If we unscroll this thing, give it syllable
and song, taste it along our torn tongues,
our dialect is horses, hooves pounding
forward, manes flinging salt water to the

waiting wind. Our floating hope is a tiny
bird’s crest, conjugated in cinnamon and
sage, aged carefully, held with ginger hand.
If we stand, on this, one last promise, we

are archers heading into battle, quivers of
anticipation and rage and unsheathed
joy. If we toy with noble wisdom, crack its
solid amber shell, pronounce it loud and

well, this cant, with all its quiet meditation
and clasped conjugations and implied con
-jectures, this language of our hearts might
live and breathe and brave this aged place.


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10 Responses to Tilde*

  1. whimsygizmo says:

    Poet’s Note: I usually refrain from explaining a title, but for this piece it feels right to do so.
    The tilde’s name comes from Spanish, from the Latin meaning “title.” It is used in many languages and dialects, including math, and can mean “of the same order of magnitude” or “approximately,” as well as signifying a change in pronunciation, or an outright negation. I.Love.This.

    This was written for a fantastic prompt over at Poetry Mix Tape. Do yourself a favor and click below, to go over and read Jack Gilbert’s “The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart.”

  2. Lovely use of the words – glad you enjoyed Gilbert’s poem -read more of his work!

  3. UNBELIEVABLE! This is seriously…, this is up there with…, this is SO stinkin’ good! And by “stinkin’,” you KNOW I mean the most delightful reading ever! Wow. I’m so proud of you. 🙂

  4. hedgewitch says:

    One of my favorite our-age poets, Gilbert, and a newly discovered one for me–that was an amazing poem(and prompt) and you definitely rose to the task with this one–I was literally repeating your phrases out loud in sheer…joy? appreciation? “..conjugated in cinnamon/and sage…’ don’t know how a line could get better than that, or an image be more sensual and evocative. Thanks for explaining the title a bit, as it added.

  5. brian miller says:

    nice…this is really good…it has a great flow to it..lots of great phrasing…hedge points one out but i also like the lines that encompass the archers going into battle…top notch stuff…

  6. Shawna says:

    This rides deep and rips asunder. Your rhyme driving each new line, words pushing words into more.

    “If we unscroll this thing, give it syllable
    and song, taste it along our torn tongues,
    our dialect is horses”

    “If we toy with noble wisdom … pronounce it loud”

  7. This starts a bit slow but really hits a good stride at about the third line. Some lovely images and ideas. “conjugated in cinnamon and sage” is delightful.

  8. Chazinator says:

    This is such an execellet piece. Every part of it works to enhance and help the others grow. It’s almost organic in how unified it is. Just so many great lines, but it’s the poem asba whole that is the thing.

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