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Blog - Richard Downes

When Words Lose All Meaning


There appears to be a trend I must keep in my mind about the lines that I’ve sourced over years sitting at a desk – the office poems. Discussions I’ve had with colleagues. Council meetings, visits to parliament. Lines found on the street next to the woman with the banner and quiet corners sitting on steps next to pop up food stalls sharing in a friendly, thoughtful conspiracy. All these places, all these faces, blessed with a not necessarily shared language spoken in the same tongue. Truth faces deceit and they think you won’t notice as they mangle our nouns and so on.

When Words Lose All Meaning

Come over here
Let’s have a chat
About this, about that
Gossip about those we know
Practiced in the art of
Having a conversation
Starting a dialogue
Aimed at changing
Our worthless lives
To show good value
And to tick a ticky box
Or two

These ghosts
These shells
These suits
These swells
These manipulators
Of you and us
And language
They’d have you think
Of when our words disappeared
Into a morass of loss
To every kind of meaning

To name but two
No Ifs, no buts
They’re really cuts
Call them out
For what they are
Call them out
Call and shout
Show the way you’re leaning
And that you’ve kept a feeling
Remaining true
Contrary to their view
Their lies
The disguise worn
When words lose all meaning

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Powerful poem Rich – thanks for sharing it here.