There’ll be ample time to talk of wonders;
but for now, you have the gift of eyes and ears.
Silence speaks as loud as lightning thunders.
Save those unspoken thoughts for coming years.
As for now, take note: watch the world unfold,
watch the patterns change and the colours dance;
watch the hand shake, the foot step, the toe hold.
Recognise yourself in a friendly glance.
As for now, listen: hear the change of tone;
hear the rhythm, the pitch, the count of three;
hear the heart beat, the ear drum, the jaw bone.
Make yourself ready for the change of key.
. Two eyes, two ears, but just one mouth for each.
. There’s much to be said for the gift of …
To the reader: It’s not that babies can’t vocalise; it’s more the point, they can’t speak. And all for good reason. The receptive senses of hearing, seeing, touching, tasting and smelling need time to grasp the rituals of living. In this sensory world, babies communicate reactively; using spontaneous gestures that display their simple understandings of the comfort continuum. Our physical glossary precedes our emotional vocabulary.
To the poet: Our first language belongs to the body. And I suppose through body-language we can express the sentiments of any poetic theme or form. Words are just subsequent translations of abstracted notions the brain has previously rehearsed; remnants of an internal theatre. Before speech performs its reductive act, let the first scene be one of mental gymnastics … creatively dance within …hold that thought.
Words have accents, some subtle, some severe.
The urban banter of a rough-cut brogue.
The soft rounded lilt that lovers revere.
Words are responsive to fashion and vogue.
They’re tandem partners in a common phrase,
They’re crude expletives in a colourful verse,
They’re gushing gaffs in superlative praise.
They can mumble, grumble; be short and terse.
Words can shatter dreams, mend a broken heart,
Words have expression, and so resemble
the whispering wind and the dashing dart,
the babbling brook and the leaves atremble
. Words have accents, some are rich and refined,
. others more guttural, milled in a grind.
To the reader: For such little things words can pack a powerful punch. The expletive works well alone; but on the whole words are social creatures. In pairs they hyphenate easily; in threes and fours they craft a competent phrase; beyond that their assemblage constitutes a sentence. In the world of words context is everything, for without association words are reduced to meaningless sounds; mere babble vibrating through space.
To the poet: In poetry, the word is a versatile instrument; adaptable and flexible. Adaptive in a syntactic sense, it transitions from active to descriptive modes with ease. As a flexible element, the word’s semantic nuances are powerful attachments to emotional strings. Between the right and wrong choice of word there’s a world of difference. A bit like chemistry … where a combination of elements can be volatile; evaporative and explosive.