Ode to Silence
We have lost our ability to be silent
and fill up each moment with unceasing sound.
Tiny hairs sway like wheat in the breeze
and vibrations from the hammer to the anvil
yearn for conversation or a tuneless hum.
Language is what separates us from animals
but we’ve become addicted to it
never leaving rest for a pause or quiet contemplation.
When sweet talk has lulled
empty space lingers to be noticed by its absence
good music is nectar to the ears
but nothing beats tranquility.
With the noisy party ceased
early mornings bring joy as the guests are fast asleep.
Jokes and anecdotes have become a memory
and the banana talk echoes have finally faded–
the soft sound of snoring is a welcome change.
Walking through the silent Queenslander
last night’s noisemakers are strewn carelessly about
a portable speaker blinks idle waiting for a song
half-full bottles sit on tables left unclinked.
And just as the summer sun rises
and before the day breaks and the bird song fills the gap
there’s a pause in the air in those still and restless minutes–
a peace and quiet subtle serenity.
In the bustling city
there’s little escape from the racket of cars and buses
trains and planes, construction and sirens
all ringing and blaring bouncing off skyscrapers.
Walking busy streets with headphones on
to block the roar and chaos, I start to feel nauseous
as I stumble back in an early morning daydream fog.
To be finally home with the windows closed
with the world asleep silently dreaming
I’ll stay awake to soak in the iridescent quietude.
To fill the empty space
we’re happy to talk and talk of endless gossip
discussing the repetition and reputation of celebrities
and the plot holes of so many shows and movies.
Although the segues are seamless
we never discuss at length about the voiceless
or how our minds are often a tumultuous mess.
We stay hushed and tight lipped
mouths shut and unspoken, speak only when spoken to.
These secret crowded moments are dutifully pacified
kept concealed from our temporary friends.
As our inner voice falls on deaf ears
I would rather stay as silent as the grave.
O silence you paradox
you contradiction, you enigma
an elusive mystery yet to be solved
a technician’s assistant to help keep me calm.
O how you cause me to have a nervous heart
how you slow down time to the speed of a glacier
and offer rare moments that I need to reflect.
You are the absence of noise
rare utter stillness in a chaotic void
the retreat I need to null the chatter
and dull the ringing deep within my inner ear.
I always welcome silence any time of day
in the morning before the kookaburra laughs
in the afternoon on my pensive walk
and while I lay down hoping for a good night sleep.
About the author
While distracted by cats and coffee, Michael writes philosophical poetry to help sooth his restless soul. With a unique grasp of universal metaphor and imagery, he writes in depth diverse topics of life that are both personal and relatable.