Trying to explain it to them
Leaves one feeling ridiculous and obscene.
Their houses, like white bowls,
Sit on a prairie of ancient snowfalls
Caught beyond thaw or the swift changes
Of night and day.
They listen politely, and stride away.
With spears and sleds and barking dogs
To hunt for food. The women wait
Chewing on skins or singing songs,
Knowing that they have hours to spend,
That the luck of the hunter is often late.
Later, by fires and boiling bones
In streaming kettles, they welcome me,
Far kin, pale brother,
To share what they have in a hungry time
In a difficult land. While I talk on
Of the southern kingdoms, cannon, armies,
Shifting alliances, airplanes, power,
They chew their bones, and smile at one another.
- Mary Oliver
to have no word for a thing that is real
does not mean it is not real
but it shows your order of things
your personal communal order of what is real
between the men you eat with, know,
and share with.
you have no word for war.
perhaps that means you have no communities
within earshot that deeply richly believe different
things, and therefore fear the difference
or desire your river and land and coast
I do not know, but there are things I wish were
still a mystery to me. though..