, ,


Author, stand behind your work, not

Ancient of Days, W. Blake

in front of, or above. Directing traffic is

for cops—lording over, for small gods.


Language is the tongue of universal

man: lisps, stutters, dialects and drawls

are the click of a grasshopper’s legs,

and he clears entire fields, singing.


Be wary of the language of contempt,

though it be succulent and swift to draw

admirers. Cockfighters in round collars

lobby too against cruelty to animals.


Only the mute are permitted to rest

their uvulations, and yet they elocute

with gesture and abandon. Were you

not born with a thousand fiery tongues?


Dynamite left

out in the rain

abhors detonation.


Guard well

the contents of

your tinderbox.


The purveyors

of wet blankets

are gathering.


© Elaine Stirling, 2012