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Ode to Silence

by Michael Redgen 6 months ago in social commentary · updated 6 months ago
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Ode to Silence
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

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.

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About the author

Michael Redgen

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.

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