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  • Writer's pictureTony Frobisher

Language Smiles

Language Smiles The language drifts On guttural winds Intoned with the rise and fall Of the Arabian sun Words unfamiliar and new Never understood and never will be Yet intent smiles with the words That hang from pursed lips Released but immediate lost in confusion The traveller immersed Awash in the pleasures of cultures new But drowning in words That remain utterances And no more A smile returned The question repeated The eyes entreaty Meaning implored but unfound Sounds and words meaningless The frowns communicate where words fail But smiles turn to laughs The common language of humanity Regained and shared A smile is but the same No matter your language A futile exchange? Perhaps But while understanding failed The kinship of people remained A smile is but the same _________________________________ A confusion of language...Arabic Indonesian Turkish Urdu English. So many people and cultures mixing in and around the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Inevitably people turn to you and ask for help. In an unknown tongue. You smile, say sorry (as if they understand) and they repeat themselves and so do you...until you both realise there is no understanding and you both smile. The universal acknowledgement.

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