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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. A chair
    Solid rock beneath me
    Water lapping the shore
    like a loving dog
    The shade of fragrant pines
    Mist to form a cloak of solitude
    A boat for change of venue,
    though I doubt I’ll need it
    A loon beyond the gray
    telling me in tremolo
    “Today, this is all you need.”

  2. six twenty am.

    barest hint of daybreak in the sky above the chimneys and the morning’s
    cold with autumn early.
    shapes of darkness flutter by the silhouetted treelines as bats claim the last of the
    moments of the night.

    the birds are singing.

    standing in the dark to watch the breaking of the morning
    standing in the dawn to fill your self with silence

    the birds are singing loud

    filling air with song of morning
    filling ears with song of silence
    filling soul with twilight blue of the flutter of the breaking of the silent-singing morning.

  3. Space

    Solitude drifts on currents
    Of wind and water

    Silence resides in stillness
    Of heart and soul

  4. The blue vessel waits

    Off shore these disquiet disorders
    Once calmed and somewhat placed

    A dock to step off
    Into His boat of grace

    Ebbing toward deeper water of love
    While rest wakes

    The blue vessel waits.

  5. Sunday Service

    A quiet hovers around the edges of morning,
    no cicadas screaming the urge to procreate,
    no human sounds emanate
    from teenage radios,
    the trees keep their own peace
    and a gardener ventures out to work,
    enveloped in the stillness
    breathing only when necessary,
    in silence more church-like
    than church.

  6. Dusk

    On my back
    on bench under tree
    at dusk.
    Trunks reaching up
    branches overlapping
    variety of leaves
    slim, fat, large, small.
    Varying shades of green
    rustled by the breeze.
    Will it bring rain?
    Canopy darkens
    all green dark, dull.
    Breeze quickens,
    time to go.
    Blessed by fireflies
    on the way home.

  7. This poem is by Alden E. Sproull:


    Setting with anticipation of the
    coming of a new day, my mind
    has distanced itself from the noise
    of yesterday, with its laughter,
    joking, splashing, the excite-
    ment of joy pouring over all of us.
    My soul longs now for the quiet,
    its stillness and silence enfolds
    as this new space opens to me.
    As the fog lifts, light brings with it hope
    no matter the issue which roused
    me so early to the lake front, it seems
    to have faded by the silence .
    Deep sighs releasing tight energy
    so healing can come. The silence has
    birthed a new perspective
    into the freshness of a clear new day.

    —Alden E. Sproull

  8. The mist rises as heart thoughts rising to my head.

    All is peace and silence,
    No traffic heard,
    No planes intrude,
    Just me and God.

    A whippoorwill occasionally calls out,
    “You are loved,
    Hear and see the beauty of God.”
    A faint breeze tickles me, whispering,
    “God is love. You are are love.”

    Peace to all who enter this sacred silence.