The Word


“In the beginning was the word,” but no.  First,

was the much he did not know: the darkness

where men grow.  Then someone felt a strange

new need: to tell, and breathed the first

fateful sound into a shape of will.


When he had said this word that no one

heard (unless it was a black silk panther

passing by) perhaps he clapped

hands like a child, believing he had captured

something wild—cramming the power, the glory

and the flame into the narrow limits of a name.


That word, we use it sometimes casual as

a cough, or shout it out to fight the

silence off, was not the start—and will not

be the end.  Much later, there will be

the power, and the glory and the flame

that broke out of the hollow shell of name.