Perhaps it’s best not to speak for a while.
A vow of silence. An hour at least, maybe
two. An entire day, whole, self-contained,
its own thesis, my presence not needed as
proof of anything. I may be struck dumb
already, just unaware. I move to speak,
choosing a word for texture, for resilience,
a sense of refreshing falling over me, others
nodding to keep me thinking I’ve been
heard. So difficult to know the penance
one is doing for some past choice in need
of forgiveness. Is tripping on the sidewalk
penance? Is losing one’s keys? Being lost
on mountain roads? What about cancer,
mudslides, tsunamis, fires on the horizon?
Whose penance requires standing before
a cliff for three full minutes, deciding to
step back? Perhaps it’s best to take a vow
of not trying to understand our thoughts.
What sense in how the light stuns beautiful
a spider web brushed from porch columns,
rebuilt overnight? What sense in Blake’s
human form divine, in priests in black gowns
making their rounds, graves where flowers
should be? No wonder the world is remade
in a sparrow’s eye, in whispers between
whispers we attempt to share, in prayers
slipped in between the prayers we pray.
No wonder the words of a poem are not
the ones we hear nor the ones the poet,
searching an hour’s lack, wrestles into
place, the silence suddenly more silent,
deeper and farther than first conceived.
Also by Jeff Hardin (see all)
- Partial View - May 24, 2022
- In Search of a Chapel Built in Our Midst - May 24, 2022
- Concerning Explanations - February 25, 2022