Ode to the Muted Poet

Some words drip sugar on the tip of a poet’s tongue.

Other words are secret, they whisper things; being breathless, hidden away across the ocean of the extraordinary—they have imperceptible armour and like sneak attacks.

Then there are those very bold collections of words continually shouting out enormous mountains of meaning; these prefer to be called by their first name, you can see it in their eyes.

The explorer searched for those rare words that paint in wild blueberry and saffron firelight, its their preferred colour as they slip inside the silk dress of your mind.

Once upon a time a word lead me to the edge of forever, smiled, and said “Why stop here? Stasis is slow suicide.”

Untamed words can magic stars into shadows and shadows into stars; they rarely oversleep and are never late for parties.

Melancholic Word Incantation: Fire-ash of wand / Moon-lace of night / Hemlock of soul / Hopes dark blight. Raven of time / Dark to the bone / Kiss of the violent / Insanity enthroned.

Words see things; some have big bulging eyes floating in the teardrops of angels; they are often found hunched over a wide open pit of awe.

Then there are the stubborn words that nibble away at the morsels of memories; growing fat underneath your ageing skin.

I once saw a word dressed in a little red riding hood; sweet and kind, yet very dangerous (despite the fact that it carried a handful of pretzels as it prayed to the wind).

I’d read of a word that became interested in paranormal research, she discovered a mansion full of old ghosts that delighted to rattle our dark mythologies. Moon-boned skeletal sentences danced in the shadows whilst a vat of grinning ectoplasm tried to maintain its unique sense of humour.

Some words are furious; some words swell with pride; some are all teary because of the ‘Great Whatever’ of neglect. A small bottle of ibuprofen should do the trick.

Words are open minded creatures with a slight trace of strong opinions.

Some words arrive by ambulance, some by a primitive raft, others tramp in without even taking their shoes off—then there are those words that remain curled up in a fetus position unwinding meaning over long decades, these like to rearrange all your pillows.

Prior to the internet words used to dress in immaculate white lace and wear a crimson cape; some were so petite and adorable as they rode their bicycle on a bright autumn morning.

Bitchy words have a habit of marooning relationships on the playground of misbehaving. Its time they grown up.

Lulled by the monotony of dictionaries, rebel words took up arms, and without a blush, staged a literary rebellion by spraying red graffiti over our sacred library walls.

Some words sit on a blue velvet sofa, sipping tea, politely elbowing their way through lush fields of anachronistic poetry and brown corduroy rhetoric.

The words that reduce you to the zero of air can also be treasures. Pray for their sixteen seconds of surgery before you vanish from the screen of existence.

I remember when one particular word tumbled through the city of me, sweeping away the universe I once knew, and with great white arms she pulled me into the sun.

The night I rediscovered words was when I unlocked the jaws of everything. I found myself in a crowded palace, twirling under the candelabra of a succulent universe.

How on earth did I survive?

I pressed the palm of my soul up against their crimson cheeks, my thin red vein of conscience open as never before, and all I could say was

“Why don’t I have more pockets to sabbath these gods away?”

© Stephen Roberts

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