ENLIGHTENMENT IN THE CONDEMNED MOUTH
l. The Subtracting
Is it right to part the language
from the memory
the memory from the story
the story from the song
the song from the poem
the poem from the tradition
the tradition from the history
the history from the land
the land from the placename
the placename from the geography
the geography from the ecology
the ecology from the faith
the faith from the prayer
the prayer from the soul
when it is a bad omen to have a soul
parted from its tongue?
ll. The Adding
I peel back the thin layer of moss
revealing layer upon layer of words
that are no longer formed by voice or mouth;
syntax, strange to the man of today
which filters down through rock and bog
into the source of a loose-tongued river.
And I pour humbly, in on top
my small collection of words
pleading with the mountain to take possession of the syllables
because I hear each word amongst them
tormented, the need in them to be linked back
each creature of them calling to its elders
below: Stop! Come back to us!
Don’t go under the eclipse.