There is a lot to be said for silence
though it would be disturbed by a word.
There is much inspiration in music
but it has no note as fine as that chirped by a bird.
The silence of a kitchen can seem monastic,
if the mind attends in the right mood.
The silence of a clean plate
can seem to hold the key to the cosmos
if no loud thought is allowed to intrude.
When on the train the ear is aware
of the silence of air and land
above and below the clattering churn of the wheels
on the interminable rails,
while the run through the tunnel says, take comfort,
true dark will only come when all the light fails.
The lasso of the cowboy, the gun in the holster,
the piano in the saloon, the spear in the shaft,
random memories blocked in a sudden
by the cloth caterpillar that lay at the foot of the door
to keep out the draught.
Old man sat on an airport bench listens to the silence
below the loud speaker announcements,
the footsteps of the passengers,
the hum of the escalators,
no ticket or passport in his pocket,
he just finds it an interesting place to sit,
does not consider himself an idler.
Whatever he lacks it was not want of wit.
Maybe he is God but has decided to keep quiet about it,
will announce it when he sees fit.
Meanwhile, a college graduate
walks round a country house party, wearing a monocle,
talks of the operas and plays
he has seen in the capital,
blind to the cold pride in the face of his hostess,
who wishes her invited company she could forsake,
while outside the curtained windows,
a swan swims in silence on the late evening lake.