If There Be Speaking – a poem by DB Jonas

If There Be Speaking

Selves – goes itself; myself it speaks and spells.
GM Hopkins, As Kingfishers Catch Fire

To enter this garden
             in the horizontal light
                          of early morning

is to blunder uninvited
             into a conversation without
                          intention, without end,

encountered in medias res, where speech,
             if there be speaking,
                          goes for the most part

unheeded, where meaning
             is not what meaning means
                          among the interlocutors

of pressing human business,
             among the code-talkers, between
                          participants in a shared 

and sheltering system. To enter
             this garden is to be exposed 
                          to a bright atonality, a hilarity

of dialects defying concordance, 
             where each thing declares the things
                          it’s not, where each fine thing, 

innocent of irony or innuendo, 
             declaims its entanglement 
                          in a convolution of interceptions

and interferences, the hazardous 
             transversals of which we humans dream, 
                          to which we impute shape

and happy harmony, and so declare them Nature. 
             And if here we find peace, 
                          perhaps it is that here 

we are reduced to silence, 
             and in this slanting morning light,
                          in the unauthored eloquence

of this leaf, this weather,
             these blooms and stones, must 
                          suffer gladly the disaggregation 

of our own precious personhood, 
             our burdened self-containment, 
                          far from that cozy “being indoors”

where each presumes to dwell, and stand 
             instead outside the house of speech 
                          and oh so briefly greet 

this wild exposure, the vivid efflorescence 
             of life’s relentless dying,
                          in mute response past all replying.

DB Jonas is an orchardist living in the Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico. Born in California in 1951, he was raised in Japan and Mexico. His work has recently appeared in Tar RiverBlue Unicorn, Whistling ShadeNeologism, Consilience Journal, Poetica Magazine, The Ekphrastic Review, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Amethyst Review, The Decadent Review, The Amphibian, Willows Wept, Sequoia SpeaksRevue {R}évolution (https://www.revuerevolution.com/en/db-jonas) and others.

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