Silence

The whole house smells of silence.
The air tastes dull, as grey as dust,
and the rooms are still,
waiting for the clatter of feet
down the stairs – late for school,
for work, for that first date;

there is no laughter in the kitchen:

no clatter of plates, no sizzling hiss
of bacon. No clink of cup
set on saucer. There is no steam,
no rolling boil. There is no
argument about whose turn it is,

no joking, no slamming of doors –

the doors hang as if they’re made of wood,
the windows shine as if they’re made of glass,
the piano’s just another piece of furniture
in a house that’s full of emptiness.

I think you’ll let your fingers wander
over those keys. You’ll find a tune –
some rare old mountain tune, some echo
of a starman’s song, but all the notes you play
will glisten in the air, unmoving,

stilled by silence.

 

Dwight Roth is hosting at dVerse tonight, and we are considering silence. Shhh…

24 thoughts on “Silence

  1. I will be haunted now by the notes to a tune felt but not heard. This is a fantastic piece. I sort of understand now how to inhabit silence.

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  2. I admire the details of the house filled by emptiness specially the silenct sounds of that piano –

    rare old mountain tune, some echo
    of a starman’s song, but all the notes you play
    will glisten in the air, unmoving,

    stilled by silence.

    A haunting ending to a lovely poem Sarah!

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  3. kaykuala

    but all the notes you play
    will glisten in the air, unmoving,
    stilled by silence.

    How very uncomplicated but very true, Sarah! It is there and always there not seen or heard

    Hank

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  4. Difficult to appreciate how much space children fill until they leave. My mind went immediately to empty-nesting. I am also reminded of the time my husband was in hospital for a month – the silence in the house was deafening.

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  5. The silence of an empty house is so haunting and you’ve captured its essence in this poem, Sarah.I love how you have scattered the lines with human emotions sparsely between stanzas, so that that hit me just that little harder than the lines describing the missing physical activities – no laughing or joking. I admire the introduction of music through the piano that’s just another piece of furniture and then shift straight into the lines:
    ‘I think you’ll let your fingers wander
    over those keys. You’ll find a tune –
    some rare old mountain tune, some echo
    of a starman’s song, but all the notes you play
    will glisten in the air, unmoving’,

    Like

  6. A very musical poem with great use of consonance: the T’s is “waiting for the clatter of feet…” S’s in “plates, no sizzling hiss” and the plosives in “bacon. No clink of cup.”

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  7. These lines are killing me:
    “the doors hang as if they’re made of wood,
    the windows shine as if they’re made of glass”…
    They’ve reverted to their original substance, one untouched, unmoved by human presence. It’s our memories that make the things surrounding come alive.

    Like

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