What Words Know

I wonder where the words come from,
full grown, all of life
reduced to a viscous ink
crawling slowly on bleak parchment
I draw lines from each verse and metaphor
to places, people, things packed tight in coffins of spent time,
and I hope the vectors will coalesce
into a dark tunnel leading back to a single source,
but I see them disperse weakly
seemingly lost, asking for directions, bending into flaccid arcs,
each a spider trapped in its homespun web,

and now I want to write about love
and the flashing spectrum of truth
as light weaves in and out of it
or maybe those are bodies moving in and out of clouds
leaving rainbow coloured embroidery on the sky
or are they ugly sutures on a purple wound
what do I know of lies and hue and healing
the lines bend and turn away from the past
whatever birthed those bastard words is gone
they seem not to know what happened
but where I will be going next
before I even concede
it is time to move on.

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38 thoughts on “What Words Know

  1. My goodness this is good!❤️ Especially; “what do I know of lies and hue and healing the lines bend and turn away from the past whatever birthed those bastard words is gone they seem not to know what happened but where I will be going next before I even concede it is time to move on.” You left me quite breathless with this one!❤️

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  2. You always dazzle me with your brilliant images and the turn of phrase. This is particularly apt for me at present, and I felt really drawn into the poem.

    are they ugly sutures on a purple wound
    what do I know of lies and hue and healing
    the lines bend and turn away from the past
    whatever birthed those bastard words is gone

    Like

  3. No better description of poetry than “things packed tight in coffins of spent time.” And what we learn to write — “of lies and hues and healing” is never more than conditional and fleeting and sure only that sea and blood are salty. Great stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your stunning poem brings to mind my favorite Neruda quote, the one about “everything exist[ing] in the word.” Isn’t it wonderful (and sometimes terrifying) that the same words can hurt or soothe or do both at the same time, depending in the circumstances? Words are glorious things and whoever birthed them is pure magic.

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