When words become fingers

The word doesn’t wonder how good it is

It doesn’t deliberate

Nor hang back

Shamefaced

Thinking

Of shrinking because it lacks eloquence

The word doesn’t think at all

It just is.

Fall

Conjures a feeling

Fly

Of flight

Adjectives describe

Drawing pictures in the mind

It is not the word

That is heard

But the meaning we denote

Which all of course, occurs

In the mind

The word holds no power

Except when we charge it

Then something as simple

As two letters

Which spell

“No”

In any language

Can begin a war

But don’t blame the words

It wasn’t their fault

No

It was the mind which could not accept

The mind that was rendered inept

The fingers that leapt

To

Push

And provoke

And prod

And direct

And I wish with all of my heart

That some bodies were blind deaf and mute

Because they can’t handle words

Can’t begin to accept

Another point of view

And that

Is indeed a problem

Because there is no such thing

As a diminishing

Lack

Of

Words

9 thoughts on “When words become fingers

  1. Words. You always have me thinking in every one of your lovely poems. I love words, though they terrify me, and nobody understands the power of them for good and bad more than I do. They say, and there is SOME evidence for this, that the written word, first in terms of the religious concepts they first represented is responsible for all the divisiveness and patriarchy and many other ills that didn’t exist before people could point to “the Word” as gospel. That before that, oral histories were fluid, more feminine, and less problematic. The “word” was spread by pointing to its written infallibility — a document “God-breathed” and immutable — and people were often controlled by its written use. Words are usually inadequate in best case scenarios, (especially in times of tragedy),they can be often offensive to someone in worst case scenarios. Written, they can’t be denied later, though often still mis-interpreted, regardless. In any form. While they often are so inadquate to define people and relationships and philosophies, often difficult to articulate, they become confined to those concepts, really limited by the written word at times, when often words don’t do situations or personalities justice– they are always slightly incomplete. And always defining in good and bad ways. Yet they are still to be defended, no moreso than when they are those with which you disagree. As I writer, I ponder this all the time. Wasn’t it Jordan Peterson you once quoted: “If you don’t say what you think then you kill your unborn self. When you have something to say, silence is a lie.” You’ve been writing a lot about the value of holding one’s tongue and even wondering, it seems, if words can betray even the writer if somehow ill chosen (you seem to be wrestling with your own), and I agree a case can be made for that- perhaps especially if they are words not chosen with care. Perhaps. And I’ve seen words I knew would have been better unuttered by some, sometimes a few of my own words. But with rare exceptions, is that the point? Above all, our words should never be abandoned or denied under threat of repercussions from anyone. A place we now find ourselves in the era of cancel culture. In those instances, silence becomes a betrayal of our very essence in a way that kills one’s unborn self and crushes the human spirit. Irreperably. I’ve been considering as you probalby know leaving this blog, so I am wrestling with many of the same conundrums. I don’t have all the answers, but there are gut feelings about it all. I love reading your work. There are few bloggers I follow that inspire me to reflect on life as much — all while the cadence of your words is a pure joy. It seems hard to believe that a writer mentor friend of mine once described me as having a “buoyant spirit.” I’m not sure that was really true or is quite accurate now. But that’s how I think of you. And I admire your work ethic even more since I’m failing so much in mine. But these are times in which we as writers really need to weigh our relationship with them. Hmm, I may copy this, tweak it, and post it on my own blog. Thanks as usual, for helping me sort. Lynn

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