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Choosing Words

Sometimes we choose words carefully

extract them like conjurers

from fanned out decks of cards,

sometimes we delve blindly into bags

cast them like black lumps of coal

into flaming arguments


We dirty our hands with them

watch them glow, blaze, dazzle,

finally turn to ash, crumble or

reappear as something else we

didn’t intend at all


Fire eaters, ventriloquists, clowns,

puppets or followers of bouncing balls

we perform our tricks with them

and they with us: they deceive,

delight, deflect our eyes and ears

from what is real and indescribable


Out there, something wordless exists

muddy, sharp, uncontrived

as crow calls in trees

as lizards slithering in dry leaves


I wait and listen, disappear

syllables of breeze caress my hair

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© Johnmichael Simon



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