Invitation to Poetry: Silence

Welcome to the Abbey’s Poetry Party No. 60!

I select an image and suggest a theme/title and invite you to respond with your own poem. Scroll down and add it in the comments section below. Feel free to take your poem in any direction and then post the image and invitation on your blog (if you have one), Facebook, or Twitter, and encourage others to come join the party!  (If you repost the photo, please make sure to include the credit link below it and link back to this post inviting others to join us).

We have started a monthly theme and in September it is silence, drawn from the first principle of the Monk Manifesto: “I commit to finding moments each day for silence and solitude, to make space for another voice to be heard, and to resist a culture of noise and constant stimulation.”

Write a poem about this commitment and desire.  When you quiet all the noise, both inner and outer, what is the voice you hear?

Photo Credit: “Morning Mist” by Claudia Gregoire

Let your response to these questions emerge in a poem and share below in the comments with the Abbey community.

On Sunday, September 23, I will select one name at random from the submissions and the winner receives a free copy of my upcoming book Desert Mothers and Fathers: Early Christian Wisdom Sayings — Annotated & Explained straight from SkyLight Paths.

September’s theme is Silence (Abbey Resources):

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47 Responses

  1. Silent Imagination of a Pastor
    I look out over their blank faces, hollow eyes, and downcast chins.
    My eyes relent in another blur of sad realization
    I have seen this before
    times past time abandoned souls amidst hollow walls
    like whispering echo chambers, they follow me
    branding again the sting and sizzle of a people who lost their way
    captured by hot lettered irons, it burned its sorry imprint, and
    They no longer hear.
    They no longer see.
    They no longer laugh.
    Is it too much to ask? Faith to believe.
    To hear. To see. To laugh again?
    A silent death.
    Stay in this place where the river ran dry?
    Where no one sees their plight, or
    feels their thirsty tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth
    gorged by letters that have stolen their soul
    like crumbling tombstones weathered in winds fight
    Is love enough to live again, to sing to awaken or dance to laugh?
    Listen in silence to see
    rushing rapids and leaping trout.
    Myth is easier to live than truth.
    Imagination more potent than fate itself.
    They want their myth along with their fate.
    They no longer hear.
    They no longer see.
    They no longer laugh.
    And what of me?
    I’m going fly fishing among the rapids and leaping trout,
    along with my imagination.
    S.L.Barley

  2. There’s a word in Hebrew for breath that creates words
    invisible every other season
    in winter it is revealed

    you wake to snow
    find the familiar forest erased
    all detail gone except the contours

    but step into it and see
    places where deer slept
    the night trails of the masked raccoon

    secrets written white on white
    the way silence is full of whispers
    and darkness is more than absence of light

    this word for breath is the same as the word for spirit
    in winter’s solitude it rises over and over from your lips
    like a flock of pale birds

    homing pigeons
    released to the translucent sky
    returning to Source
    unencumbered by sound

  3. Here at Camp Vancounant
    I first set a paddle in the water
    To glide across through the early morning mist
    The only sound
    The gentle dip and swish of the paddle
    And the distant sound of a loon
    Rounding the bend
    We scouted out an inlet
    Filled with open faced Lily pads
    Brilliant white against the deep inlet green water
    It was long ago
    Yet holds here in my memory
    Like yesterday
    The Presence
    Within the silence of the morning mist
    Alive in the gentle breath of water and wave
    The endless forest of trees
    Broken only by a cottage or camp
    Here in the Muskokas
    I found a life that lives in silence
    Fragile , still, eternal
    Untouched by passing time
    Yet alive in the moment
    I was aware for the first time
    Of being wrapped in the morning mist of God
    Silence a close friend of ours
    Holding its breathe among the Lilies

  4. I watch the world
    waken in this place
    of grand silence
    and am aware
    of God’s grace….
    this moment
    soon to change
    as things do
    and know
    I am not alone…………….
    I

  5. In the distance the small sound of a light breeze rustles in the trees
    Upon the lake, like a Montana snow across a frozen highway
    The ethereal mist moves here to there, without direction or place to set
    Then disappears into thin the light as the sun stretches above this hills

    Not shifting the water’s cellophane-jello surface, the sound of the breeze increases
    It comes at once from someplace deep, between every corner and no-where
    Focusing attention to tease out the stillness, filtering the world-sounds
    Goose-honk gives to far-shore campers fading to noseems winging overhead

    Here just above a thistle whisp, the small stillness speaks
    It calls me to sit still and rest
    It calls me to come home
    He is calling my name

  6. I am a drop of water In the Ocean of Life. I am a circle whose Centre is everywhere And circumference
    No where.
    I emerge from Omnipresence and Into It I will merge. I am everyone and Everything and they Are me.
    Let me know Eternity And I will see It in
    A grain of sand.
    Give me Idea and
    I will inscribe it in the Silvery pages of stars. Whisper the Mysteries Of Life in my ear and I Will be silent.
    I awake from my Sense bound living and realise that I Am.

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