• Stephen Hill

WORDS LIKE WALLS



In Ireland (and elsewhere) there is a tradition of 'dry stone walling' Walls, built without mortar, assembled by carefully selecting stones to fit together, leaving gaps to let the wind blow through, which keeps the wall from being blown over. These walls last hundreds, maybe thousands of years. Inspired by this, here is a poem I penned:


WORDS LIKE WALLS


Words like walls are built

Chosen carefully from the heap of language

Weighed and cast aside,

taken up again,

eyed and measured

tossed from hand to hand

Only for the gap are they chosen

to let in enough light and keep out enough wind.


Some are hewn,

most are searched for and chosen

paired off with suitable companions

they arise into an enclosure or a dike

hugging the mountain

built by man but like the work of God.


Words and stones, poems and walls

they break the back.

Roughen the hands

Test the mind

Gratify the heart.


Choose carefully

From your mound

Of language

To let the wind blow through

And let the light shine in.

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