Angst might seem an odd subject in a month when one is supposed to be counting one’s gratitudes. But it goes back to words and language, including ones that in some cases are an ancestral mother tongue. I have an intuitive grasp of language and spoken word, rather that strict prosody. I wish I was more fluent in a second language, but I am probably too slap dash and amateur for that. 

I did, however, study German, much of which I have forgotten. The genetive case went way over my head. But I do treasure the vocabulary I still retain. Today’s poetry practice includes that as part of the wider theme. It also probably reflects what many people world wide have felt during 2018.


German is a really great language

for philosophic disquisition.

(And no, I didn’t just make that word up.)

Their compound words act as Iapetus’

belts when realities collide. Atlas

shoves them together. Rhapso sews the seam,

making the perfect compound nouns for Being

and Non-Being, all states betwixt between.

I know that staring out the window kind

of uncertainty. The glass is bevelled

by heavy rain.  The sky has gone white

that is  a non-light. The sun is moon glow.

The ground could shift any minute out from

underfoot. But not yet. Their word for it –

angst– has much more fear and tremble in it.

It has the rumbling groan of shifting earth,

moving one’s being towards non-being.

Then comes Prometheus’ destroying blitz.

Copyright© Bee Smith 2018

Featured image: Photo by Stefano Pollio on Unsplash

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