In ’61 I fell in love with words;
their multiple shapes;
the way they taste as they escape from the mouth;
how different combinations calm or excite.
And I have practiced
to make small musings sound big.
I take a secret or open truth and expand it;
throw it into the sky;
this offered gift may land on your head,
bruising like heavy metal
stinging like skittery nettles in spring
or tickling like a brindled feather,
depending upon what mood I am in.
So, you are younger than me
with further to journey,
but we are equal.
Your truth is told as if to a friend,
calmly, clearly, without gimmicky bells or whistles,
in the beautiful words you were born to speak.
Your voice will be heard and some day
your ethical wisdom may prevail.
We reach across the generations;
across lonely deserts, burning wilderness, mountains, oceans;
across festive towns, weeping cities, peaceful protests, war zones;
across diverse rituals and customs,
and as two poets,
in mutual respect;
Written as a tribute and a gift, to my lovely new friend over at The Grateful Dead. I heartily recommend a visit.
I’ve been rhyming lately, but this couldn’t be written in rhyme as it would have lost some of its meaning.
©Jane Paterson Basil