Published in Issue 18 of Visionary Tongue, 2003.
Ghostly guides from another Age,
All the Traditions point to possible meaning.
Dancing in the corners of visions,
Glorious or gory, universal or so personal
They mean anything only if you were there
The day Aunt Fred dropped the jello and
…Never mind. Grasped too tightly,
All the names turn brittle,
Signify more and more about less and less
Till, a tower of sand, dissolve like Babel,
Leaving spiritual orphans, condemned to heterodox shame,
As if stoned: incoherent in raw experience,
To indicate what sense we can
With names adrift as our lives,
Closer to Chaos…no farther from
A Truth beyond the coherence of names.
Coyote casts Runes in Japanese.
Raven plays Heavy Metal in Mogadishu.
How many gum drops must P’aila eat to
Lose her teeth?…Babel, when coherence
Becomes too isolated to communicate.
Nostalgia for a common language of the soul
Can no more resurrect dead spiritual forms,
Derived from once-stable circumstance long since melted,
Than parents dead on another planet
Can tell us how to greet a living Spirit
Whose waxing form as yet has no shared name.
Borrowing mutilated pieces of Traditions,
Fumbling and mumbling, spiritual orphans,
We make what sense we can of inevitable experience.
© Uncle River
Uncle River’s Prometheus: the autobiography appeared in summer, 2003 from Crossquarter Publishing Group. He has had poetry recently in Mythic Delirium in the U. S. and Creative Forum in India, fiction in Tales of The Unanticipated, Challenging Destiny, and the Hartwell/Cramer Year’s Best Fantasy 2. He lives in the American Mountain Southwest. Another interesting poem from a very well established writer with a distinctive style.
Jamie Spracklen, VT Editor