poem on silence (or lack of)

Silence Reaching (2013)

in the modern era
silence exists

a decision
a punishment

noisy with appeals
recognizes the imperative
goes on speaking anyway

an intention
an expectation

perforated by sound
enriching emptiness
a resonating eloquent silence

je pe deges parmi le solitude*
horizon
discovery
and formulation

never has less advanced itself as
more

soliciting total attention
strenuous modesty
actual debility
cleansed non-interfering vision
certifying the absence

long silences become almost palpable
spiritual nausea
harsh despair
perverse apocalypse
deployed with systematic irony

blood-tide of decadence
the approaching end
post political electronically connected cosmopolis checked by despair
leaves one without
any
breath
at
all

(*translation – I’m a lonely one)

I actually recorded this one. I always think poetry needs to be spoken/read out loud. Enjoy.

… on…swallows play….

 

Field For Swallows Play

Field For Swallows Play

Where have all the swallows gone?
wings clipped
caged spirits
songs silenced
ghosts of freedom

murmurations
of grace and dignity
gone gone gone
hiding in dark shelters

feathers tremble
hearts quiver
waiting for the noisy,
angry hunter to leave

fire burns the fields
arrogance tears down shelters
bringer of death
the enslaver comes with a mocking grin
noisily waving a flag

…into the silence…

Are you comfortable with silence?
Do you enjoy silence in the presence of others?

(repeat) Are you comfortable with silence?
Do you enjoy silence in the presence of others?

Where is the silence in sound?
Do you fill your space with “noise” that speaks of silence?

OR

Do you enjoy actual silence?

While complete silence does not exist (unless it is manufactured – i.e. a soundproof room) Why do we feel the need to fill the void and space with more sound? There is a lot of music and songs that speak of silence. Sound is always trying to tell us what silence is.  ONLY silence can tell us what it really IS. Experience the silence! The ears and eyes deceive us. Let your heart feel the nuances and subtlety of silence. Know peace.

Exercise:

  •   Step 1:  Turn off the television
  •   Step 2:  Turn off the radio/stereo
  •   Step 3:  Turn off your phone/mobile device
  •   Step 4:  Turn off your computer
  •   Step 5:  Stop talking
  •   Step 6:  Listen (some beginners may want to close their eyes – but not necessary – as you get comfortable with the    silence you will find that having your eyes open can enhance the experience)
  •   Step 7:  Observe (listen)
  •   Step 8:  Practice slow regular breathing – in and out, in and out
  •   Step 9:  Observe the symphony of “other” sound and how it makes you feel.   Start to enjoy and feel comfortable with it.
  • Step 10:  Repeat.

Note:  Do not try to control others during this exercise (i.e. telling them to be quiet etc).  It is only necessary to control yourself.

After you do this in a state of stillness – next try to physically move through your day in complete silence (it may be in how your walk, how you respond/communicate with others).  It may be at work or a walk in the park or through town.  How does your peace, your quiet, affect your relationship with, and to, other sentient beings?

“Silence is a friend who never disappoints.” ~ Confucius

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“I have begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it.  It has a quality and a dimension all its own. ~ Chaim Potok

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“Never miss a good chance to shutup” ~ Will Rogers

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“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs.  When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” ~ Ansel Adams

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“He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.” ~ Elbert Hubbard

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“Silence is a source of great strength.” Lao Tzu

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“Silence is only frightening to people who are compulsively verbalizing.” ~ William S. Burroughs

May all of you enjoy a quiet and peaceful weekend.  Peace.

When the Crows Awoke

I was there when the crows awoke
I’d seen them the night before
Flocking to nearby trees
Under cover of night
A whole murder of crows
Ominous shadows filling up tree branches
As if the trees were in full bloom
Large black blossoms
Shimmering with city light
In the winter’s night air

Now at daybreak
I was there when the crows awoke
Their cawing and chattering so loud
Drowning out the sounds of morning rush hour
…and then…
With excited whispering wings
took flight and were gone
Only the rumble and buzz of morning traffic remains.

