Since being here in Myanmar, and somewhat uncharacteristically, I have started to occasionally write poetry. This is something I haven’t done for a very long time; and when I mentioned (confessed!) this over on Facebook, a few friends said they’d be interested to see what I’m up to.
So, with some hesitation, here’s something that I’ve been working on. I hope you enjoy it.
At first, there is no language.
There are only things and solitude.
Out of loneliness and need, I start to learn
to call things by their names.
The weeks go past: I order tea,
I ride the bus, I catch stray words,
and slowly, those soft sounds, those glottal stops,
alien at first, become familiar.
But still, I know I’ll be a stranger,
until I can speak of this:
of the bird that every morning
comes to cry outside my window;
of how I long
to know its name;
of how its song
never fails to catch my heart.