Posts Tagged ‘rocks’


what language did

one day life came into our earth.  how it was
before nobody knows.  no one spoke and for
all we know, for all we don’t know, it was dark.
no water moved.
because of life, smoke began to weave.  it spun
itself into twine, twisting silent thought.  flames
arose upon new feet, began to dance.  moon
observed a waking wind, spoke, said to sun,
let them see!  so brightness rained from the sky.
life inhaled.
yet no stories were being told.  nothing really
made any sense at all.  so then language
decided to take on life.  dust began to whisper
shadows, then seek the spaces between all
things such that connections might embrace.
awareness took root.
rocks joined in, became a chorus.  clouds
began to sing about the sky the water the land.
water pronounced a willingness to fall, so faith
began.  then worms and leaves.  then limbs
and four-legged beasts with mouths to eat,
growing and falling apart.  words piled up
like crisp autumn leaves close underfoot.
words began to move.
then men, then women, so that all those
stories might be harvested and given birth
and given death.  like all real stories must.
appreciation became a smile upon the lips
of men.  every story mattered, no matter
the voice.  so quite unexpectedly thus did
listening come into the world.


neil reid © may 2012

A lovely clumsy draft? But I don’t care. (guilty pleasure?) Since first reading Stephen Mitchell’s translation of Gilgamesh, a desire began. Then more recently, the amazing work of Eduardo Galeano and his Genesis, Memory of Fire Trilogy. (clearly I’m way beyond my depth, splashing as best as I can)

While I’m rather lack “classic” leanings, something about these lyric mythic voices sounded and tasted right to me. So something to play with here; a stumbling step, but how else to begin?

And how dare one of casual accord approach such myth? I’m no student that way. Yet too, where do any myths begin? They represent our understanding of experience, so we, any of us, do qualify. Nothing carved in rock. Mostly I just wanted to approach that lyric voice, so this result. Worth more more engaging with I think.

And credit due, I love and borrowed Galeano’s phrase, language decided to take on life. Wonderful.

PS. REVISION, replaced “gathered” with “harvested” in the last stanza. Re-reading it was just obviously better, so much better. 05-12 neil

Read Full Post »

Circling Mount Kailash


(Another day in the rocks.)

Maybe I did read all these pages before!
Didn’t mark my spot yesterday.

Thought by now I was into fresh clear words again.
But then, there’s a passage I know I read last day.

Lost in tattered breeze like colored flags.

Wanted to underline in ink, but didn’t.
A hardbound book – is that my rule? Only paperbacks?

But it’s not about preserving paper, it’s about
retaining the track. Understanding wants to fill the bowl.

A better student I imagine possible, need to be.
Here’s my pen. Here’s my hand. Eyes to see.

Easy to fall asleep on the freeway driving home.
It could end (tear, wither the bloom) just like that!

You don’t have to fall off a mountain to loose your place.
Any ravine will do, especially an idyl thought.

Following is not a passive path.

neil reid © september 2010

Suppose like real life, doubts, stubbed toes, plenty of rocks and what to do? Exclude nothing, no editing what lands in my hand. Landslides do happen. Observe how life moves, unexpectedly.

Read Full Post »