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.