conversation

wild waves of spoken sound
consonants and vowels surround
my tender ears, beams on the hull
that is my skull, floating in the sea
of rippling air.
I, a surfer, perch within,
ride part pilot part victim
to the tide of words and whispers,
veering to avoid protruding rocks and hidden shoals
that would founder this delicate dance of aural graces
swamp my cheeks with rising redness
and break my grip on rudder tongue
to set it stuttering.

I see acrobatic figures
turning tricks high on the waves, so intricately
and others loving to revel in the splash and foam
wear it like a costume
to the Mardi Gras of semantic vibrations,
always seeking more, more to display to others’ eardrums.
“Come, have more!” they call to me,
try to catch my hand and pull me into
the whirling dance cacophany.
Sometimes I join, try to surf that vortex,
but I tire quickly, usually
let my inertia fling me out of the circle
before repeated sound splashes upset
my balance or capsize my attention.

The cry of more I answer with less,
preferring quiet peace
of spiders, mice, and fleas.
Control the chaos, less!
My less is my ‘more’, reduce the mess,
clear the clutter, free my feet
to wander daywise rooty paths
and windy hushings of trees’ breeze
unburdened with the human honeycomb
we call ‘meaning’. Speak to me
with air waves ungrouped by word-bundles
unhung with sentence weight or rhythmic phrase.
Set me rather on the placid sea
of hidden chirpings, shaded rustle ripples,
swells of unplanned resonance
in wide open bays of space.

pause 1 full breath

There, now: Did you hear it?
The mother tongue of every hearing creature
rolling on, undaunted, uninspired
by grammatical games we play.
You go on, dance and laugh,
I will sit and listen to the untamed sea
of sometimes silence, hope to harmonize
my utterings with its rumblings, somehow.
After a while, I’ll float back to the splashing crowd,
and with luck, bring a new song to share with you.