Babel

So many words

spill from our lips.

What text we tap

from fingertips.

 

The world fills up

with what we say,

the talk and tell

of day by day,

 

the write and print

of page and screen,

of book, device

and magazine.

 

Our busy brains

are never still,

there’s so much silent

space to fill.

 

And even when

we pause to sleep

our scheming minds

are dreaming deep

 

and fill the night

with image, word,

subconscious longings,

things absurd.

 

We are a canting,

ranting rabble.

We fill the world

with ceaseless babble.

 

We talk and twitter,

rave and rage,

we fuss and fret

on air and page.

 

Our wagging tongues

are always at it.

We need to push it,

prod it, pat it.

 

The latest thing

is like a bone

we dogs just cannot

leave alone.

 

There’s always something

more to add

of spin and angle,

good or bad.

 

Imagine, though,

the lack of fuss,

when Earth at last

is free of us,

 

the steady silence

left behind

without the mappings

of our mind,  

 

when all of us,

at last, are gone

and time, unmeasured,

trickles on . . . . .  

Note  I can no longer remember why I dedicated this poem to my son Guthrie. I was not being critical or satirical at his expense. It may be that I wrote the poem after having a conversation with him about language and culture. If that's the case I will have given it to him later in a spirit of playfulness, which is the intended mood of the poem in any case. Gentle, cosmic joshing by someone who does his fair share of raving and raging, I openly admit... :)

(for Guthrie)