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A Charm Against The Language Of Politics

A Charm Against The Language Of Politics
by Veronica Patterson

 

Say over and over the names of things,
the clean nouns: weeping birch, bloodstone, tanager, Banshee damask rose.

Read field guides, atlases, gravestones.

At the store, bless each apple by kind: McIntosh, Winesap, Delicious, Jonathan.

Enunciate the vegetables and herbs: okra, calendula.

Go deeper into the terms of some small landscape:
spiders, for example. Then, after a speech on
compromising the environment for technology,
recite the tough, silky structure of webs: tropical stick, ladder web, mesh web, filmy dome, funnel, trap door.

When you have compared the candidates’ slippery platforms, chant the spiders: comb footed, round headed, garden cross, feather legged, ogre faced, black widow.

Remember that most short verbs are ethical: hatch, grow, spin, trap, eat.

Dig deep, pronounce clearly, pull the words
in over your head.

Hole up for the duration.

And Suddenly…

and suddenly you may fall into a place
populated by strange
gaps,
empty hours filled with the hesitant light of afternoons
or of being caught unawares in conversation, and
startled – like birds,
clear-felled lots, hastily forgotten,
bald hillsides, prone to erosion,
is this a wilderness, or a devastation?
A loss, or a pause?

* * *

nb. And Suddenly is a very old doggerel of terrible Vogon poetry by yours truly. Mental Health by way of ecology, or “writing-with” nature – as inspired by the works of Robert MacFarlane, Gary Snyder, Murray Bookchin (kinda).

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