
to each other. If you say eternal for longevity, how
will you ever convince us of undying things?
Never say always for most of the time, or downpour
for the dribbling of hesitant rain. If you say you
believe in something you only hope tremulously to
be true, how shall we be made to understand faith?
Never say never when you only mean, “not at any time
in the past or the future as far as we know.” Because you
might not know. And when you truly need to say,
“I will never leave you, nor forsake you,” you will hear it
echoed back at you: the riotous mockery of a world
hungry for reasons to doubt. Tell us the whole truth
and nothing but the truth, so help you God.