Hyra: Speaking in Tongues
I was just a lad we moved cross
the great Atlantic to a strange city. There
rented a home that came with a cat.
Pooh Cat, to look, an unprepossessing
was a feisty tabby. She would sit on
the brick pedestal that housed the front
and dangle her paw to tempt taunt or claw
passing dogs. She once
chased a friend's
spaniel yelping round the yard till rescued.
became a friend. I seem to draw
them. Not friends: cats.
Pooh was eleven
or twelve, my age.
One day coming home I found a lump
or bundle in my
bed, beneath the blanket,
that purred when touched: Pooh and kittens.
Before that, though, I think it was
I found the cat curled up sleeping
the closet, and I went and snuggled
my face, my nose, into her belly. And
was the first true intimacy that I experienced.
And have I had any
Oh, degrees. But even when you said
I love you, I was distracted.
Ah but there's something else I want to speak
about some absolute meaning that's
in Sanskrit chants. Like these vibrations rock!
Words are symbols
and don't have meaning
in themselves. But the Sanskrit bit, that here
is power and meaning in the sound itself,
OM Sat Chit Ananda, the very breath
So I was a little
in an altered state the other
day but focused and here, somewhat present,
saying goodbye to my dog Lucky, going
out, but stopped and crossed the room
my face to Lucky's side, on the couch, and
paused, and Proust into
Pooh Cat a life ago
now, right now,
Migwitch, Hyre, I said.
Migwitch is thank you in Annishnabi,
the language of this land.
is a neologism
a slur of heart and hridi,
heart in Sanskrit.
is a private name I gave my dog.
Migwitch Hyra, I said to Lucky,
talking in tongues.