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Old Tongue Speaks

from Lobster Telephone No. 20


Old Tongue; The Bearded Giraffe, was a time traveller. He/She had no definite form or structure, but often appeared as a long necked grazing animal with a chin of hair (not on fire). Some time she/he, stalked the world as a human being, ...small girl in black dress. "What's your name little girl?" (kerb crawler voice) "Old Tongue the Bearded Giraffe." she replies truthfully (crawler learns to run away, end in somewhat deserved wreckage). So Old Tongue, time traveller, shape changer, walks in the late nineteen eighties cities of the western world.

The words, little girl voice, old tongue, "I walked the world and the wind swept through my head hair and I remember as an ungulate in long ago we sahara savana tall neck wind sweeping through my chin hair, same sort of thing but those were finer times I think. I don't like being human, but anyway I was and I saw the cities and the dead emptiness that was there inside and outside of the human brains."
"They covered the plains and fertile lands with concrete like a disease of solid decay, and even that is decaying now. That is my impression."

Old Tongue rambles on and this will be the end of this piece... "The symbols, ...electric signposts lights with the sign gone revealing neon light entrails within... stagnant lake pier uprights ripple reflection brownwater, no platform though, just uprights to the sky, ...boarded up windows... no light ...tape from smashed tape cassette across stained pavements and wound in bleak winter trees... no sound ...electric escalators for convenience that don't work... shoes thrown away outside tall flats where children play... Bleak faces of the lost purpose ...imagination gone."

And Old Tongue, The Bearded Giraffe, leaves in disgust back to the acacias, where there is no decay in the dust.

© The Barry Powell Organisation 1988.