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The Way of Names

What's in a name?

The Way of Names

What is a name

Can it change tremor to sigh

Truth into lies

Change the thing it signifies

Change the moon into an eye

A crater to a sty

Sty into a vision

Doubt into decision

Does a name graze the skin

Touch the tongue

Clutch the throat

Scan the cave in back of the lung

Does it hunt the black route

In the bend of the spleen

End in the throat

Begin the beguine

Is it a song, a sob

A hiss, a sigh

Can it exalt, denounce

Deny, defy

Does a name change you

Do you change the name

Is everything different

Everything the same

When we carve a name in stone

Does the stone feel the name

Is everything different

Everything the same

The bone, the ash, the nail, the hair

Is there a shadow on the hill

Does it listen

Can it hear

When a dog hears its name

Will it come when we call

Do we see past the stars

Do we rise, do we fall

When we built the Tower of Babel

Did we speak the same word

Did we shout, did we whisper

Did we listen, were we heard

Will the water in the stream

Bless the babe when he dips

Bless his eyes, curse his bones

Glorify his whitened lips

Does Wordsworth’s babe

Born in glory

Name the world

Or become the Story

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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