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Lingua Franca

If only now you were to emerge from
the shelter of the bell whose clapper
has been using you as a punching bag,
the hurt which merges with the headlines,
as long as we're content to listen
in every form but speech,
would be the leaves that wouldn't
have fallen had you not gotten
such a kick out of shaking the tree.

Emerge for faith's ready with cameras
to shoot commodities of comfort
as long as love is valued
before forgetfulness is accepted
as an ocean that holds its own
as well as the bumpersticker
which keeps togetherness content
enough to sleep beneath the clouds
that cover the stars like reporters.

Emerge and let them fall from
the isolation which is not solitude
and which haunts all but the
naughtiest of the hungry on
the ship of life we watch go down
from the rafts that would be a shore
if you could be an island without
harbouring lush vegetation
which is only fruitful to spill
over the sides, unmuzzle and multiply
to bring them to the knowledge
that loaves and fish would not nourish
were they not alos pain and poison.
But don't expect them to
pardon our French in a land
where the English they make us speak
sees swearing as obscene and forgets
the tightrope walker needs no net
for the same reason a net doesn't.