Unpeeling silence

layer by layer


wait for the reverberations of the car to pass

let the air settle



first the mewling buzzards and fractious crows

woodpeckers calling in alarm

a dog barking lazily

a cock crowing

wood pigeons singing love songs

swallows’ twittering

bees’ low hum


then peel back the hissing of poplars in the breeze

dry maple leaves crashing to dry earth

grass crackle.




a clock ticks.


Then you can hear it



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.

Poetry challenge #49: Painful silence

Yesterday was a migraine day. It hasn’t gone entirely so screen work is still slow and difficult. Pain in the head makes it hard to think straight and it distorts thought and vision. The poems that form when we are in a state of tension or pain are different to those that spring from a more placid, stable frame of mind.

The Daily Post prompt for yesterday was silence, a very tempting one when the inside of your head is a mass of jangling nerves, but also one that seems impossibly elusive. The poem below is the first ‘silence’ poem I jotted down. I don’t suppose this is an original form and there’s probably a name for it, but is seemed like enough of a challenge to me yesterday. You can try one out if you like. I think you need at least three stanzas of three lines each using the rhyme scheme:

abb acc add aee

This week’s challenge is to write a poem about pain, physical and emotional. We’ve all suffered pain of one sort or another and it could be a productive exercise to channel the emotions generated by pain into a poem and create something beautiful from it.

Same rules, post the link to your poem in the comments box before next Tuesday, and please don’t let the theme get you down 🙂

Suggested words to think about, not necessarily use

Silence, raucous, pulse, haven, lethargic, silver

The image is entitled ‘Deep dream, white noise’.



No silence in the city,

No soft pools of darkness between the lights,

No infinite velvet in the nights.


No compassion and no pity,

Where cold shadows fill with ragged lives,

And the night wind is sharp as knives.


Close your eyes, the dark’s duplicity

Winks with ceaseless, flashing pain,

Mocking laughter in the rain.


To dream of life’s simplicity,

Of gentle swell on oceans deep,

Is all a lie when there is no sleep.

Silence slumbers

The Daily Post prompt is: silence. Appropriate for a migrainy day.


Silence slumbers on the far reaches,

Sand slips between clawing fingers,

And the pounding roar of the surf

Fills every hollow inside the skull.

Where does the darkness hide

When the night is full of light?

And the streetlights throb like open wounds,

Their gaudy lament jingle-jangling

On the hard glitter of the streets?

Silent sleep evades, furtive as cat shadows,

And the clanging of the night train,

Rollocking through the last tunnel,

Draws nearer and louder,

But though I wait with anguished withheld breath,

It never arrives.

Poetry challenge #33: Silent cascade

The form I’ve been using a lot recently is the cascade. Shadow Poetry explains how to do it, but it’s not difficult, no rhymes and a lot of repetition. Four stanzas of three lines where the first line becomes the last line of the second stanza, the second line becomes the last line of the third, and the third line becomes the last line of the fourth. It creates an attractive trickle-down effect.

The picture of a cascade I had in mind is entitled Silence so you can think of the title as a bonus prompt. Otherwise, you might like to use these words:

Cascade, tresses, eagle, abandon, rippling

This is another rather odd painting. Silence, next to a waterfall? What is the woman listening for? Her expression isn’t fearful, more interested than excited. And what is that deer doing behind her? See what you can get out of it and post the link to your poem in the comments. My poem is below.


Standing in the cascade’s spray,

Water tresses, sunlight glinting,

Watching the river run away,


I wonder is bright water rippling

On the bank where now you stand,

Standing in the cascade’s spray?


Does your heart lie dull, a dead weight,

The joy too sharp in night time dreaming,

Water tresses, sunlight glinting?


Or do you soar in wild abandon,

Eagle-free on pinions spread,

Watching the river run away?

Falling starlight

A quatern I spent yesterday evening writing. Another poetry form using a refrain. I altered the last refrain slightly because it sounds better.



Falling starlight breaks and lies,

Upon the roses glowing violet,

Vermilion cloud, a night owl’s cries,

Captured rays of faded sunset.


Though in the dark sky moonlight floods,

Falling starlight breaks and lies,

In pools of silver on the woods,

Where the silent night owl flies.


Pale wings beating skim the skies,

The scent of roses, where you passed,

Falling starlight breaks and lies.

On bitter lips, a kiss, your last.


The fox slips silent, still the hare,

The night is listening to your lies,

The owl cries in the garden where,

Falling starlight breaks and dies.

Eloquent silence

A triolet in response to the Secret Keeper’s word prompt. This week’s words:



Eloquent silence of your eyes,

Resolute drumming of my heart,

Sentiment out the window flies.

Eloquent silence of your eyes,

And all the love within me dies.

You don’t deny our lives should part,

Eloquent silence of your eyes,

Resolute drumming of my heart.