Note. This study that started out as one long poem exploring the many languages you and I speak in different situations. It evolved into a number of shorter poems, each looking one or more aspects of our daily languages.
Speaking Daddy by Bill Beeler (August 1995) Sitting in the den, I speak daddy with family. A language ruled by the myth of what should be said, not what I feel. Long term pacts and love shape what is real. Words and actions are seeds in fertile soil. Every damn one will grow for good or spoil. Planter has no control, only request. Cast forever - no one knows the harvest. Please God, let those wayward words grow into rich values that teach them what they must do. Tender tilling that makes one give a hoot so their feeling of self worth is not moot.. Note. This poem was entered in the Illiad Press Quarterly Poem & Essay Contest for 1st Qtr 1996. Entry mailed 3/11/96. Speaking Church by Bill Beeler ( August 1995) Sitting in the pew, I speak church with congregation. A language ruled by fear and hope for the future. God loves us more than the church down the street. Thanks for the job you kept ten other souls from getting. Thanks for keeping my house from burning. Your blessing saved my child from harm. That sinner died because you struck him down. God, They credit you with the vilest of villainy and ask you to make their hate holy. you must cry every night that your children would rate your love so poorly. Speaking Job By Bill Beeler (August 1995) Sitting in the office, I speak job with co-workers. A language ruled by self service and gossip. Punch the clock, be on time, keep up, pace the others. If I have it, the customer needs it; make the sale. We all know how that last raise was earned, don’t we. Rating time is near, hope I look better than you. Does it have to be this way? Surely there must be a better way. Couldn’t we all just give a little and take a little? Lord, has it ever been that way? Speaking Macho By Bill Beeler (August 1995) Sitting in the bar, I speak macho with customers. A language ruled by dogma and image. Butt hangs over the stool, arm rests on the bar. Eyes peer into the beer or blank mirror on the wall. Forbidden are our hopes, dreams, and love, too sissy. Hate, bias and condemnation are fair, a strong facade. Speaking Poetry By Bill Beeler (August 1995) Sitting all alone, I speak poetry with God. A language ruled by the spirit and truth. I address the conflicts within my life at home, at work, and at church. Poetry lets me look within my soul and speak my personal reality. Limited only by the acceptance of those with whom I choose to share. Even then - it was only a metaphor. Note. Submitted to SPLEEN 8 April 96. Not accepted. We Try To Communicate By Bill Beeler (March 1996) Life’s communication is feelings, words and postures. Motives are often hidden and meanings obscure. The language of family is words with love planted in fertile soil. Grown by the receiver, the harvest unknown. The language of religion is passage, proverb, and prayer. Never question contradictions. Have faith. The language of co-workers is self service, rumor, and gossip. Rating time is near, hope I look better than you. The language of drinking buddies is prejudice and narrow-mindedness. Let’s condemn the weak and different. The language of poetry is ideals, tenderness, and spirituality - Limited only by thoughts that I share. Note. This was an abbreviated version of “Languages I Speak” I was attempting to shorten the original poem to less than 200 words for a contest sponsored by Hawley-Cooke Booksellers in November 1995. I like original version best. The Language of Life By Bill Beeler (August 95) The language of life is sentiments, conversations, and curses. Motives are often hidden and meanings obscure. The language of animals is moves, looks, noises, and gifts. Motives are not questioned. The language of family is words and love planted in fertile soil. Cultivated by the receiver, the harvest unknown. The language of religion is passages, proverbs, and prayers. Never question contradictions, have faith. The language of co-workers is self service, rumors, and gossip. Rating time is near, hope I look better than you. The language of drinking buddies is prejudice, sexism, and narrow-mindedness. Let’s condemn the weak, the different. The language of poetry is idealism, tenderness, and spirituality. They are limited only by those with whom I share. Even then -- it was only a metaphor.