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Posts Tagged ‘silence’

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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Nada

 

written at the Carmelite Monastery in Crestone, CO

 

 

It holds everything, silence,

offers itself as a blank staff

on which every song it written—

the tiny hymn of insect wings,

the baritone of the jet as it flies

from one measure of sky to the next,

the dry requiem of rustling grass,

the emphatic chorus of crow.

 

How generous, silence,

am I willing to know it?

How it includes even the cough,

the belch, retching, the wailing,

the snarl, the scream, the shatter,

and scores these in concert with the hum,

the lush purr, the whisper of the lover,

the ecstatic tremulo of sigh.

 

There is no sound it refuses to hold.

Its patience is infinite.

So when we, like weary pilgrims,

tired of hearing the percussion

of our own footsteps, arrive at its doors,

silence receives us, welcomes us home.

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I want to be quiet enough

to absorb the shouting,

still enough to subsume

the uproar, silent enough

to diminish the din. I want

to calm not just the air

but the hurt that drives

the shouts, calm the hurt

that drives the hurt.

Like bringing an ocean

to put out a candle—that’s

how bizarrely effective

I want this quiet to be—

the kind of quiet that touches

everything, tenderly,

like Persian perfume, and

invites it to feel how sweet

the communion of silence.

I want to know quiet

like a fine silken blanket

big enough to cover us all. Quiet,

like a bottle of wine that no matter

how much we pour and share

we find it miraculously always full.

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Who Am I?

 

 

I thought I wanted

a harmonium of answers,

a key of certainty,

a hymn of how to,

but silence gave me

the most beautiful gift—

one true question.

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Inner Locating

 

 

Close to the waves,

I hear only waves.

Close to the cars,

I hear cars.

Come closer,

says the silence.

Come closer,

says the heart.

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Amidst the sirens

and the horns,

tucked in between

the skyscrapers,

we found a garden

with a fountain

at its center

rung with trees

and lush green leaves

and purple hastas—

and there, inside

that sudden peace,

my dad and I

sat side by side

and didn’t solve

a goddammed thing

but listened to

the sound of water

falling, falling,

and watched it

rising up,

rising up again.

 

 

 

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