Karin Andersen

Incantation for a sleeping beast

To reach for the beast called unspoken
first pretend he isn’t there.
Build a fire that licks and teases
stoke a fire that calls to him.
Turn your back and leave him warming,
once he sleeps start your work.
First strip him naked while he slumbers,
worry meaning from his fur
then weave the strands with spindle flying
weaving words that dare not speak
chanting songs as yet unsung.

Weave, weave the words on a chanting loom,
singing in colours, painting with sounds.

Strip him naked while he slumbers
then re-make him into speech.
Fingers flying, eyes unseeing, words a-weaving.
Hush, don’t say them, spin them, paint them
Guard them from your breath,
while the cloth grows long and bright
while he slumbers all unknowing
shorn, defenceless, fire-side sleeping.

Weave, weave the words on a chanting loom,
singing their colours, painting their sounds.

To reach for words still unspoken
Sing them, paint them, picture them,
free them from the sleeping beast.
Free them, fingers darting,
free them as you weave, as you sing, as you dream
free them from the marrow of your bones
from the well of your being.
Free them from the beast,
birth them through your fingers
on the loom
on your tongue.

Weave, weave the words on a chanting loom,
singing their secrets, giving them life.

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