(The prompt at Jingle Poetry this week was "Languages, Symbols and Signs".)
Imagine mapping feelings like colours on a chart;
each hue, each segment, with its private sign:
the 'word' for what it is or what it does.
To us his world seemed geometric in design,
its people, trees and animals, those Euclid might have drawn -
or doodled in a dream. To Tim
it was a world of raw emotions.
It took a while to tumble to the fact
that this was literature, not visual art,
that symbols such as plus and minus joined
or punctuated words - or sometimes were
for emphasis! His word
for 'brother' was his word for 'friend'.
If overlapping circles spiralled to the sky,
then what was understood was 'steam' or 'smoke' - his word
for 'railway engine', 'kettle', 'factory' or 'fire'.
Whatever was emotive, caused him fear
or gave an object value, was its signature,
engendered that electric charge.
The engine and the kettle shared the steam.
By that they were related, and to that
his symbol pointed. That was what he 'wrote'.
Each day he worked with pen or brush
refining as he went, teasing out new strands of feeling,
feeling for the life he sensed the others had.
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