Paul Mitchell, ‘Get the Word’

In the beginning was the word
and the word was with God
then a bag snatcher snatched it
laughed and carried it along a laneway
climbed a cyclone fence
pursued by the constabulary
then dropped the word
in an empty playground.

Now the word was with the law
who took it to the station.

But they took their eyes off it.
The word slipped out the window
said itself down a wall
I can I will I am
finding my way to God.

Overhearing was a priest
who dragged it off to seminary
bound it up in leather
shone a torch in its face
said Show the way to God.

The tortured word was honest
but struggled with its bindings
tried to free itself from paper
it was stamped upon
the imprisoned word of God cried.

Let me off these pages
I can show the way to love
the one I had with Dad
when he spoke me I spoke him
and when that phrase was in the air
it was both of us as well.

The priest took the word to council
who took it to a committee who slapped it
on the table of a busy bishop
who fenced it from intruders.

But he was knocked clean over
by that scheming snatcher
who took the word and threw it
all over the speaking earth.

— Paul Mitchell, Minorphysics (Brisbane: Interactive Press, 2003), 28.

[HT: Simon Carey Holt]

One comment

  1. Love it!

    Though at the risk of sounding like a fencer from intruders, does the Word speak the speaker? That is, is the relation between Father and Son straightforwardly reversible? Or am I over-reading the line “when he spoke me I spoke him”?


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