Poems · writing

Works in Progress: Mother Tongue

This is well and truly a work in progress.  I haven’t really touched this in years.  I had been playing with the phrases, even trying to translate them into Spanish to keep my brain limber.  

No clue what it means or where it came from.  I just really like the word “primordial” and I’m fascinated by the history of language.  Words are power, and spoken words doubly so.  Words create lives, end kingdoms, create fear and grow love.  But they are just phantoms on the tongue.

Where do our stories come from?  What are our lexicons?  How much do we share?  Can a word I say now mean the same – or at least feel the same – over time?  Could I make myself understood to the distant past, or the far future?


By Cuneiform_script2.jpg:derivative work: Yjenith (talk) – This file was derived from: Cuneiform script2.jpg:, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18527981

What was that first story, the primordial word,
Spreading out from the rocky throat.
What prompted the spell unfurling in the grey dawn,
What is the mother tongue?

What is the story i try to tell over and over,
What are these lines i trace?

Is it the same story – the same collection – of things past?
Is it the weight of love unsaid, forgotten?
Is it the collar of dead air around me
the clot of words at my lips?

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