Three Poems

Nathalie Boisard-Beudin


You speak
A river of letters flows from your mind, sloshing its way into mine.
It nestles inside my eardrums and the waves’ noise deafens me for a while.

My eyes shot open in surprise
[I never heard you coming]
The pupil dilate, flooded by semantic monsoon.

I freeze, my head tilted to the side in an attempt to syphon out excess humidity.
At low tide, I try sorting out the pebbles from the fish, a quest to decipher a fluid message.
I do gather a few shells, staring into the coils for a meaning
On the way to enlightenment, I am distracted by water lilies.

I stop to gather a bouquet.
[Possibly, this is how Persephone was captured:
Caught in mid-sentence by a soft gleaming adjective, a liquid alliteration of love.]

Thus wrapped in my frolic, I miss your frown.
In fact I have totally forgotten you were standing there,
Lips dried and waiting for an answer.
For a sign of intelligence.

Blooms slip from my grasp, pool at my feet
A few fish flop amongst the leaves, floundering.
Storms of choice epithets close over my head.


You speak.
Your lips move, expelling air
from your lungs, pushing sounds
on the way. They float and twirl
about in the air, gathering dust,
pollens that will in turn make
my eyes water.

There is no hope for us. You
think of me as a fragile shell,
easily bruised by words. You
also think I never listen to you.
But how could Iwith all the silt
moved about, with your breath,
coming to settle in my ears?

A forest grows there now, planted
by years of careless notions, stray seeds,
and unwanted speech. I do feel grateful
for this most days, for the peace,
the shadowy shelter your words brought me.
But lost in the fronds, drowning in this river
of ferns, I can’t see you anymore.
Thus we drift apart.

With time and silence, the forest
will disappear. My ears will return to
the hungry desert they once were, soft
hushing sounds of sand dunes shifting
in the wind. Until the next person comes
along, eager to irrigate my thoughts,
resuscitating the forest from latent dirt
once again.


You speak.
Words roll out, lighter than air, golden dust in a sun beam.
They wrap themselves around us, caressing our ears with intangible velvet.
I can almost — and frequently try to — reach out and touch them,
Expecting to find iridescent powder from their wings on my fingers.

Life freezes in a moment of pure essence
I could spend all day, hanging on to your every word
There is no denying it: you do have a beautiful voice,
Rich as chocolate with just a hint of toasted nuts in the vowels.

Though I must be fair in my fascination:
This is not just about you — though a lot is, of course.
It so happens that this language that you use is a song,
Liquid melodies of sounds, reminiscent of a purring cat.

I stand entranced while you shake your head, message spent.
Gathering your words around me, I sort them out by colour
Nuances of texture, palettes of flavours, lush bouquets of resonance.
Size and shapes construct a perfect picture.

You speak while I run around chasing words with a net.
I am making a work of art though I would never admit it;
I fear this collection would not be possible
If I did in fact understand what it is that you are saying.