Three aspects of silence

There are times when it’s enough to not say a word,
to empty myself even of the warm breath,
to let all my thoughts rise free as a singing bird –

sometimes there are no songs fit to be sung –
I must lock my words up behind my lips,
I must cage my speech, tie up my unruly tongue,

and sometimes silence is a pillow I can rest upon,
a wave that endlessly carves, reforms, and carves the beach,
a bird rising, rising, and silence the wind it rides on.

Laura is hosting at dVerse for Tuesday poetics. She’s given us a fascinating prompt, inspired by traditional Welsh poetry. We’ve been given a choice of 3 line sets, to make into a series of 3 tercets.

15 thoughts on “Three aspects of silence

  1. You’ve explored the aspects of silence beautifully, Sarah! I love the emptying of warm breath and letting thoughts rise free, and silence as a pillow of rest, but in the present situation, locking up, caging and tying is difficult, when the world is going crazy. Did you see the film that was on TV at the weekend, ‘A Quiet Place’, where blind monsters with enhanced hearing invaded the Earth and the remaining inhabitants had to stay quiet all the time? There was one scene where a pregnant woman was going into a cellar to hide and have her baby. She trod on a sharp nail on the stairs and couldn’t make a sound, and then gave birth under a mattress so as not to be heard making the tiniest whimper.


  2. Words are powerful , but they need to be heard by others, but silence has no words and still can convey the most powerful emotion.


  3. you have given us three versions of silence in tercets so triple points there Sarah! Seriously though it is a wonderful poem and the ease to which you have restrung the rhyme sets is a joy to read. The last stanza is a real humdinger 🙂


  4. This is incredibly beautiful. As I read, I felt the lift – “my thoughts rise free as a singing bird”, and “a bird rising, and silence the wind it rides on.” Wow. I live much in silence, and treasure it. Some of my best hours with my grandma in the last years of her life were when we just sat together, being, no need to speak. Once we watched a sunset that way. Sigh. I love your writing!


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