The Penury of Silence

I met him in that labyrinth of solitariness,
where no one else was supposed to be,
a makeshift mendicant,
his tin cup filled with unopened words,
dragging behind him,
a line of a hundred gagged whispers,
constellations shifting in their unseeing eyes;

in the end, there is never anything left to say,
even pain stops wailing after a time,
we sat there as the skies turned tricks
like a cheap watercolour,
dreaming ugly dreams of songs with no words,
there is no beauty in this penury of silence,
no richness in the indigence of this fractal quiet,

after all, we cannot be certain that
butterflies donโ€™t talk to flowers,
or the lamplight to the oil stained dark,
I imagine conversations flow like moody rivers
between walls, between dawn and dusk
that never should meet, then pray tell me
who keeps account of this lost unsaid.

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25 thoughts on “The Penury of Silence

  1. Woah!
    ‘a makeshift mendicant,
    his tin cup filled with unopened words’
    made me wonder why is he silent – what has he seen, heard, done to render him mute? And then I read that final stanza and wonder why we bother to speak at all because it seems like most of the time no one is listening. Brilliant poem!

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  2. The “lost unsaid” is a double bind or blind, knotting the poem into a stillborn emotional poverty. “There is no beauty in this penury of silence, / no richness in the indigence of this fractal quiet … ” Unquietly, amen.

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