Wednesday, November 28, 2012

the language of insects


 In honor of my son, Owen Cricket, here is a poem by the devilishly handsome man pictured here (W.S. Merwin) about insects:



After the Alphabets 


I am trying to decipher the language of insects
they are the tongues of the future
their vocabularies describe buildings as food
they can instruct the dark water and the veins of trees
they can convey what they do not know
and what is known at a distance
and what nobody knows
they have terms for making music with the legs
they can recount changing in a sleep like death
they can sing with wings
the speakers are their own meaning in a grammar without horizons
they are wholly articulate 
they are never important they are everything. 

(1987)