Read: today’s made-up word


Cathy Bryant


Tokus is shared magic of the pipe

that plays its music in soft brown smoke,

grating the throat but calming all else;

a blanket falling on the circle of friends,

passing it widdershins and getting through days.

A magic of community, as the aches

of heartbreak or arthritis ease, borne away

on the haze of this fragrant plant we wrap

in carved pipe or fine paper.

Tokus, conjured by a bedsit wizard

whose hocus-pocus may take away sharp focus,

but replaces it with the shared comfort and warmth

of a nest, and the lullaby promise of easy sleep.


This piece of writing is featured in PEN’s e-book, “The Dictionary of Made-Up Words”, made in partnership with the European Commission Representation in the United Kingdom. Read the whole book!



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