I was quite sure that couple of weeks before Christmas, or thereabouts, Jim made a remark, commenting on one of my posts concerning words and their meanings, expressing his interest in the subject and his continual surprise that we are ever able to talk to each other. (or something like that.)Unfortunately, though I have trawled my recent posts and their comments, I have done so without success. Just maybe, therefore, it was some other post and not one of mine to which he appended the comment. That he did make the remark, or one very like it, I am in no doubt, for it inspired this poem - and another, to be revealed later, D.V.
I wrote it there and then, in one go, no drafts, and only one small change since - They've for they have. It must be the first time ever I've known for sure that a poem was finished. I wrote "for what they might become" and the beast stopped and dug its heels in. There was no more to be done, nothing else forthcoming. Reading it through now, it sounds very W.S.Graham, but I know it isn't, I'm sure it's mostly Jim - the comment in question and others in the past. This business of words and what they mean intrigues him, I think, as it does me.
The words you hear me speak
are mine. I borrowed them from you,
but in the borrowing they changed,
did not stand still. They are like
homing pigeons now, are proud
to bring you my reply. What will you do
with them now they've returned?
Tell me, will you change them back
or recognise their new integrity?
Or might you change them further yet?
Some were mine from the beginning.
Those I sent like doves in search
of land where they might rest.
Recouperate.What will you do?
How will you recognise the unfamiliar
from that which you knew well?
Might you not send them back
as hawks in search of prey?
If so, how shall I see them then
for what they are? Or should I search
their souls for what they might become?
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