Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday Poem - Words

The world does not need words. It articulates itself
in sunlight, leaves, and shadows. The stones on the path
are no less real for lying uncatalogued and uncounted.
The fluent leaves speak only the dialect of pure being.
The kiss is still fully itself though no words were spoken.

And one word transforms it into something less or other--
illicit, chaste, perfunctory, conjugal, covert.
Even calling it a kiss betrays the fluster of hands
glancing the skin or gripping a shoulder, the slow
arching of neck or knee, the silent touching of tongues.

Yet the stones remain less real to those who cannot
name them, or read the mute syllables graven in silica.
To see a red stone is less than seeing it as jasper--
metamorphic quartz, cousin to the flint the Kiowa
carved as arrowheads. To name is to know and remember.

The sunlight needs no praise piercing the rainclouds,
painting the rocks and leaves with light, then dissolving
each lucent droplet back into the clouds that engendered it.
The daylight needs no praise, and so we praise it always--
greater than ourselves and all the airy words we summon.

Dana Gioia
(from Interrogations at Noon)


Printemps said...


Unknown said...

I don't think you could have chosen a lovelier picture to perfectly accent this beautiful piece. Great work =)

Tabor said...

I love this poem. New to me. You are so well-read.

Shannon Wilson said...

I can't tell you how glad I am that I happened upon your blog. Your words speak "spirit to spirit" with absolutely no barriers or filters getting in the way. Thank you for taking the time to share this gift with us. It changes my day to think on these things.