Friday, February 17, 2017

The Dead Tongues

 The Dead Tongues

Alive in a dead language
we once met,
shades of a time displaced
reeling together, blind face
to face of sweet lies,
bilingual brocade
illuminations our brand,
blacked out at dawn 
when wishes fade; 
only sunsets blaze on
in fantasyland.

It's a dry coupling
mind to mind, lust
lubricated by lyrics,
lips rubbed raw by rhyme;
lovers' knots 
in the flesh
lovers' blood
in the mines
lovers' cries
in the fade, hungry
as gulls on the tide.

A fine fate for bards
to empty this chalice
abysmally shimmered,
diseased by a fool's bite,
irrationally filled
as it drains through the sockets:
skull of a thought 
soul of a heart
heart of a will
alive in a dead language
where skin shifts like sand,

where once I spoke whirlwinds
to rest in your hand.

~February 2017

Optional Musical Accompaniment

Image: Jörmungandr "(aka: the Midgard Serpent, son of Loki, and nemesis of Thor) knot piece..late 2014. The Old Norse text is a binding spell...translated using the website The Vikings of Bjornstaad. It says: "Mighty Jörmungandr, terrible serpent beneath the sea, beast that encircles Midgard, I bind thee. In no way will your rage become my own, so thus I vow until at last I rest." Pencil and Micron on white paper. Copyright: -Jenks" source


  1. if only the incantations of old held sway. now, we just pile up those skulls after having sliced out the tongues. and now we face what was once the contretemps of a vain minor tv host now blown on foxian winds to a Cat 6 that will engulf us all

    I wish I had written that final couplet. ~

  2. Bitter as the content is, I love the language, it really sings. Nietzsche said, 'do philosophy with a hammer.' This is poetry with a hammer, a silver hammer that beats and beats....

  3. I can't help but see today's version of a world which once was me, and say "this was us" (in a more glorious time)

  4. You slew me with that ending. Wow, Joy. *sigh*

  5. I could spend nights and nights and nights... discussing the inside of heads with your last two stanzas. Those poisoning teeth, the spilling through blind holes, the skin that in the end is nothing like itself...

  6. How many hearts and minds are in the lost archives of dead languages. As repositories go, they are as ambivalent and ghostly as the inner lobes of conch shells, though you channel them back here with both sarcasm and grace. Well, that's l'amour ridden off into into the "sunset" of "fantasyland." The final stanza and couplet are brilliant. The serpent innovates and enervates the hand til it's done; all I can say is, welcome back. .


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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