>from koko to kwibi to speaking star


I’ve been working on a poem for the past year. Perhaps I should say the poem is working on me. It features a young girl not fitting in with society, running sidehill trails and sleeping in the forest beneath the stars — wanting to speak deer, to speak star.
It’s been suggested to me deer don’t speak and stars most definitely cannot communicate. The little girl in me disagrees. Watch a fawn listen to her mother. Come between the doe and her fawn and you will realize mother is talking to her fawn, letting her know to freeze and when it might be safe to bolt. The little girl in my poem wants to know how that might feel to be able to tap into that language, that communication.
Yesterday I was working on this poem again, wondering how I might fix the poem so that those who don’t believe in language being any other than human might be able to feel what is being shared in the poem. I didn’t make any headway and put the poem away. But (!) today, I signed into Facebook and followed the long thread Amy Tan started on language. She has made plans to visit Koko the gorilla. Do you remember Koko? Click here to watch Koko read books and sign with trainers.
Watching Koko’s sensitive imagination led me to the video of Kwibi. Kwibi was released back into the wild after spending his first five years with humans. His trainer tracked him down in the wilds for a reunion. Maybe the trainer was unprepared for Kwibi’s emotions (?) — I know I was not prepared. Now, I want to learn to speak gorilla.

About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website: https://toomuchaugust.wordpress.com

9 responses to “>from koko to kwibi to speaking star

  1. >I think Gorillas are so close to us humans without all the bullshit. The intensity of their relationships has been documented well and gives me hope as to what we as humans might achieve in terms of straight forward emotions. This video is one of the most heartfelt things I've ever seen. I believe that languages exist in all living things. Just look into the eyes of your dog and you just know that they are trying to tell you things. I will join you when you find the Dr. Dolittle school of language!Thanks for giving my day such lovely images.

  2. >I think language consists of not only words, but emotions. Language is communication, and so is a look and a touch. Animals are amazing. I'd love to read your poem. The whole concept appeals to me, and also sounds like it could become a short story.

  3. >A wonderful kind of reaching…and drawing in, too. "tumen"

  4. >"…deep love rumbling gurgle" of Kwibi when he sees Damian really got me. So incredibly moving. I look forward to your deer, star speaking girl poem.

  5. penjandrum

    >The gorilla video is beautiful. Those sad eyes as the trainer went off in the boat, and to follow him downstream. Heartbreaking.The poem sounds magical!Penny

  6. >My feeling is that we write what we need to tell, not what others wish to hear. I believe we possess greater wisdom than most of us know, particularly as it relates to our own process. And I think stories – poems – find us, knowing we are the channel through which they will enter the world. I hope you allow your child to speak, reminding us that all things are possible.

  7. >Aww!! "We sat there, drunk on each other." :)I want to say deer might speak like brooks or leaves, but that's kind of cliched. Hey, how do you think swordfish speak? Apparently they're not very social, though….

  8. >When I was a very little girl I remember reading all about woman naturalist (and I am ashamed of my memory-cannot call up the name) who was the first to study gorillas and get close to them. She was eventually killed by the poachers she tried to make trouble for…I wanted to go live with gorillas too….

  9. >hi kerry- i agree all the way around. (and now i think that sounds like i am saying "i agree with the sun.")hi annie- i am just getting back from my road trip and will catch up with you soon! one of these days i will work on my poem some more and show it to you.hi mike- you recap so well. yes, reaching and drawing in.hi kass- after this last road trip, i am a few steps closer to finishing my deer star poem. your comments inspire me to keep going on it.hi penny-good to hear from you. thinking about the gorilla following him downstream chokes me up.hi marylinn- i'll be coming back to read your words again and again. thank you!hi rose-it's within you to write the swordfish poem. someday let's compare notes.hi rox-i can see you doing that. you have a connection with animals in everything i've seen you write/draw/do. i remember one of your early pieces about…what was it…frogs?

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