Friday, June 24, 2011

Silent Treatment

You told me once
when you were still talking to me
how you love voices.
No two are alike, you said.
Like people or snowflakes.

Both a noun and a verb,
the organ of the soul,
voice rouses memories
and quickens the pulse.

Voice is alive.
There is no sound
without breath.

My favorite sound -
a sigh of exhalation
the ~~ahhhhhhh~~~
of surrender.

I love that voice is born in vibration.
Intention, the bow which glides
across the strings in our throat.

Or perhaps I've forgotten
that the voice has a mind of its own.
A sympathetic stirring
of heart strings and vocal cords
that bypasses the will.

The heart sings - the voice celebrates.
The heart cries - the voice despairs.

Today, in my "Theater of the Oppressed" class,
the teacher says:
“Oppression occurs when there is only monologue, no dialogue.”

I think of you and shudder.

I am Medusa, slayed by the sound
of her solo voice-
the echo in the mirror
turning her into silent stone.


My voice is drawn into your silence.

Like island people with multiple words for the sea
or desert nomads pondering the infinite changeable sky,
those forced to dwell in this banishment know
but do not reveal to others
(except for me, telling you, here)
there are many states of silence.


We are but water and energy
two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen
vibrating through flesh and bone.

And every compound living or inert
has its base of absolute zero.
where all is still.

The big quiet.

The range and depth of silence
is not an abstraction.

It lives in the spaces between.

Like me.

John Henry Fuselli - Silence


Denise said...

I love the first two lines-- "when you were still talking to me." The idea of silence in the midst of voices. Love it.

Stephen said...

"voice drawn in to your silence"

great line

Kelly Garriott Waite said...

First of all, I love your photograph. That says it all.
The poem...stunning. It's the kind of poetry you read and savor, like dark chocolate. Then you return to it again and again, delighted and amazed by the nuances.

Angela said...

I love it too. The photography is marvelous as well.

I wish I could write poetry...or rather write in a poetic way.

the boy said...

i really like the poem. It touches on the struggle of human expression during moments of silence. Can people express themselves in moments of silence?

LV said...

Wow! This is a great piece of writing. So glad I found your blog. I love poetry and am a poet myself. Can't wait to read more of your work and see more great posts from you.

LV said...

I love your style of writing. So powerful...