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Words that chant from the dust of the past

tickle today's heart

like trout whispering to the water

with veined and subtle fins.

A single person,

a single voice,

gives a plaintive curl of smoke.

Many voices run like fire through the soul.

Words are clear and solitary in plainsong.

There is no melody to sweeten

or instruments to hide.

Words are sung to nakedness,

to bones,

like the dry, sharp voice of the drum.

And how beautiful is the stark word

unbroken by damp sentiment

or hollow promises.

Plainsong is all backbone,

calling us away from excess,

hard and certain in its faith.

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Robin Hodson

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