The lie of the land

The lie of the land

How silence may be
           the absence of all sound
or the absence of words
           a moment of peace or of tension
of loving or longing
           perhaps thoughtful
perhaps empty and endless
           the topographies of silence
how silent the beauty
           of the rose or of the heather
when it is in full bloom
           in the hills outside Dingle

And so to footsteps
           words that follow
in the footsteps of others
           paths of meaning
stepping from one word
           to another
stepping stones
           along life’s trails
my father’s words
           my mother’s
words for no reason
           other than
that they need to be spoken
           or to be withheld
as befit the silence
           they inhabit

I play on words
           I play with words
I make believe words
           in this make-believe world
this world of words
           and love too
is a make-believe word
            its syntax follows
the lie of the land
           the lay of the heart

John Lyons

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