A Personal Lexicon
Sem Megson

A Personal Lexicon

In a longhouse built of word bones,
mother tongues rock their dead
humming to the lingua franca. Outside,
old words pass away on stones,

dry as the lips of Easter Island gods,
accents lost in a sentence of sand.

Elegant words flutter their wings
when pinned into paper caskets
for burial in the cellar of heirlooms.

Tender words depart as lovers
wrapped in a melancholy of rhyme,
blowing kisses down
through the cord of ages. Down, down

to the cool wellspring of green
words in the fecund burst,
opening to the pleasure of meant sound.

No longer only a vase for breath,
the first throat wrote an entry on air,

hello to the wild polyglot of nature.
The pollen voices carried on
the wind to flower harmonic choirs,

so to keep my words in the air, I sing,
even after the culling begins.

Sem Megson

is a Toronto-based poet whose work has been published in literary journals in Canada, England, and the United States.