Wordlessness – Robert Alan Rife

Sometimes he gets stuck in the dictionary so

long that his brain becomes alphabet soup.

He wears his skin tattooed with another’s thoughts.

And he waits.

No, he frets – and sour apprehensions

swim atop a slowly scumming pond

of wilted words, reeking of lost sleep.

And, if reflections in the coffee shop window

are meant to serve as metaphor,

they only spur on the edict

of secondary pictures mirrored from

another’s doubting face.

Come then, if you must,

shadows from a cold mist to

rattle and rustle the bones.

Come, take up residence beside

one with a plasticine pencil,

pliable to cautious hands –

worthless in sweaty palms,

squeezing desperately against

the inevitable.

In this reverie to a ghost –

vestibule in an empty house,

birthing only the vestige of coffee-stained

intentions, a writer paces –

penning wordlessness.

Robert Alan Rife, originally from Calgary, Canada is the music director am the music and worship minister at Yakima Covenant Church in Yakima, Washington, a singer-songwriter, liturgist, poet, and writer. He loves words – reading them, writing them, eating them. Mostly, living in them. He has two websites devoted to writing, innerwoven and robslitbits as well as writing for many others. He is a featured poet/writer/musician on ALTARWORK and has numerous published poems.


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