Posts Tagged ‘silence’

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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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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The Beholder




While the wind chime clinks and the magpie

chatters and the mare nickers and the

doves swoon and the melting snow

tinkles and the passing cars purr

there’s a woman who listens

surprised at how what she hears

most of all is a stillness inside her

that seems to spill its quiet

all over the clamor of morning,

perhaps the way the shadow

of the mountain seems to spill

across the earth and changes nothing

and changes everything.

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Between us a silence

so fragile that half of me

fears it will shatter


and cut us, half of me fears

it will erupt and we’ll burn,

and half of me thinks


if I stay still enough,

something beautiful

might emerge.

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One Quiet




the great sheet of silence

in December’s empty meadow—

I fold and crease it

into a white paper crane—

all evening it flutters beneath my thoughts

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