The tales he tells are not his,
but a rehashing of old stories from a hundred lifetimes ago.
He plucks them up and sucks them up and chews them well and
leaves them to digest, nourishing his creativity,
hoping to bring from them a fresh telling.
He smacks lines against the stone walls in a kind of verbal practice drill and
sometimes they bounce back true and
sometimes they flop on the floor and
sometimes they zing around the space
bouncing off stone and beams
threatening the glass with their very clarity and diamond sharpness.
He mulls ideas and sleeps on them and
jumps up excited and sits down dejected.
He chooses his words, picks them over,
and he polishes them, always polishes them 'til they are shiny bright –
or comfy worn –
And he weaves quite a tale
and he delivers -
eyes riveted on him,
words flicking from his tongue
and snapping in the air
and landing a sometimes stinging
Or maybe soft phrases curling from his mouth to pad across the floor and circle 'round and 'round your ankles and beg to be let on your lap.
And there are the times when the tale is so true
it has a kind of aching sweetness,
like the soft puffs of air from your just-born sleeping baby.
They beg to be kept and saved for another day and cannot.
The life of them is of the moment and for the moment and in the moment and later we will wonder if we heard what we heard or just dreamed the words,
or wished the words
or they were whispered to us
by a Spirit that stood among us for a time.
Written for Gordon in celebration of 10 years of good storytelling.