An Uneasy Alliance

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An Uneasy Alliance
by Manuel A. Luna-Murray

Language is a harsh taskmaster
that demands to have it all:

Your thoughts and feelings
Knowledge and experience

Your dreams and aspirations
hopes, failures, and identity

Your culture and heritage—
The essence of your being.

Language is your best friend
your comfort in time of need:

It is poetry and short stories
dramas, essays, and plays

Books and inspiration
Courage and strength.

Language is Education:
An escape from these mean streets

It is School and Church
Music and melody

Prosody and metaphor
Analogy and companionship

Language is life
Language is death—
It is heaven and hell
in the hearts and minds
of the human race

Language is self-awareness:

An organism that grows
with each new empire
and dies in obscurity
in the silence of a tribe’s extinction.

Language birth:

The joyous uprising
of a new people
fulfilling the Biblical mandate—
“Be fruitful and multiply”

Language death:

The extinguishing of a candle
passing the torch to the next generation—
inflaming hope and inspiration
building new empires
from the ashes of the old

The thoughts of philosophy
The feelings of poetry

The drama of literature
The essence of humanity
preceding the existence of the soul

Language is power:
The act of divine creation
in spoken and written form

For by speaking, God created the Universe
and by writing humanity was transformed
from Pre-History into History

Language is destruction:

By speaking, Hitler rallied the crowds
and through Mein Kampf he ignited
the flame known as World War II

Language demands all allegiance
Language serves our every need

Language unites us together
through trust and affirmation

It is the glue that cements our relationships—
The all-seeing eye that scrutinizes
our every thought, word, and deed

Language is the masterpiece
but humanity is the author

Language shapes our thoughts
but humanity declares its actions

Language may be freedom and identity
but humanity is its means of expression

These two slumbering giants
have carved out an uneasy alliance
throughout Space and Time

As language scatters our race
across the four corners of the Earth

It makes its presence felt
through wars and misunderstandings
separation and alienation

Despite all of this,
it is humanity that manipulates
all of the lyrical expressions
of a language’s heartbeat

For without its speakers
a language is simply
a corpse nailed tightly-shut
in the coffin of a few pages
swept away by the
gathering dust of the ages

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