In the beginning there were words. Words that in their being, brought earth and all creation into being with them. Words that shaped land and ocean, sky and heavens, words that placed stars into the atmosphere and brought water out of springs in the earth, to water the ground. That the ground might bloom into life, and the walking, breathing life that lived upon the earth might eat of the blossoming of the earth. All this came from words.
At the end, there are always words. Heavy ones, filled with sadness and loss, words that endeavour to bring meaning to a series of repeated breaths, repeated motions that construct a life. We describe people in all their broken glory, painting pictures of younger, more productive years. Words that make small triumphs from failures, words that give us the power to influence and change the purpose of a life, from smallness to greatness at the moment of death.
Words seem infinitely powerful at that moment. When the silence becomes an ache, and the ache an emptiness, and the emptiness cannot be filled, then words have the infinite power to restore, to birth, to create, to offer. Until the final word is spoken, hope remains and life endures in the breath and intonation of the phrases we choose to define the life we mourn.
So ask me not, to give to you my mind or body, or my soul as much as you could ask of me a kiss; a kiss of syllables and consonants, of round, deep vowels and slowly formed phrases. The kiss I give you, crafted with the infinite depth of my heart, which cannot find sharper or truer blade to give you, than my words spilled out on paper and in space; carved out in the ether.
My words contain so much of me. Why do I twist and turn phrases from my mouth into new shapes and sounds; to soften that which is hard or smooth that which is broken? How is it that within my phrases I find spaces for latin, greek, hebrew and polynesian roots and yet I am am still Anglo-Saxon? Words keep defining me.
Why do I find a deep sense of home in listening to the words that roll from your tongue; you in fluid apathy to my apparent need of them?
My words speak my heart aloud and they fly up into the air, resting on shadows and clouds, sliding down raindrops back into puddles at my feet, before the listless wind blows fragments of my phrases back towards me. I do not recognise my own heart as it comes back to me, yet drawn to these fragments I piece together a strange jigsaw puzzle of a poem.
Once poems were my bridges to the world. I slid over velvet phrases into reality, and landed softly amongst other poet friends. The lens of ‘form’ was like a comforting blanket, where any phrase could be turned, remade into something gentler to the ear. I have learned all phrases, even the best ones, are turned around in the end.
Our words together seem like a dance where one is never certain of the other, and the orchestra slips ahead, like salmon darting upstream, always dragging us behind, always close to being lost in the song we thought to write, the book that is burgeoning within us.
Some words hesitate me for moments and hours, gluing me to the spot, in a fickle twist, for fear never likes to admit what it is, except what it is not.
I am not cold, I am not small, I am not frightening. I am terrified. A fool believes that words alone can prove their Truth, for words without context are like sentences without punctuation. Neither likes restraint but both depend on the clarity it brings.
Words like ‘beautiful’ can trip me up for hours, words like ‘faith’ bog me in delay. Others are like deep, sapphire pools of the ocean and entice me to play while the salt grazes my skin and makes me clean.
Words are like the breath of the wind, even lighter than the wind, but existing in every atom of the air. They sit like art upon the page, they fly soaring when spoken. They have a power all their own, they don’t deserve the loneliness of One-ness. They are tiny threads that march out from my heart into yours, into a single woven string that ties you to me, so we can walk together held by those words we speak.