Wednesday, August 3, 2011

All The Words Are Broken

All the words are broken.
I have these few words because I was near the bottom of heaven
when the languages fell in shards.
I nearly died, impaled
in their despairing crash.
All the words are broken, all the languages are dead.
I've sat like a child with a giant puzzle, assembling the bits
that remain.  Splinters chill my hands, blood from cut fingers
drips into the earth.
I have shackled each word recovered from the fragments
and dragged them to this page.  The work
is long: months, years, rounding up
a letter here, a syllable there,
building a fortress for their protection.
The Torah is but a vowel, the Bible a blurt,
The Koran is mixed with sand, unreadable.
Why, why are the words broken?
There was nothing strong enough to hold them,
to keep them from trying to speak the outrage.
They failed.  There are no words left to make it felt,
the outrage.  They exploded, trying to reveal the disguises of evil.  They vaporized
from the frustration that has tried down the ages
to cry against malice and injustice.
I have my work, long work ahead of me. 
My successor, and their successors, will work
to rebuild the words, to make new words, until language
is strong enough to speak with power
against the evil that bestrides the world.


  1. Thanks, Debra, for brightening my day. I haven't figured the best way to show your award yet, but I will, I promise. BTW, yours is a brilliant idea

  2. Replies
    1. Clyde, thanks! Some poems stick, you know...this one gives me the feeling that I've DONE something on those days when it seems like the only thing I've done is work at it and work at it...and then, a comment, three words, or two, changes my whole inner landscape. I feel better. Ahhh.


If you have enjoyed any of my work, please leave a short comment. It may not appear immediately because it comes to me first for moderation. I get a lot of spam. Your comments help raise my spirits and support my belief that someone cares enough to say so.

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