Monday, December 04, 2006

When the Words Matter

When the Words Matter

It happens when I am sunk
deep into the ink black night
Or when I'm burnt brown
in the unflinching noonday Sun.

My Words lie on my palm
like hard empty diamonds
with no trace of breath or blood
in them, no trace of life.

They slip away onto the grass
in a hundred irrelevant arrangements
And I am left standing to ask
Do they matter? Matter at all?

And I consider myths
The general inspired by a single
line of verse to raise an army
and lay waste a kingdom.

Lovers seduced by a single
word, its syllables blooded
like rose petals, by a phrase
spelt like a chain of promises.

Words that have carried shame
and hate and hope and laughter
like thin shelled eggs
shed to hatch demons.

This much then is given -
to be the weak triggers, keys,
linchpins of events and happenings.
But this is not enough.

An argument that bends
weakly like the blades of grass
crushed under the wordless
demanding weight of my body.

And the meaning of the words
comes to me with the coolness
of an arriving dawn, the warmth
of a departing evening breeze.

It comes to me with the
raking sound of the nails of
a demon of pain that will not
depart until you coin its name.

With the sound of the ache
of an ecstasy of love that will
burst you open like over-ripe fruit
unless you vent its description.

With the unsounded scream
of terror at the deep night
of aloneness that swallows all
curses, hopes, pleadings poured into it.

With the unyielding will of
a prisoner knotting his own nerves
saying I will not forget ever
I will not will not will not


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