In this book of Native American poems and rituals, “Language Event II” is labelled Navajo, and goes like this:
Hold a conversation in which everything refers to water.
If somebody comes in the room, say: “Someone’s floating in.”
If someone sits down, say: “It looks like someone just stopped floating.”
(Shaking the Pumpkin: Traditional Poetry of the Native American Indians, edited by Jerome Rothenberg)
That’s all there is to it. It reads like a drama exercise or a poetry writing prompt.
I keep trying to write a poem, but none are swimming my way at the moment. Perhaps this is one I’ll try as a verbal exercise throughout the day and see if my children notice.
1. A snow day.
2. The way those indigo afternoon shadows flowed across the snowy landscape.
3. The way snow brings every branch and twig into high relief.
4. Persephone never fails to return. She will rise.
5. Fresh start. Tabula rasa. Blank pages. Snowy fields.
May we walk in Beauty!