Wednesday, March 11, 2015

March 11: Moments of Silence, Darrell Bourque, "Quietism"

I have very little quiet time in my days.  From the time I get up to the time I climb into bed, I'm surrounded by noise.  Phones.  Patients.  Coworkers.  Students.  Movies.  TVs.  Children.  During the week, the only times where I'm surrounded by silence are in my university office.  I shut the door, turn off the overhead light, and close my eyes for a few moments.  Say a prayer maybe.

Tonight's poem is about moments like that.  Quiet moments, when quiet things happen.

Saint Marty thinks everybody deserves a little noiselessness.


by:  Darrell Bourque

—first line from Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Walking Down Blanco Road at Midnight”

It happens in a quiet place.
If too much is moving around,
you never get to see the thin line
of red flickering above the horizon
just before sunrises or just after
sunset—some tag of fire or herald
of no sound whatsoever.
There is a moment when all leave
the table but something still breathes
as fat congeals on plates left behind.
The big chair in the yard near the oak
lived in the silence of trees in forests.
The tools put up in the winter shed,
silent in their work and in their rest.
An audiologist’s finest instrument
might never record the calla lily’s
slow, long, unfolding song.

Can you hear it singing?

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