Silence broken

As I sit on this glorious autumn morning of warm sun, I can hear, all around me the sound of gunfire. I defy anyone who is not a completely insensitive brute to listen to the sound of senseless killing and not be angered and sickened by it. A cleave poem for OctPoWriMo’s silence prompt.

A cleave poem is three in one: left side says one thing, right side says its opposite. Read together they make a third poem.



Early morning gold / the shadows lie

thick beneath the trees/ cool and deep­—

autumn settles / with a stealthy rustle,

when the only sound is birdsong/ hunters creep

beneath the wing-fluttered hedge/ deer startle into flight

I hold my breath/ as silence breaks with sharp retorts

and russet flashes, gone / shattered the fragile peace

where wild things go / snapped the thread of life

I watch the silence /as death falls on fallen grace

filling the space of beauty lost/ for some warped and dark delight.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

53 thoughts on “Silence broken”

      1. The irony of a stirring, beautiful piece is that mostly it is written from first hand experience. We write best about things that move us (positively or negatively).

    1. I’m sick of it. The peace and tranquillity is destroyed by a tiny minority who get their thrills from killing completely inoffensive creatures that just ask to be left alone. It’s no less than murder.

  1. A wonderful cleave–the two sides opposites–but it all fits together. But so horrible. You live in such a beautiful place, but to have that, too, is awful and tragic.

    1. Thank you. I don’t know how long I can take it to be honest. It’s every day for five months of the year. There are only a handful of chasseurs, but it only takes one popping off again and again and you feel as though you’re under siege. There is no justification for it, but they have votes so…

      1. There’s supposed to be a minimum distance around houses, but the hunters have the right to follow an animal they claim is ‘theirs’. It’s just totally wrong. It’s 7.30 pm here and they’re still shooting. They don’t come close to us any more, but they’re in all the wooded areas round about.

      2. There is something inherently nasty in human nature. So many people are either knowingly cruel or they are compliant with it. Which is more or less the same thing.

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