Image result for temple in the mist

Teach me all your languages:

The different silences, when for different reasons we

Shall be silent—between performances of sad poetry—

And melancholy rendering of mournful, aching music—

When what is said is said with smiles, or resting the head

Upon the ground, deep inside green hills, or on the shore,

The cessation of sweet sounds making us love silence all the more.

Teach me the language of your sorrowful past

So painful, the only understanding possible

Is right now proves not even knowledge and its attendant sorrows can last,

Because if I know that language well,

I will be fluent in avoiding the worst references to your bygone hell.

Teach me the language to use when sorrow

Closes in, because we will not see each other until tomorrow;

The language of goodbye is a must,

Since we need to trust that we can trust,

And when I do not see you, words

Will fly and talk, perch and plume

With sorrow, since you’ll have thoughts in a different room,

And I’ll be blind, and speech will be the speech of blind birds

Who will call out across the old, weary distance

Of old ignorance with sad insistence.

Explain the language that doesn’t refer to “we,”

But separately, with separate wants, to you and me.

Tell me the language that will explain language—

And inside that highest insight, explain you,

Who talks to talk—so is the law of talk–

Even as forever you do what you do.

Teach me how you cried when you ran and fell

As a child. Will I learn the language, or pain?

How much of your cry must I know before I can tell

If my childhood in a different land was the same?

Tell me the language you consider profound

Even if its wisdom is proven false by another, just lying around.

Teach me the language your ancient fathers and mothers knew,

The triumphant and the tragic tongue,

When vines were sweet and strong and young,

And solemn temple, and threatening throne,

Taught, in every valley and corridor, tradition and disappointment,

Filling with awe each apprenticed heart, alone,

Who hurried through each studious hour spent

Towards a knowledge of the future,

To be more than he was,

Abusing the language, which gave

Hyperbole to kings and to the apprentice a grave—

Where you first taught me to say

What your language indicated yesterday.

Teach me your language of desire,

So when we travel deeper into the fire,

And I’m tired, and want to drop

Down, without doing more, you won’t have to stop.

Share the language of every dish you prepare,

That when we are eating, we are almost not there.

Teach me your language of poetry that will charm

My brain and make the hair stand up on my arm.

Your languages are numerous, I know.

No language can help, if my learning is slow.

I saw, once, a look in your eye,

And all my languages began to cry.

Teach me all your languages so I can know

Who you love and where you go.








  1. maryangeladouglas said,

    September 2, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    This is very beautiful.

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      September 2, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      Just wrote this poem.


      from the sunrise of words they have stolen a little light
      here and there so that words have taken flight,
      the gleaming words

      the ones you cherished in a lullaby sleep
      ah they have stolen and coin by coin
      my treasure! jeweled language

      and was there none to cry out
      no one to hear
      no one to stand in guard

      of all the angels o
      they have stolen the lily and the myrtle
      from out of the verse

      of the past
      the moon’s reflection on the waters
      the child’s in a looking glass

      the sighs of the least and last
      and I am held in the tower
      cried the Muse

      the Muse of our lost hours
      is there none to save?
      men rave without speaking

      day by day and close
      the book and say
      we have made the sunset of words

      all by ourselves
      and oh, we are proud
      and will it out loud to be this way

      that Beauty in tatters should go about the woods
      senseless and dumb
      in the mermaid hour

      when the dagger must be flung out far
      from her
      and ah! beyond reach

      flung far
      that Love should rule in the End
      even without speech.

      mary angela douglas 2 september 2017

  2. September 3, 2017 at 5:28 am

    marvelous work

    • thomasbrady said,

      September 7, 2017 at 9:23 pm

      Thank you, Paul. Much appreciated.

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