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Shades of language

Earth and air: the two tongues of our heritage.
One gave us din and war, the other
Peace and silence.
Balance, then, is granted in the thrust
Of dream against reality, hope against despair.
God, we hold, will listen to our prayer;
Flesh becomes spirit; death
Resolves in resurrection.
Our hills may be distinguished from our mountains;
Fire has its chimney; weeds
Serve as herbs; bread is crisped to toast.
Our language has both beautiful and ugly,
Both a scent and stench;
The clod lives with the scholar, side by side.
Northern lights do not outshine
Aurora Borealis;
Sainfoin grows with woundwort under hedges
Where colors blend, burnt umber on the palette.

by Damaris West

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