Into a Strange Land

All around me,
the natives
are breaking words
against battered

The dust of syllables
is in their eyes and hair;
even the children
are yellowed by it
and old.

Poor graceful
creatures they are,
strangled by shades
of meaning.

I love them,
love them all.

Over the land
there runs a network
of gleaming rails.

On the rails
rugged cars loaded
with the detritus
of their craft
are sent chugging
to mills on the horizon.

Inside the mills,
the bits of words
are ground into
a fine paste,
then treated with
a strange compound,

The paste is then
poured into molds,
where it dries
until it hardens
into sturdy
weightless blocks,
which are used
to make buildings
that hold dreams.

The buildings
are scattered all over
this strange land.

There are as many,
almost, as the people
who raise them.

Many of the dreams
wither and die.

Only a few survive.

They are the most
beautiful things
I have ever seen.

November 20, 2005

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