PROMPT #401 – THE SOUND OF SILENCE

Simon & Garfunkel

Think the Simon and Garfunkel mega hit of the sixties. Silence has a sound. It is up to us to describe that sound. What do you hear as the sound of silence? Is it eerily strange or quietly cacophonous? What sounds do you consider silent? Take the challenge and make us hear the noise!

MARIE’S QUIET:

Ears to Hear

She sits in silence,
listening for God to speak.
But she hears no one.

She sits in darkness,
watching for God’s appearance.
But she sees nothing.

She grasps at the air,
trying to feel God’s presence.
But she feels nothing.

She raises her voice.
“Abba! Father! Where are You?”
He, soundlessly, speaks.

She closes her eyes,
absorbing His attention,
knowing who He is. 

Her heart hears His voice
in both silence and sound. He
gives her ears to hear.

She opens her eyes
sees Him everywhere, in
all He created.

The air wraps her up,
blankets her in His shelter,
fills her lungs with Him.

She knows she is His.
She sees and hears and feels Him.
She knows what she knows.

© Marie Elena Good, 2022

WALT’S VACUUM:

CRYSTAL STILLNESS

Here amongst the evergreens,
a scene I relive every year
with the fear this immortality
will wear off and folks would scoff
at the fat old man in red.
It is said that those who believe
will receive more than material
gains. It is then that the real
gift of the season comes through.
But I listen, here amongst the pines,
and I’m surrounded by a cold silence;
a whispered wisp of unthawed thought
that soothes this wondering heart.
As I start to think of December
I remember echoes of the past that
blast my memory, and there is no
remedy for this reverie. Names
and faces are revisited on this
mental list that have kissed my
spirit and I hear it once more:
the arctic air, frigid and frosted,
in stillness amongst the evergreens
and marks of reindeer paws,
in crystal silence, I am Santa Claus.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2022

140 thoughts on “PROMPT #401 – THE SOUND OF SILENCE

  1. Wow. Stillness, Marie, the kind we are called to as believers, is the solid spine of this beautiful work.
    Walt, you have artfully revealed a pensive saint here, proving that at the core of this jolly soul, you are a Claus that treasures sacred pause.

  2. SEA OF SILENCE

    There is an expansive silence
    amongst the myriad of stars.

    Their wild, collective color is resilient,
    but their spirit still cannot be heard.

    Perhaps we cannot hear their sigh—
    or perceive the cry of their foreign intelligence.

    The ageless carriage of song and ballad,
    rays versed in the wisdom of the sea of silence.

    Are a concert unto themselves,
    cheering and dancing in tune of their own music.

    © Benjamin Thomas

  3. The Quiet Place

    As children in our country neighborhood,
    mornings to nights were filled with sounds
    of children playing, fighting, laughing
    shouting from one large yard to another
    or parents calling or whistling for their kids.

    Pappap would leave his house open
    when he’d be working out and about
    or visiting his lady friend in Johnstown.
    We’d usually play in their together
    with all our noise and commotion.

    But the times I went in alone, I’d marvel
    at how still and quiet it was in there.
    I’d snatch some orange circus peanuts
    from the striped ceramic candy dish.
    The clattering lid broke the silence.

  4. Freedom of Religion

    Thank you for extending
    your love and hope.
    Feel free to keep doing so,
    but if you see me, really see me,
    please don’t always
    feel the need to tell me.
    When my lips are closed,
    it does not mean, every time,
    that it’s your turn to speak.
    When my lips are closed,
    there’s more room
    for my heart to speak.
    Even when you see me crying,
    it doesn’t always mean I need help.
    Spirit speaks quietly to me.
    Most out-loud sounds are only noise.
    Even though most yearning hearts ask,
    can we still speak to God,
    I prefer to sit in silence,
    listening for my stage directions
    from the Universe.
    All is well and I am grateful.

  5. (and one more for here, the sequel to the first)

    Pass-a-Grill Listened To

    It is merely quiet here.
    But there is silence, too.

    Silent is the curve of heron’s neck,
    an echo of her careful stride
    long-legged deliberation in her eyes.

    Silent is the wait of a sand castle,
    constructed on the shore
    just yesterday
    expecting nothing more than a return to random scattered sand
    by faith in an expected tidal flow.

    And silent is my fear.
    There’s nothing here that makes
    me want to doubt
    a bright eternity wrapped around
    a core of silent joy.

