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Posts Tagged ‘silence’




Sometimes
in the silence
between
the small talk
a whole life
is lived—
a life
in which
you are
exactly
yourself
only more so,
a self without
name, a self
of no
where, a
self unselved,
which
is to say
that sometimes
in the silence
of a minute
you find
some vision
so vast
so true
that you weep
before saying,
And how are you?

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Just because I can’t hear the wind on Mars
without the sound being raised two octaves
doesn’t mean the Martian wind wouldn’t open a sail—
doesn’t mean it wouldn’t blow off my hat
or fly my kite or create thick swirls of red dust.

Just because I could barely hear the wind on Mars
with my human ears doesn’t mean
the wind wouldn’t flip up my skirt. So many forces
just beyond our senses have powerful effect—
like the words that just today I didn’t hear you say,

yet I know by the way my skin shivers they’re true.
I know, just as sure as the wind blows on Mars,
it takes just one gust to make a thousand seeds go flying.
And I am a weed with ten thousand seeds.
And those words I didn’t hear today, they’re the wind.

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Spell for Ending Well

Who’s ever heard

of a silent spell?

Isn’t it supposed to rhyme?

Shouldn’t it contain

the eye of something,

the tail of something else,

some leaves, some poison,

a cauldron, a fire,

and a whole lot of stirring?

But this spell can’t be manufactured.

All it wants is your attention.

All it wants is for you to feel

how it feels to end.

It wants you to lean

into loss and let it do

its slow work on you.

It doesn’t offer a magic word—

no word is magic enough

to do what must be done.

Which is to trust

the vanishing nature of things.

Which is to let the body

grasp and grasp and grasp

until at last it is ready

to release. Any spell

for ending well

knows its own uselessness.

It knows the importance

of silence. It knows

that anyone who would look up

a spell for ending well

already has exactly what they need.

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And if today we speak all,

let us speak in golden leaf.

Let’s converse in low clear stream,

whisper in rose-hip pink.

And if we speak at all today,

let’s slip mulch between each word,

aware that what we say will grow—

how powerful the words we sow.

And if we speak at all,

let’s speak in mountain, speak in field,

speak only words that lift and heal,

speak only words that lift and heal.

And if we speak,

let’s listen for the quiet in between—

plant tulips bulbs in the silences.

And crocuses. And grace.

And any words with thorns in them,

let’s set them down. Let’s lose them.

And if our words don’t open like sky,

let’s let the sky do all the talking.

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Why I Garden

Digging in the garden,

hands deep in the dirt,

I have no beliefs.

I have soil for a pulse

and soil for lungs, soil

for hands and heart.

I don’t have thoughts

about who should do what

or how, instead

I have dirt thoughts—

loamy, rich, crumbling thoughts

that sometimes, if I’m lucky,

have a potato in them.

I speak the language

of mineral and listen

for organic matter,

but the only word

they seem to say

is listen, listen.

And then, they say

nothing at all.

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Gift

            I’m sure there’s a blossom in there somewhere

And if all I can give you is silence,

then let it be the most beautiful silence,

a silence perfumed with mint and sage,

a silence that brings a quiet shine

to everything it touches.

Let it be the kind of silence

that opens into a deeper silence,

the kind that knows golden petals and sunshine

and the scent of rain unfolding in the meadow—

a silence that holds you so lightly,

the way candlelight might hold you

inside the dark. May it find you

in the morning, be waiting for you

before you rise. May you find it behind

and between every word you say,

the way sky supports the dark cursive

of starlings. And may you hear it, really hear it,

the deep silence. Like your favorite

song playing over and over again.

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One Silencing

unsure what to say—

letting the blank page

write on me

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A rumor platoon.

  A secret room.

    A flying trapeze.

      The honeyed moon.

    A grapefruit pucker.

  A slick river otter.

A compound fracture

  and a safety measure.

    The carrot peeler

      and the apple tree,

    the truth, the lie,

  the apology.

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One Illumining

 

 

midnight walk

even my silence

reflects the moonlight

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Just a few steps from the house

I find a place to sit on a rock

and wait for the trill of the red wing blackbird.

 

I have waited twenty years to hear it here

in my back yard full of water and willows

and quiet. All day, though intermittent, I’ve heard it.

 

Funny how much I enjoy the waiting tonight—

perhaps because I know that eventually

the bright call will come. It is, perhaps, like a girl,

 

waiting through her first date for her first kiss—

she’s pretty sure it will happen, and now, after

years of waiting, she suddenly has

 

all the time in the world. In fact, the waiting

is delicious—like champagne, dry, with tiny bubbles.

Like summer’s first raspberries—a little too tart,

 

and yet sweet enough to eat another and another.

I sit in the goldening world and wait and wait.

I listen to the jays as they squawk and the warbler’s

 

sharp chirp. The wind teases my hair and I wait

until I forget I am waiting, simply noticing the world.

By the time I hear the familiar trill, it greets me

 

like the old friend it is, then it’s silent again.

The way the sun seems most lovely just before it’s gone,

that’s how the silence holds me.

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