My language


By Greg Burns

My language is more than words
and so is yours
My language moves with the wind
and turns with the earth
It twinkles with the stars above
and ripples with the waves
My language is something you do not learn
but I must learn your language
I must force my mouth to form
the words with teeth and tongue
until they gasp newborn
with spit encrusting
their every utterance
My language is a dance
upon the pattern of the world
Where birds intuit right things to say
and beasts turn to and fro
in delirious swirls
that sway the surface of the land
My language tells the story-song
from migration’s origin
to feet’s destination
From pillars of ice
to deserts of sand
My language is
very small
It hides beneath the waves
in paths of secrecy
amidst deep ocean’s
spuming vents
My language is
very large
So it loses sight
of the infinitesimal
peacock proud puffery
that promotes itself
around each person
My language
can be understood
only by living
Your language languishes
alone and lonely
longing to be alive
I will take up your words
Breathe upon them
the meaning of my speech
and try to make them
say something
once again
Yet with every breath
I utter
I lose the pattern
of who I am
and find myself
further and further
from my home
Will you try
to learn
my language?

Greg Burns headshot

My name is Greg Burns. I’m relatively newly diagnosed as Level 1 on the spectrum. I live in Melbourne Australia and work as a Safety Engineer. I’ve been writing poems for longer than I’ve had a diagnosis for ASD, which is quite recent.

3 replies on “My language”
  1. says: Ray Shermer

    Hi Greg:
    I don’t know if you recognize my name but I have been a faithful contributor to your Quora Joy of Poetry for some time. I was wondering if you would do me an immense favor that only involves sending an email. I have applied for Artist of the Month to the Missouri Arts Council which promotes all segments of the arts in my state. If you would just state “I would like to recommend Ray Shermer for “Artist of the Month” as Ray has been a faithful contributor to my Joy of Poetry Quora website for some time. Say a few things about yourself also Greg. Please send the email to:
    Mr. Michael Donovan
    Executive Director
    Missouri Arts Council
    St Louis, Missouri

    Thank, in advance Greg

    Ray Shermer
    Springfield, Missouri USA

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