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Posts Tagged ‘silence’

The All Of It

 

 

 

just sing, little darling, sing with me.

—Emmylou, First Aid Kit

 

 

The song does not understand

the word forsake. Though it

dances with silence, it always

returns, like petals, like morning,

like waves. The song will never

leave you. When you cannot

hear it—when the song

seems lost to your lips—

that is when it is ripening.

Let us add our voices

to the song, the song that

is singing us awake.

And let us add our silences

to it, too. How beautifully

it holds us, becomes stem,

becomes sun, becomes oar.

 

 

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If you watch the heron as it stalks

amongst the tall green reeds, then pauses,

and in its pausing disappears, then you understand

something of the power of stillness.

 

And if you, yourself, are still long enough

to see the head of the snapping turtle

rise between the lily pads,

then you glean something of the rewards

that come with sitting still.

 

But if you sit expecting such rewards,

then perhaps sit longer and watch the cattails

as they waver and still, sway and still and still,

and feel how the urge in you to say something rises

and softens and softens until there is nothing to say,

 

until that kind of stillness becomes

the greatest reward, until you feel

stillness hold you the way the lake

holds the lily pad, the way

the silence holds a song.

 

 

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            Based on an encaustic piece by the same name by Andrea Bird

 

 

 

She asks if I can hear the silence.

I try. I try too hard and all I hear is a low

green chant: lovable, loveless, loophole, loose. 

 

So she gives me petals, a handful of pink,

and I gather them in my hands. How lovely

they are as I listen to them fall.

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Anywhere at All

 

 

 

I find the silence

between your words

and set a cushion there

and close my eyes

and find stillness in that quiet

place in you

that speaks to that quiet

place in me.

Within a single conversation

we’ve shared communion

a thousand times—

is it any wonder we cry

when we say goodbye?

 

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The sound of your breath is the quietest of songs.

—Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

 

 

Maybe on that day

when we think, I forgot

to sing, that’s when we

realize that all day long

we harmonized with the world

in the quietest of songs—

joined in without any effort,

no striving at all,

and maybe that is the day

when we stop trying

to be heard and start

to notice the song

inside every other song,

the song inside every other being,

how perfectly in tune we are,

how easily we join—no conductor,

no notes, no beat, just one perfect

air. Maybe that’s the day we hear

the metronome of our own

steady heart and say to it,

I will trust you, feel the truth

of the song as it slips

from our lips, then

rushes in to fill us again.

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with a line from “Snow” by Anna Akhmatova

 

 

The spruce boughs are empty

of snow as we ski up the old

railroad grade. And when we arrive

at the top, the sky opens up,

an enchantment of blue.

I want to ask her how it felt

to be caged, to be clipped,

to be silenced. But she looks

at me as if to say the mood

is too tender for talk. And so

we let the words disappear

like the snow that is not falling,

and we move together

as good friends do, letting

one lead, and then the other.

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One Winter Concert

 

 

beside the pond

the barren willows suggest

silence is another way of singing

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Vespers

 

 

 

Listening to the stars

at the top of the drive—

how quiet they are.

 

I tell myself that silence, too,

is a song, but the only harmony

for silence is silence.

 

Everything I don’t know

clamors in the night.

What is quiet inside it

 

stays quiet—I listen

for it. My ears hum

with nothing.

 

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Digging there in the dirt

with small seeds

in your hands

you hear the wind

high in the cottonwoods,

you hear the silence

sown inside the wind,

and the quieter

you are, you hear

perhaps, within you

a call like the geese

that aren’t flying

overhead, a startling

call, an almost

strangled sound

that, if you heard it,

might almost

wake you up.

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willing my feet

to go slowly, slower

than that, eavesdropping

on some inner quiet

I’d forgotten was there

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