    © Damon Dean, 2022

  6. Empty Nest Silence

    The empty nest, once quite bustling
    With our children slowly rustling
    Frantic parents quickly hustling
    To get them off to school

    The cheese wagon picks all them up
    We relax and fill our coffee cups
    Then clean the messy kitchen up
    Then off to our jobs we go

    For a while the noisy nest is quiet
    Enjoyed only by our sleeping cats
    Until the cheese wagon brings them back
    Then the quiet disappears

    Dinnertime sounds like a train wreck
    Eating together, all hands on deck
    A good time for the homework check
    Then off to get the work done

    Then they all pitch in for bedtime chores
    The garbage, the dishes, then sweep the floor
    While papa in his Lazy Boy snores
    He could sleep through a tornado

    Then it’s time for heading off to sleep
    Hope they pray to God their souls to keep
    Ten minutes pass and not one peep
    Now it’s time for mom to relax

    This pattern repeated year after year
    As they grew different sounds we would hear
    Then one by one they disappeared
    Walking down their own chosen paths

    Then came the glorious empty nest
    The day we once thought would be best
    No noise, no drama, or all the rest
    But it wasn’t quite like we thought

    The empty nest silence is deafening
    Not so glorious like we were thinking
    In a way, however, it’s a blessing
    It’s God telling us we did good

    Now the two of us make our own noise
    We watch movies and play with our toys
    In each other we find love and great joy
    Thank You, God, for this part of life

  7. After Reading the Last Line

    another glance at others
    my eyes lift off the page
    in silence a resonance found
    something greater taken in
    than words on a paper
    the poem I read
    finds new life
    in others’ hearts
    hidden meanings
    between lines
    a life of conversations
    takes pause
    people gather in a circle
    someone looks at me
    and asks for more
    a soft glow of light
    in a library
    a long good-bye
    cornfields outside
    dance and sway
    in a gust of wind
    stir images to share
    another time
    tires sing on a long drive
    a brief patter of rain
    in my mind
    the echo
    of words I read
    as dusk shadows the land

  8. Cochlear turned on to hear
    What would otherwise be silence
    A gateway into a world of sounds
    A miracle of medical science
    Cochlear changes lives

    Our youngest granddaughter was premature and has sever hearing loss. It looks like she’s got Cochlear Implants in her future. They were a miracle for Rush Limbaugh and our pastor’s daughter, and so many more. We’re praying they work for our little Mina.

  9. WHEN LISTENING

    to just the gentle breeze
    I softly hear the trees

    to caressing ocean waves
    bouncing off cliffs and caves

    to a lively rambling brook
    taking one more fascinated look

    to flowers growing in a field
    even as a child they appealed

    always the quiet sounds of nature
    a calm way for a peaceful mind to endure

    a smile comes as I wander home
    knowing I touched the sound of silence today
    all alone

    (c) Janet Rice Carnahan 2022

  10. Note to Walt and/or Marie: Lately I have been receiving e-mail notices when someone comments on a poem of mine. I did not ask for this service and do not want it; I am content to read comments when I log on to Poetic Bloomings. I have tried to shut off this service by using the link provided in each e-mail, but to no avail. Can you fix this for me?
    Thanks.

    • I’ve been getting them for a while and don’t know how to stop them. I got 4 today just from your comments on my posts.

    • I’ll take a look to see what might have changed unbeknownst to us. We didn’t change anything intentionally. I can tell you that it is likely on your end, but I don’t know how to fix it. There are a few here who have consistently showed up in my email every time they like or comment on one of my comments. I can’t figure out why, and can’t seem to stop it. But again, I’ll check out end to see if something changed. Thanks for pointing it out!

    • Hi again, Bill. This is Marie. I’ve searched all over the place behind the scenes and can’t see where it could possibly be something on our end. Our setting choices are actually very limited, and don’t include anything for sending email notifications to those who visit our site. As I had said, there are a few poets out here from whom, when they respond to a comment of mine, I get an email notification. I don’t get them from everyone. Just a few, and always the same few. I’ve never been able to figure out what is prompting them. I’ve tried. Like you, I don’t want them.

      I’ll get in touch with WordPress help to see if they can give us a clue as to what might be happening.

      • Thanks, Marie. You’re probably right, that the problem is not on your end. Somehow, word-press seems to think that I want e-mailed notices of comments, even though I didn’t ask for them. In looking on the word-press pages, I came across one that seems to do with managing subscriptions. Somewhere in their options, I found one that essentially tells word-press not to send e-mail notices for anything. I checked that option, and am now waiting to see what effect it has.

