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Studying the Language July 19, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Poetry & Humor.
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Long time since I posted a nice “pome”, so here goes …

Studying the Language

by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin

On Sundays I watch the hermits coming out of their holes
Into the light. Their cliff is as full as a hive.
They crowd together onto warm shoulders of rock
Where the sun has been shining, their joints crackle.
They begin to talk after a while.
I listen to their accents, they are not all
From this island, not all old,
Not even, I think, all masculine.

They are so wise, they do not pretend to see me.
They drink from the scattered pools of melted snow:
I walk right by them and drink when they have done.
I can see the marks of chains around their feet.

I call this my work, these decades and stations —
Because, without these, I would be a stranger here.

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