The word of the week is:


Definition of denizen


  1. an inhabitant; resident.
  2. a person who regularly frequents a place; habitué: the denizens of a local bar.
  3. British . an alien admitted to residence and to certain rights of citizenship in a country.
  4. anything adapted to a new place, condition, etc., as an animal or plant not indigenous to a place butsuccessfully naturalized.

Photo by j thorn explains it all

Here is the word in Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers, a poem by Adrienne Rich:

Aunt Jennifer’s tigers prance across a screen,
Bright topaz denizens of a world of green.
They do not fear the men beneath the tree;
They pace in sleek chivalric certainty.

Aunt Jennifer’s fingers fluttering through her wool
Find even the ivory needle hard to pull.
The massive weight of uncle’s wedding band
Sits heavily upon Aunt Jennifer’s hand.

When aunt is dead, her terrified hand will lie
Still ringed with ordeals she was mastered by.
The tigers in the panel that she made
Will go on prancing, proud and unafraid.


Write for five minutes using denizen as often as possible

Also, extra credit if you use the word of the week in your daily practice!

My Practice

What a time to remember odd words! Stuck on an island in the middle of nowhere, with no way back to the mainland. The few crofters cottages that had looked so pretty in the daylight now had an ominous glint. Robinsoe Crusoe’s adventures first popped into my flattened mind, well he had sunshine and Friday, me I had an enormous headache from too much cider and wizz.

Jamie left me here, can’t quite believe that. Well we were finished that much is evident. How could I trust him if he’d leave me here, here of all places.

It was freezing. The light summer clothes were no match for the gale penetrating every pore. The denizens of the island long gone to their graves in the churchyard on the cliff. But knowing there was no one here, did not stop the cogs in my brain whirring at each creak or groan.

Miss Bishop our English teacher talked a lot about denizens, she was Indian and had citizenship of three countries; India, Burma and Britain, she called it Great Britain, but it wasn’t so great anymore. No jobs, no hope. She though, was fascinated by the English language and loved to roll her z’s and r’s enunciating each syllable so precisely. She did not like slang or sloppy talk. I wonder what she would make of this situation. She’d probably write a poem, stylising the wind and sea with the long dead denizens. That’s what she would do.

Me, I’ll hunker down in this corner, wait for true sobriety, mmm there’s a thought. I wonder if I could find the Great in Britain if I wasn’t always off my head or coming down. Maybe I’ll sit with that for a while, I might even write a poem, Miss Bishop always said I had po-ten-tial.

Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris, a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. Follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).

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