  11. Speak Up

    The world strolls by far too quickly
    On a downhill run with no end in sight
    The screamers and schemers make all the noise
    As they blame their sins on the silent majority
    And the silent majority sits silent

    The cheating and swindling is rampant
    All now in the bright light of day
    It’s just as God’s Word had predicted
    How the evil one would rule near the end
    Still the silent majority sits silent

    Novembers used to be a time of change
    When the people would speak their minds
    But mule stuffed boxes and the deceased
    With other cons and baits and switches
    The steal happened and we sat silent

    How far will this downhill slide go
    Before the silent stand up and scream
    Our silence has driven many nails
    In the coffin of freedom and liberty
    It’s time for us all to speak up

  12. WHITE NOISE
    I don’t know if I have ever heard complete silence,
    the total absence of noise in our busy world.
    There is always a ticking clock, a rustle,
    footsteps, snoring, chewing, music, and
    absent every other noise, my breath and heartbeat.
    Can thoughts be quiet when the world is not?
    Perhaps silence exists only in the mind.
    To find it, I close my eyes, empty my brain,
    and let out my breath with a long shhhhhhhh.

  13. THE SEAFARERS WAY

    I abhor the oblivion of sound.
    When the silence creeps into the room
    as esurient darkness consumes daylight.

    Then I hear the deafening screams
    of unattended wounds—abandoned rooms,
    filthy, shameful, unkempt.

    The ailing past blight of sunken ships all
    contend; vying to break the surface from the deep,
    yet I must keep…a semblance of composure.

    I abhor the oblivion of sound.
    The surly waves of silence do not emerge quietly.
    They come crashing against the seafarer’s will.

    Seeking to spill into his loathsome little boat.
    Yet, he must master the grand sea of silence—
    lest it overtake the kind bliss of still peace.

    © Benjamin Thomas

  14. MIND THE VALLEY

    Silent thoughts project,
    stretch, take root into the valley.

    Silent—although they speak,
    ethereal things unspoken.

    They grow, some weeds, bristles,
    thorns, wildflower feats, beautiful.

    Some become louder than others—
    even compete—in this land.

    Speaking the unspoken.

    © Benjamin Thomas

  15. SILENCE IS…

    Silence is…..

    When You’re home alone
    basking in a tide of solitude.

    Silence is…..

    The sound of each breath
    becoming abundantly evident.

    Silence is…..

    When you can finally hear yourself
    speak.

    Silence is…..

    Less of the world’s noise,
    and sounds you chose to seek.

    Silence is…..

    Attained when you put to rest
    your own internal clatter.

    Silence is…..

    Listening—to the air—
    communicating quietness.

    © Benjamin Thomas

  16. TRUE SILENCE

    True silence,
    does not exist in nature.

    You must go far, far beyond
    this earthly ball.

    You must reach for the stars.
    Join the heavenly host.

    Then, and only then,
    will you achieve what most
    have not, but seek—which is true silence.

    The utter calm
    beyond human comprehension.

    Tis the bewildering psalm
    of nothingness.

    © Benjamin Thomas

  17. AN UNSILENT ART

    Poetry is not a silent art.
    Words are contemplated,
    mused, assembled:

    To write, indite a form—there
    they have a start.

    They set sail, with all
    manner of moving winds.

    Undertaking an
    adventurous journey—

    To a blessed place
    of paradise.

    The land of hearts.
    There—they speak.

    © Benjamin Thomas

    • It looks like all five of these were composed in the dark. The cornucopia of images and sounds is astounding. Marvellous.

  18. In Morning Silence

    We pace each other
    up the highway ramp
    accelerating slowly slowly
    feeling the lift sensing the rise
    a Great Blue Heron alongside
    our silver impala close enough
    to touch to see eye to eye
    crest lifting feather by waving feather
    above the regal head blending into
    body’s lean line stretching into
    pale yellow legs held tightly together
    like those of a diver mid-air
    the whole a single slash against
    the pale light drawn across the
    Johnson grass and sunflowers

    we hold our breaths in the silence
    filling the space inside the car
    all sound suspended even though
    we inhale/exhale on every beat
    of his pulsing wings up/down behind
    the stiletto bill shattering a million molecules
    off air hydrogen and oxygen impaled

    and then the slow angling over as he passes
    above the car to continue flying west
    our speed a crawl as still we keep abreast
    the heron slicing morning stillness
    and still no one speaks spellbound
    as if filled with reverence and awe
    the car become some roadside chapel
    and we, unexpectedly blessed.

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