***background: I live in the city. And we have a lot of old trees still standing. Of course all the leaves are gone now. I was watching an old silent movie on TV and out of the corner of my eye saw perpetual shadows flickering past my windows. Finally my curiosity got the best of me. I went to the windows and saw the trees filled with hundreds of crows… their arrival continued for at least a couple of hours. Of course I didn’t think to move my car which, although not directly under the trees was close enough for the birds to leave their “mark”. When I went out to my little blue car in the morning it looked like a Jackson Pollock painting with streaks, smears, splats and lines of crow droppings in white, yellow and brown as well as small twigs that had fallen from the trees. What a mess. All-n-all it was a magical experience and worth a trip to the car wash. 🙂

My City

st. bernards no more
I actually went out with my camera again. It’s been quite a while since I went in search of interesting places and spaces. I am amazed at how readily my city tears itself down in ongoing urbacide (urban suicide). There are more real estate signs on vacant lots than I could ever hope to imagine. It seemed sad to remember the places that stood in those empty lots and how all that may remain is someone’s fading photograph. There is a feeling of security in seeing familiar buildings that still stand – a bit like seeing an old friend.  And when those buildings are preserved and reused – all the better.  But too often they are torn down and just an empty space is left.  People don’t want to invest in what was.   What was, is too often viewed as an eyesore, an ugliness, or too costly and is removed – often with the excuse of safety concerns or in the name of progress; when this happens it not only changes the skyline of the city but also the skyline of the cities soul.  Something is missing.   When I got home I wrote this,

HOLES IN MY CITY
There are holes in my city
where buildings used to stand.

Empty spaces are all that remain
where factories made my world.

A dream that never was
cannot be remembered or built upon.

There is no foundation
there is only dust and wind.

Remembrance is only a delusion
sickness of mind and soul
for a community that is trapped
in its struggle to free itself from nothing.

There are holes in my city
where buildings used to stand.

Places where people lived
where the voices of children could be heard.

Now there is silence
even the ghosts don’t linger here.

Some say silence is golden
but the same silence can drive a person mad.

There are holes…

*note – the photo in this post features what used to be St. Bernard’s School. A wonderful stone and brick structure that was originally build in 1887 and was one of the oldest buildings in Akron. Demolition began on 3/28/14. Another hole has been made.

Silence…IS…Golden

The video today is for a great girl band called Savages with their song “SHUT UP” from their debut album SILENCE YOURSELF.  This group “gets it”    Amazing lyrics and the spoken word introduction of the cover poetry is simply amazing!!! There is almost a Taoist feel to this.

Introduction
The world used to be silent
Now it has too many voices
And the noise
Is a constant distraction
They multiply, intensify
They will divert your attention
To What’s convenient
And forget to tell you
About yourself
We live in an age of many stimulations
If you are focused you are harder to reach
If you are distracted
You are available
You are distracted
You are available
You want flattery
Always looking to where it’s at
You want to take part in everything
And everything to be a part of you
Your head is spinning fast
At the end of your spine
Until you have no face at all
And yet
If the world would shut up
Even for a while
Perhaps
We would start hearing
A distant rhythm
Of an angry young tune –
And recompose ourselves
Perhaps
Having deconstructed everything
We should be thinking
Putting everything back together
Silence yourself

 

SHUT UP

TOO MANY TO CONVINCE
TOO MANY TO HIRE
AND NOTHING YOU EVER OWN
THE WORLD’S A DEAD SORRY HOLE
AND I’M COLD, AND I’M COLD
AND IM COLD, AND I’M STUBBORN
I’M SICK TO KEEP IT OPEN WIDE
AND SPEAKING WORDS TO THE BLIND

SPEAKING WORDS, TO THE BLIND
SPEAKING WORDS, TO THE BLIND

AND THE SOUL OF THE PURE
AND THE EYES OF THE LOVER
AND THE ONE WHO TRULY SAW YOUR SOUL
AND THE ONE WHO TRULY SAW YOUR SOUL

I’M THE ONE, WHO TRULY SAW YOUR SOUL
I’M THE ONE, WHO TRULY SAW YOUR SOUL

AND IF YOU TELL ME TO SHUT UP
AND IF YOU TELL ME TO SHUT IT
DID YOU TELL ME TO SHUT UP
OH IF YOU TELL ME TO SHUT IT
I’LL SHUT IT NOW

YOUNG, JUST BORN
FRAGILE AND TREMBLING SOUL
YOU HOLD IT TO THE LIGHT
THAT POURS DOWN THE MOON AT NIGHT
YOU KEPT ON HOLDING IT
YOU KEPT ON HOLDING IT
IT WAS A DANGEROUS THING TO DO
BUT YOU DID IT WHEN NO ONE KNEW
WHEN THE EYES WERE CLOSED
AND THE PEOPLE ASLEEP

NOT AN ANIMAL
NOT A HUMAN
NOT A SOUL
NOT A SOUL

AND IF YOU TELL ME TO SHUT UP
AND IF YOU TELL ME TO SHUT IT
DID YOU TELL ME TO SHUT UP
OH IF YOU TELL ME TO SHUT IT
I SHUT IT NOW

I AM A BREAKER OF OCEAN
LEADEN LIKE A BULLET TO THE SUN

I AM A BREAKER OF OCEAN
LEADEN LIKE A BULLET TO THE SUN, TO THE SUN, TO THE SUN…