Rickie Lee Jones
Writing Poems the secret language of trees

 
 
now the birds speak in secret rhythms
and the trees bark in secret sounds
and the people rush in secret thought
and they push the thoughts into the shape of words


and sometimes someone among us
sticks her head into the
shiny phosphorus blue vat
of language
and listens, like a skeleton
to the pulsing of life within,
and she tells us
of secret rattling angles
to watch for and to reach into
with strange oceans
and deafening skies
that can be mapped and measured


  only by sounds
and never by meanings
and once we can tell where we are
using the nearest star
as it relates to the ragged water (a map of voices)


then we can plant our feet into the good ground
and go to the rodeo
and answer the plum colored hawk
and sing to the river
in good faith


  god presses his mouth around our head
he breathes out
he breathes in
and we are resuscitated in the goofy atmosphere of god
where there are highways and bowling
and tattooed by the sun
a circus


made by the prayer of breathing and living hope
and barbed eyes
where coyotes hang
and cowboys hammer
posts and branches
to keep us inside
as much as keep someone out


and the prayer that is
and it is answered with a breath
gods lips against our own

 

  we breathe in
we breathe out
he breathes out
and we sigh
alive again


the unexpected
discovery
of a b-side
of life
  (a map of voices)

a warning to others who would come this way
an animal who has seen things
a horn twisted into shapes
understood by strangers
recognized by demons

 

an invitation in
the secret language of trees
sung in wild shapes
by a child


- rl jones

 
Copyright 2000 Rickie Lee Jones ALL RIGHTS RESERVED