Saturday, January 6, 2007

The Art Of Communicating

What if mankind could speak one language! Try to imagine a language migrating from say the East overland via yak caravan through the dead of winter and then spreading across the entire world like tapioca pudding by the next monsoon season. Imagine too, that nothing could restrain its progress and that eventually, even the residents of Walla Walla would be able to say, "I wrist watch keep for not or want product purchase and resolved quickly nor matter that receipt lost me for refund back immediately", and be clearly understood in a place like Paypal, China. Won't that be underful! Just the mushrooms along would make the trip worthwhile. Now try to imagine the impact of an infomercial if it were targeted at the right full-bodied brew. On the other hand, I wonder what effort a world-wide language would have on that remote lake called poetry. Think we poets would still have the last word as we brush the stars from our flaxen hair? While you decide if it'll be crispy or the original recipe, here's a bag of poems to munch on:

"With Moving Figures" Sonnet

Roadkill stray dogs feast on. The
sharp distinction of solitary trees.
Pencil shavings. Mistakes like paper
cuts. Whistling like a teapot at the
railway crossing. Coffee's aroma.
Freshly mowed grass. A sentence
that begins with "Exhibit A". Breath
on a windshield. A voice apologizing
for any technical difficulties. Cruise
missiles. Yellow times two. The
awning of a pet shop. a traffic cop's
white glove. I wave because she
thinks I should. At least shut up.
Homing pigeons. That faint silver
lining. Reasons to cringe. A street
of frozen traffic. Idle windmills.
Manikins that all look alike. Souls
that long to be driftwood. Of pity
or adoration. Strolling through an
evening where blue knows everybody.
Then too, green could mean go.

Dreaming In A Bowtie

Things fall of their own weightlessness.

Eons of surrender. Driving downhill in red with
the radio loud. The second warm day turning
green. Feathers crowded with crows. High corn
dense as a broom. One sweepstakes prize-winner.
Two steps redder. Wind on the breast of
desire. To know how the snake's mind slithers...

a tangle of kids bicycles...
a stack of old 8x10 glossies.

Evening fog settling like fine gauze.
Clouds sky-long without an erection.

Blue moons that turn into hail.
To cough coal mines so much it hurts.

A thorn in her breath. I feel it, I say,
as if blindness were two hands.
So touch or be touched-
no telling the difference.

Then maybe later, we could pretend
to be dawn slowly lightening.

These poems first appeared in print at: Pebble Lake Review
Summer 2005. Online at:
Copyright by Maurice Oliver. All Rights Reserved.
Also visit his literary blog at:

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