Words

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Words ride on sound-waves
Across smoky rooms and satellites
They carve out keys
That unlock underground rivers
And spark dry flints
Into fires that buzz
Hum and ignite ideas
Through towns and continents
We must use them well

Lightweight words skitter
Across the surface of a lake
Skimming the depths that carry them
Or tumble from the jar
Convention requires us to keep
Ready-filled
Like sweets
Wrapped in bright colours

Words heavy with overuse
Deaden the hymn to
What matters to us most
And make it a thing
Purchased on special offer
Bulk buy at the chainstore
Life crushed
By their weight

Barbs from which weapons hang
Well-oiled and ready
For the unthinkable
Adorn word palaces
Made of chicken wire
Listen to the wind whisper
The lie through empty holes
As the edifice slinks and bends
With the tide

Cling to words as you cling to life
When they lose their essence
We no longer feel
The world dislocates
Falls out of phase
With itself

Line them up, slow and deliberate
Lay a path we know we can walk on
Stones, carefully chosen on a shingle beach
Layered and shaped by the tide
Their origin, the bedrock of history
Where word and being are one

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