Nina Geraghty

Hearing Voices, Dowsing for Words

Angel: By the time you were 5 years old, you had lost your voice.  In the beginning you used to joyfully shout your wants, but then you were told to hush, to stop crying, to keep quiet. Your whispered wishes became softer and softer until you could only hear your voice in your head.  The words no longer found their way to your mouth; or if they did they collapsed, lying jumbled on your tongue like stillborn alphabet.

Jewel: though I can’t speak I can dance.

Angel:  Throughout your childhood, you tapped through your feelings.  Your voice blind, trying to find its way out.

Jewel: My belly flexes, beckoning. Innuendo slides in the slow sinuous weave of my fingers, enjoying my power.  Like flames flickering in the shimmer of my hips, the dance in me flares up, living bright in me like words burning,  each fluttering movement rising from the ashes of my voice.

Angel: I dream of you, the child you were then;  short dark hair cut straight at your chin, pale-faced, dark-eyed, mouth silenced over with white tape, a lipless shroud pressed flat. In the dream you are solemn, unnaturally quiet and when you look at yourself in the mirror, you discover your mouth has disappeared, leaving a smooth blank space of flesh beneath your eyes. You try to scream …

The woman dowses for buried voices. Words that were buried now find themselves poised on the tip of the tongue of her pen.

Jewel:  Rubies and emeralds gleam luminous on my breasts, gold glitters in my navel.  My eyes invite you but behind my veil, I am dormant.  Only my dance is there, whirling more and more furiously, drumming feet, stamping feet, drumming up rage, rage, rage …

Angel: … and the scream surges up from your belly until …

… it runs like molten red hot lava into her pen and erupts onto the page in a  splatter of words.  Drawing blood.

Angel:  and they always said to you you’re such an angel, so quiet and good. Only you longed to know:  when will it ever end, being an angel?

Jewel:  … because what my body tells them is only part of what I have to say.

And the woman pours forth words, bypassing her mouth, her body, redirecting them to her pen. She writes them into being and releases them, watching them dance and swirl and fly till they disappear.


Holding It All Together
Releasing and letting it go
Twisting it into a mountain
Setting it free to flow
Between the tension of holding together
and the relief of allowing release
comes the terror of Falling Apart
that keeps me awake in my sleep!


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