1 Comment

(For Robert Dessaix)
Since the dead have stopped talking, I’ve

turned to the media. Though I only listen

now & then, it seduces every time –

original good and original sin came

wrapped in its intimate registers, filtered

through childhood’s ears: I am crying on

my mother’s lap, or holding my father’s

hand, and the rise & fall of their voices

binds me to them like blood. This foreign

language I’ve learned to speak is the

algebra of my mind, the grammar of

my heart – absorbed, taken for granted

like food, or the light of day. But then

there are the other sounds – the texture

of my mother tongue is the nearest I know

to breathing, a reflex older than thought.

I see lips moving on subtitled screens,

but let their sense drift over my head

as I wallow in the sound – they may be

plotting some dismal crime, but pitch

and cadence are beyond corruption,

and spirit me home every time: I am

three years old, I am saying my prayers,

and preparing for untroubled sleep.



submit a comment

Existing comments

How divine... "I am
three years old, I am saying my prayers,
and preparing for untroubled sleep" is just beautiful.
Aurora Lowe | 21 September 2006

Similar Articles


  • Graham Rowlands
  • 18 September 2006

With my highs & lows / my highs of hot air rising & lifting the alls of my alls or nothings


An inconvenient but upbeat truth

  • Tim Kroenert
  • 18 September 2006

Despite the bleak prognosis, An Inconvenient Truth is an optimistic film. Al Gore is no doomsday prophet, but an engaging orator who believes humans can change to meet the threat posed by global warming.


We've updated our privacy policy.

Click to review