Poems and Poetry

What’s in a Name? | A Poem by Eric Nicholson

What’s in a name?
Take the ‘right whale’ for example
because it was the right species to take
from the oceans.
Was that right?
Is homo sapiens really wise
as the Latin defines?
Do we know right from wrong in this era
of post-modern living where nothing’s taken
at face value, except whales (even today)
by some nations?
Red kites aren’t red!
They’re a gingery-orange.
Long ago, the English lexicon
didn’t include ‘orange’, only ‘red.’
Red included orange if you know
what I mean.
In times gliding by
kites were named ‘glead’ or ‘gled’,
one of which rhymes with ‘red’-
but poets don’t have to rhyme!
Although poets are wordsmiths,
words often form thickets and obfuscate. . .
Can you see a red kite without the typeset;
the feathered thing hanging in the wind,
each time, as if new-born?
The clicks and gasps of phonemes are
orchestrated in the brain and compose
a parallel world; the world of language is a chimera,
a seductive trap!

The best poets ambush us with words. The words
point beyond words – the words
disappear. . .
Back to kites. . .
Which came first,
the bird or the flying toy of Kite Runner fame?
Think about it!
Homo-sapiens has just arrived on the scene
recently – oh, so recently. . .
The bird has scavenged, soared, bonded, mated, mewed, nested,
moulted,
predated, preened, plummeted, displayed, incubated, fledged, torn
flesh and
survived ice-ages.

All these millions of years, it didn’t know it was named
milvus milvus.

(Note: milvus milvus is the scientific Latin name for red kite.)

Visit Eric at http://erikleo.wordpress.com.


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