some days i spend entirely in silence,
carefully lifting and setting down each
foot, each book, each glass of milk.

come evening, i huddle together with
those creatures who hide in quietude,
fragile ones often scared away by voices

but lured out by the plain stage of their
absences, tiny lacunae in which we breathe.
like wisened senators together on the bench

their old eyes speak; i gaze back
and hold the question there, conversing
soundlessly as if we sat beneath

the bed of a giant or between the paws
of some fierce beast, puffing out
bursts of hot breath in shallow sleep.

we are deciding what to do
(and when and how)
and feeling brave and feeling stuck.

and then a monstrous snort,
and then we scatter back to holes,
and dens, and nests. and then the day is gone.

tomorrow may be like that, and perhaps
the next. onward towards the urge to speak.


3 thoughts on “vow

  1. I appreciate your poetry. With the high signal to noise ratio for poetry in general, it is fuckin’ awesome to see your new poems and know they are gonna be good before I even get a chance to read through them a few times. You fail to disappoint as always. (If that sounded negative, it is NOT meant that way!)

    Questions – did you format the poem before or after writing it? I thought some of the real “power lines” were self sabotaged by not simply abandoning the format for emotional grouping of lines. I loved it as it is worded, but I feel like there is even more emotion to be unlocked by moving the paragraph breaks around.

    At any rate, thanks for your efforts. Very much enjoy your page.

  2. @slpm: thanks for the affirmation!

    @Crbian: thanks for the great feedback! i kept playing with the breaks — originally this was written with no breaks, but then they seemed like a good idea — until finally i thought, “i’ve lost perspective on this, i’m just gonna post it.” where would you have put them?

    (and yes, there’s a lot of poetry out there that isn’t thoughtful. i know i’ve written lots of things i wouldn’t want to post, but it’s constructive feedback from readers like you that help me grow past that and push me to write more thoughtfully. thanks as always for reading!)

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