Read, Write Text

A country sage—let him be S—

Read an ancient book—let it be B—

And was moved to shed a tear—let it be T.

The memory caused him

To pause in his work, which was

Mending his own clothes

As his wife (M), who used to do that

(As she had a loving way with cloth)

Began to lose her sight, and

To bleed on the bits

That had not been bled on before.

He asked her, therefore, if she would content herself

With gardening,

Which he himself loved, because of the smells:

Rain, earth, goats, sweat, leaves, radishes

Which he accidentally used to eat.

And so she did.

Then she was gone.

The ancient book (B) had no words, only

Pictures of the passing of a king (K)

Long dead now, and the terrible

Lament of his wives, and friends,

He being one of those kings

Who had both in abundance.

Thus, he paused in his pause,

And returned to the book

And read by the fire

To warm his hands

And remembered the tear (still T)

And his wife.

And said to himself:

S, what this book needs is words.

So he made some ink and some quills,

And got stuck into it.

And every now and then,

When he felt disinclined

He heard a voice, sounding a lot like


Read, Write Text.

Copyright ©  Peter Twohig. All rights reserved.