I have not spoken. I have not spoken of the voices,
Of voices I have heard; of secrets I am told;
Of the whispered mythologies of a thousand lives
Touched briefly in the womb-room
Where the voices come to break with me.
I have not spoken. Childvoices speak to me
Knowing the silence of stonelives.
Voices tripping up the stairs to what lies buried in bedrooms,
Children with sad silent eyes that whisper “I suffer”.
I have not said what they said to me
Things they could not say,
Childvoice living their stonelives.
I have not spoken, not spoken of the women and men
Who have poured into me, their memory.
I do not know how to speak. I must protect
The voices that murmur “he said I could not say”.
Grow stones inside of what you cannot say
Rather than have the world shatter
Into little pieces, fragmenting everything.
Sad, angry, low, hesitant,
Loud, huge, pained, shadowed,
All the voices I’ve ever heard live in me.
Yet I have not spoken.
I have not spoken of worlds where children
Are begged by their mother to murder;
Of little girls led by the hand
Into rooms where fathers rape them;
Of boys bloodily weeping into toilets
Afraid to let a sob escape them.
Oh I have not spoken.
I have not spoken of dark rooms
With lashing belts and stumbling alcoholic breaths;
Of waiting for hell to end in the coal bunker;
Of hanging by your leg outside a window
Until you submit to buggery by your tormentors;
Of a baby born dead of night’s screaming,
That was by morning swallowed up by night’s knowing,
Never again to be spoken.
I know too much of this dark world I have not spoken.
How do you soak up stories
Hold faith that speaking stones
Will heal them?
Stones swallowed so long ago
That live in throats waiting to be spoken.
I have taken this again and again
To our green mother, wept upon her breast
Begged for a road to walk,
For the strength to soak up tears
As she soaks up mine and never tires.
I have prayed, but I have not spoken.
For if I am to find a voice,
I want it to be a voice of beauty
That speaks of iridescent dreams,
A voice that honours,
A muse-given gift of wordnets
Capturing jewels of experience.
I have not spoken
Because I know such ugly things.
But in the learning of those ugly things,
I have seen beauty,
The healing light that glows around release.
I have witnessed magic
In those womb-rooms,
Where people birth themselves,
Are born into voices that live and laugh
And speak of other things.
They gave me the gift of their speaking courage,
These tellers of ugly things,
With new-washed tear-stained faces
Where joy shines as stoneselves are shed;
The petrified revive. The old world ends.
They leave me then.
Leave me their voices stumbling on their stories.
Leave me their choked pauses.
They are my voices now,
My whispered mythologies.
Each one goes
Just before the happy ending,
Leaving behind their gifts
Of speaking stones,
And the courage that has healed them.