The hieroglyph representing a hand,
became daleth, a door,
later delta,
now d, a voiced alveolar stop.

But what they donít know
is what what they do does.


where Voice becomes God,
as the suffixed zero-grade of the same root.

Paper wraps stone.

Seventeen hundreds, Marthaís Vineyard,
an island five miles off the south eastern coast of Massachusetts,
separated from Cape Cod by Vineyard Sound.


Paris 1779.
Pierre Desloges bookbinder
wrote Observations of a Deaf-Mute
denying that his native Old French Sign Language
lacked any grammar.

At the same time, the Abbé de líEpeé,
oblivious to a topic comment syntax
flexing across face and body,
invented signs to represent
verb endings, articles, prepositions and auxiliaries.

vertical smoke
slight drift
leaves gently rustle 

Thus believe was analysed as

Ever since, institutions sympathetic to sign
have experimented with versions of their own construction.


Three horizontal bars,
yellow above and below a central blue,
indicate the letter d
or that the ship is having difficulty steering.

Tree rings tick out of time
with automata driven by tiny cogs and springs.


The cochlear implant is sold,
as a device which allows the deaf to hear.

If the source of nectar is near,
the dance is a circle
alternately with and against the clock.

A two point two centimeter bit is used
to drill into the temporal bone.
The facial recess is opened and enlarged.
A one millimeter diamond burr is used to drill
a nine millimeter hole into the cochlea,
into the basal turn of which eight electrodes are inserted.
Fascia taken from the scalp flap
is packed around the coil.
No drains are necessary.

In a frightened horse
I have felt through the saddle
the beating of the heart
so plainly I could have counted the beats.

That is, the auditory nerve, having twenty thousand synapses,
is replaced with a device having twenty two electrodes,
eight of which are functional.

leaves and twigs rustle
paper is raised small branches move
small leafy trees sway

Let us help you
experience the brilliance of sound once again

The first deaf islander arrived in 1692
and was fluent in some form of natural sign.

Some patients are eventually able
to use the telephone.
What many hear is a series of clicks and squeaks
which may help their lipreading.

Manufacturers publish



continued numbness,
perceiving two voices instead of one
with a split-second delay
understanding men not women
sagging of one side of the face,
all voices sounding the same
some words from weather report
lipreading for all conversions still
confused in groups
clicks and squeaks
asking for repetitions
music sounds lousy

large branches sway
telephone wires hum trees sway

Trials are being conducted
on children from the age of two.

Malleable, ductile.
Condensations of desire.
Amber, beads, cowries, drums.

Galen introduced the term labyrinth. 

Almost all the deaf islanders could trace
their ancestry back to the Weald, in Kent.

Beth Luis Níon.

Cistercian gesture language.

Under the Ptolemies, inflections
were used to mark credits and debits,
the former genitive, the latter dative. 

At medium distances
it is a figure of eight
the sourceís bearing from the sun given by
the angle between eightís centre and the vertical.
For greater distances
the dance is slower with accentuated waggling. 

broken twigs walking impeded
chimneys slates hoardings damaged
trees blown down

In one neighbourhood as many as 1 in 4 were deaf.


Clouds of yellow
Halt under branches as magnetic patterns chatter
Outside a box without hinges, keys or
Lid repeating repeating one syllable
Icosahedral capsid inside which latent images fix as
Negatives replacing original stone with digital codes
Embedded beneath the surface where spirits
Synchronised to artificial lights decipher
That what they caught they threw away and what th
Ey didnít catch they kept coming close to
Recalling what preceded the whorling, reduction, fusion
And loss of parts.
Sealstones press into wet clay.
Echoes fill up the spaces.

An alphabet of twenty sacred trees
and a system of Druidic hand signing. 

Almost everyone, including the hearing,
had become fluent in Vineyard sign
technology, interpreters, pieces of paper unnecessary
in a signing society.

Or a comic strip

where little men pull levers inside the charactersí heads
which means they too must have homunculi inside their heads,
and they inside theirs until the point is reached
when the ultimate operators are so small
that no cognitive event can occur inside them
the world then controlled by infinitesimal men with empty skulls.

Fish in Antarctic waters
have antifreeze in their blood.

Ask why an oak supports many species
Catkins swaying unresolved in
Every past substitution insertion deletion inversion columns
Tapering downwards suggesting movement rather than stability
Yellow cloud pollen sifts irregularities searching
Lustig the idea of tree in every particle
Changing as it and the world enfold each other
History a positive space shuddering touching every point of an
Outline complex kinetic each transient
Loop a chamber where off-centre miniatures
Interweave with further marginalia ad ad
No stopping this

An aspen in Utah
by sending out shoots
has covered one hundred and six acres
the whole thing sharing a common root system.

Place the right hand in front of the left
with the left pointing right and vice versa
palms towards self.
Rotate the front hand forward from the wrist.
The sign for door
represents the door as opening.

Along come the wind.

© Randolph Healy