Posts Tagged ‘silence’


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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Our noisy outer world is but a reflection of the noise inside: our incessant need to be occupied, to be doing something.

—Three Types of Laziness, Tenzin Palmo



Sit with me. Let’s say nothing at all.

There is nothing that must be said.

The impulse to comment on weather,

we’ll feel it rise and melt away.

The weather will do what the weather does,

will rain, will shine, will hail.

Perhaps we will feel the need

to comment on the light or to wonder

when things will be different than they are now

or to worry about all the problems

that we will never be able to fix.

Urgency only lasts so long before

it disappears. How did we ever

believe we belonged anywhere

but here? Though the rain

is gone, the scent of rain persists.

If we are quiet long enough,

it will say everything that must be said.

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Three Answered Prayers




in the beginning

before the word

the silence




walking the other

direction it’s so obvious,

that waterfall we missed




in my pocket

this laughter—all day

I pat it to check if it’s still there

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