A Poem for all seasons

When  Language is Affordance Enough


It began with a hand

clenched experimentally to ear

not so much a fist

as a makeshift mouthpiece

designed to broadcast  miracles

speaking in tongues:


‘habari,kangarooshni ,slapit

nego,nego,unulti possum!

craaghi ipsit cunnilingo ?

es krampit   todo   kwa heri ‘


a polyglot  mother tongue

Nordic vowels, Slavic consonants

Swahili syntax,Latin verse

and just a touch of Lewis Carroll

to stitch into proper nonsense


all in the hope  some passers by

might stop and listen,

become alarmed,

and call an ambulance,

take me to a  ’place of safety’

where the only voices heard

are  in my head.


But all they see

is a middle aged gent

clutching his smart phone

doing   foreign dumb talk

to someone just like them

in Karachi , Prague or Timbuktu


Once upon a time

before we crossed the emoticon

I lived in another   country

where language was affordance enough .

One day ,  tuned to a secret station

on  my very own pirate radio

I  was talking to my imaginary friend

when  suddenly he grabbed a fistful of  vowels


and   cartwheeled down the street

shouting  look,  look, no hands….