WORDS FOR THE WIND

For years
I composed my poems
in mind

Not on the page
Never writing down
Never completing

a single
form of any poem.
Multi-various

Depending on mood
and memory
I wrote and rewrote

Played with image and phrase
Till I moved on
and turned in time

to another whim and pleasure
a persistent trope or theme
I could not let go of.

Uttering aloud
or in silence
what needed to be said

what needed
to be followed through
and what pleased me in the saying

Mixing city and nature,
body and world,
juggling image and phrase

and tracing
inwardly
shape and sound.

By these words for the wind
I cleansed my language
grew reflective and silent

Hearing more of brute sound
without words to tame it
Seeing more than image and phrase

would let me,
becoming more sense
sure,

even as I aged.
My mind uncluttered,
loosened

till the wind
passed through me
and I through it

The word wind
the skeletal language
the imprinted

tongue.
I loved the shape
and sound

of the simplest letters
The vowels
etched their form

in my heart
and gut and throat
and palms

And my head opened up
and out
like a pinwheel

spinning light.
The rhythm of walking
became mind’s

rhythm.
And the body
at rest

floated away

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