literary landscapes rural retreats resources for writers creative writing writing workshops travel writing
writerpoetliterary walksworkshopscontact me

Passion in Words

I love the lick and flick of language as I play with it. Like giant globular gob-stoppers, I roll sounds round my mouth, tutting T’s with tongue and teeth, chewing C’s and drilling trilling R’s. Tongue teasing tones.

Flavoursome words, fizzing, hissing, steaming from my mouth. I love how sense shadows hover round sounds, words quivering with other language meaning. Sound resonates with borrowed sense. A gift, for me, is tinged with poison; ‘gift’ means ‘poison’ in German.

I love how my mouth moves, how sounds roll, how my muscles must work to speak 
German. ‘Zwischen’ is ‘tzs vishshh un', a barbecue of sizzling sounds.

I love the bubble and hiss of poetry, the sorcerer’s spells of assonance, dissonance, alliteration whose charm distils images, emotions, and deep meaning from juxtaposition, form and shape-changing.

The magic of naming, the power of the spell to conjure from thin air, blank page, new breath, a thick, quick sense, a texture, and forge it like steel on the heat of passion and imagination. 

‘And all of London littered with remembered kisses,’ thrills and stirs me, evokes graffiti lips, hot passion.  Such lip-excess to be littered. 

‘A bracelet of bright hair about the bone’ and I’m there, driving back from the hotel in your car, your hand on the gear stick, your arm richly russet, fox-furred, gleaming round a tennis-taut forearm. Stirring me so deeply I don’t know where to look. In my mind, at full stretch, I reach a touch, a backhand stroke. Sparks fly; it’s forty-love. 

‘Licence my roving hands, and let them go
Before, behind, between, above, below.'

And I’ve moved, we’ve moved, to that over-warm room heavy with wantonness and thick four-poster drapes, late summer sunlight gilding the air and brushing us gold as we flick our clothes in splashes on the floor. Learning passion by heart.

The shape of words, of letters as I etch them into parchment with an old, nibbed pen, dark blood-brown ink, bright then sullen stains as the ink dries, designating letters like notes on music lines. I press my nib to the sheet, you press the piano key to hear, to feel the quiver resonate. I compose music, sounds and meanings, link in chains the daisy notes of sentences. 

I choose what I omit, transmit; distil essence, import significance, shadows and echoes from each word’s setting. The silence of the dry canyon, a heavy, velvet, weighty quiet that presses down on you so you hear your heartbeat echo in your body, in your mind and soul, and round the bleached heat-filled, arid rock. 

I fill the parched paper canyon with my heartbeat, with my passion. I carve my name on the rocky silence, chisel it, I want to be known, I want to be heard. And then, ‘I feel my being dance from ear to ear’.

Words, the beat, the rhythm of life, each foot, a tread, a step. A songline. An atavistic beat deep in heart and body and soul and mind.

When I let go, when I go further, when I go beyond the rules, the fears, the editor in my head, when I really let go and let myself be, I am free. Free with energy to soar and swoop and taste the words I catch in my swallow beak. Free to bathe in language and roll naked in meaning, my meaning, my language, my world. 

To follow the words as an excited child chases butterflies through a garden for the joy of watching one land on a blossom and bat its butterfly eyes. It’s iridescent. A scintillating word for that glowing, ultraviolet, caught-in-the-sun-and-gleaming, shining dust on wings. Bright sparks and specks that combine for glorious body sense, and so easily silenced with a smudge. 

I’m a child chasing butterfly words for the beauty of it, for the feel of the grassy syntax under my feet, for the smell of the earth and the taste of the wind.

I let go and words tumble; happy, soft landings. I do not fall. I grow. And when I let go my stories grow. I move from witnessing a life to telling it, singing it. Words bubbling over and singing like a brook over pebbles. Stories as wide as the sea, worlds of words waiting, waiting, to be charmed and spun into iridescent meaning. 

I live my passion. My passion, words.

copyright © 2024 Christine Cooke
share this page: