The Brotherhood of the Wordless (aka BOW) is a group of people with a verbal disability who meet each month to write poetry and prose, using Facilitated Communication (with the assistance of a trained facilitator and a scribe). The Brotherhood has produced two anthologies and perform their writings regularly at festivals and venues such as the Woodford Folk Festival, Brisbane Poetry Festival and at the Brisbane State Library.  Peter wrote this poem in honour of the group that has played a huge part in the development of his writing and performing over the years… 

The Brotherhood of the Wordless

My friends, I see you in Golden Light.
You shine in a place of darkness.
The troubles we have been through,
the pains we have felt,
do not pale this Golden Light.

We are the Brotherhood of the Wordless –
a band of misfits, in a not so perfect world.
We are the ones who are overlooked,
but soon they will not be able to look away.

We are without words,
but our conversation is full of wit, laced in humour
and powerful to the ears of those who are voiced –
the ones whose tongues can easily roll the language off.

Come away with me to the Brotherhood…
a place where voices get in the way
and tapping is the sound of unity.

How long before we are together again?
How long before we can blend
our words into poems, stories and songs
that the children will read about in years to come?

I can’t wait to meet you again by the river,
and in the flesh,
and I’m tapping, tapping with you again –
where the words within,
can come out once more.

The Brotherhood of the Wordless is here to stay!


© Peter Rowe 2003

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