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INVOCATIONS OF THE WORD (to be performed with full musical accompaniment)
(5-28-42 / Washington state USA)

INVOCATIONS OF THE WORD (to be performed with full musical accompaniment)

In the Beginning was not the Word
In the Word was the Beginning


Unwind the wind
Give rapid legs to the crouching leaf;
The horse of words has galloped
Through clouds, through thunder, through roaring waters...
Throw open the door of your ears

Araba ponmbe ponmbe ponmbe
Araba ponmbe ponmbe ponmbe*

The Word, the Word, is an egg
From the nest oof hawk and dove
Its shell the sheath of anger's sword
Its yolk compostbed of bile and boon

The Word, the Word, is the woodpecker's beak
Which rattles the jungle of silence
The cat's eye which pierces the garment of night
The Word, the Word, is the fearless symmetry of zebra heights
The fiery hooffall of eloquent horses
The Word, the Word, is the armpit of stone
The groin of nodding marble

The Word, the Word, is the madness of the moon
The canine fury of barking tides
The Word, the Word, is the milky teeth of coconut mountains
The joyful tears of dawn

Araba ponmbe ponmbe ponmbe


I see the Word
plumbing distant clouds for echoes of golden idioms
I see the Word
shaving mountainheads with razors of reason
I see the Word
on the lips of the gun, animally red
I see the Word
in parliaments of contending tongues
I see the Word
with ears of joy, stalks of swaying rapture
I see the Word
in the dream of a dream
in the dream of a dream [no stanza break]
in the cloud which gathers the rain
in the rain which unchains the earth



Abuubutan Eja okun (Inexhaustible, Fish of the sea)
Abuubutan Eja osa (Inexhaustible, Fish of the lagoon)
Adunnni lenu (A joy to have in the mouth)
Ma dunni lorun (Dreadful to have around the neck)

Araba ponmbe ponmbe ponmbe


The Word, the Word, is the ashes of twilight
The rainbow of vagrant skies
The Word, the Word
is rocks and roots
sand and stone
rust and dust
love - - and lust


The Word is the peeping window of heady tails
The vital valley of maiden hiThe Word, the Word, is the simmering song of the adze
The lyrical breath of fire on clay
The Word, the Word, is the hemhem of the barber's razor
The footsounds of the sun on the tarmac of the lake

Araba ponmbe ponmbe ponmbe


The Word is rain
The Word is dust
The Word is rainanddust

The Word is black
The Word is white
The Word is blackandwhite

The Word is life
The Word is death
The Word is lifeanddeath

Araba ponmbe ponmbe ponmbe


Give bony thoughts
The flesh of airy idioms
Let rounded laughters unknot the brow
Of wrinkled moments;
Scatter the Word
In the valley of the moon
Let harvestsongs reap the plenitude
Of waiting proverbs


In the Beginning was not the Word
In the Word was the Beginning

Araba ponmbe ponmbe ponmbe
Araba ponmbe ponmbe ponmbe


* This refrain is used for its sound (qua performance) effect; it has no translatable 'semantic' meaning.

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