Occasionally there is an idea that can only be expressed in sentences and phrases that run on and over each other in extraordinary syntax.
They leap out as fragments, then couplets until finally you have a stanza and a verse. This poem, in three parts, is about being alone and not alone.
Some people will tell you to listen
Listen and learn from your own body.
It’s good advice, to master your body, learn it.
But no one says also, here is a warning –
And a notebook to write it down because –
if you listen
to your body
You will hear everything in
one voice but a thousand sounds, plucks, scrapes, clicks and thunders.
The body makes a dozen slow, deep, thundering sounds.
Then the bzzt of a hair standing on end
The stubborn grip of the womb
moaning in protest before letting go
each month. The delicate, tiny sounds that only you can know.
The pop of hidden bones
in the ankle you rolled
Age 14, before you knew what it was like to listen.
Now you hear the wind brushing your skin;
the ice crack of goose bumps rising in response
– you think ‘I might survive on the wind’s caress’.
So now you believe you are at one with the night air silence,
and Light touches you from the moon, distant and cold.
You are bathed in mist coming off the sea
into the valley of peat and stone,
A dozen hands come close but cannot hold
– you think ‘I might remained unanchored here.’
You and your body, in a long communion.
Listening and talking together.
Sighing, your body does not sigh but a kind of hum dimishes
Slowly, like the sky sinking to earth.
Then the wind turns and grows warm,
after a long silence; in a moment I am not alone.
I feel my body’s voice rise again.
The whoosh of hidden skin pulling tight,
Calling my senses to attention.
There is the beat and throb of my pulse
Rising to match another,
Blood pushing blood.
Coming into tune for a cadence
pores humming in trumpet song,
A thousand tiny pressure valves released.
I make no noise but hear
my fingertips sigh gently as they land on
other skin, burning, singing.
Laughing aloud, saying,
‘No, no, I cannot be alone.’
I have learned my body sings
and I will let it.