Afraid of Silence

Why are we so afraid of silence?

The foreground of our lives

is background to noises

even invading the peace of dreaming:

Alarming radios, shocking clocking,

bugling for bungling bungalow burgling,

auto-deterrents for auto thieving,

surreptitious sirens, wailing conveyances,

impersonal anti-personnel alarmists,

bull-cars snorting, to be loosed raging

on frost-freezy mornings,

rubber tyres squealing, calmness erasing,

rootin’ tootin’ hooters blinkin’ honkin’,

braindead babble from TV screams

and animals yet! The tom-cat falsetto,

repetitious hounds barking darkly,

birdsong where the breed survives,

childer squawking, whining, dinning,

clicking, clacking, well-shod two-step

late-as-you-like from the ruby-dub-dub,

domestic incidents overspilling,

true-life drama tense tooth-gritting,

goes with a bang! on Unholy Eve,

do-it-yourself (but never inaudibly)

hammer klammer katzenjammer

and, when we find ourselves, alone,

in a silent room with a silent companion,

the roar of silence is too terrifying

to contend with sans army of distractions

to blunt their focus. Their presence demands

a comment, an action, a movement, a sound,

and tension spoils the opportune moment

to be.


First published in Reach


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