Friday, October 22, 2021

Dead Silent


Dead Silent
 The buzz cut off in the flower's throat,
the crunch of green in the hornworm's jaw
gone, and that was the first silencing.

The roadrunner's raspy morning cough,
the thud and peep of the grey toad's hop
stopped, the second silencing.

The bagpipe gliss too high to hear
deep in the whales' wet meadowlands,
the third thing silenced.

Science sucked into apathy's muck,
sense and sanity duct-taped dead: 
the brutish silencing.
The white noise of fools, the grinder's carouse of greed
eating greed, the barker's pitch for fresh trash and blood
plays loudest where breathing is silenced.

October 2021


 posted for Compound Word Verse

and earthweal's
gliss: abrv, glissando, a glide from one pitch to another
Images: Wing Of A Blue Roller, 1512, Albrecht Durer   Public Domain
Untitled (Firetower) © Zdislas Beksinksi   Fair Use


  1. The white noise of fools is everywhere, like aural smog. Maybe it's because I'm old and cranky, but more than ever, I notice the endless shriek of buy-this, believe-that, in a an ever-rising tide.

  2. What a contrast of sounds versus the silencing, from the first to the final one. That last stanza is just chilling!

  3. A stark and poignant warning. The way you build up the silence in layers is dramatic and cutting. We need more of this!

  4. The dead are silenced by our noise, but it is in that shriek that we are shadowed the darkest. The adding of these silences (and the precise frequencies where there are found, excellent) condemns the final stanza's pomp and fury, signifying an empty how. Stanza 3 is scrimshaw for the ages.

  5. My very breath was silenced as I read these words. And the white noise of fools...oh so real, so true.

  6. That's a wonderful Tower image--so apt for the world now--and your chilling words convey its warning well. And I've always loved that bird wing.

  7. I've been reading your most recent work again. Forte, finesse, fantastic, and True with a capital Fu****g.

    This silence is complicit, isn't it?~

    1. Thanks, M. I'm trying to keep all the F's alive, but the last one seems to be most prominent (figuratively speaking, of course. )

  8. We should fear silence more than anything... the world's complacency is what have brought us to the edge of destruction, but the white noise of too many voices wears us out.

  9. It is amazing to read this as I am working on a theme for earthweal about this very topic. Just wonderful writing, Joy. So much noise, so much silencing amidst the cacophony. We are a strange species. The strangest.

  10. "The white noise of fools, the grinder's carouse of greed
    eating greed, the barker's pitch for fresh trash and blood
    plays loudest where breathing is silenced."

    love the way this poem escalates and builds stanza by stanza to the last stanza, which just rips the flesh completely off exposing the dead black hollow bones "the barker's pitch for fresh trash and blood". and i would say just let those cannibals spin around in circles, except for all the collateral damage... well said joy

  11. ... and the silencing continues. Your poem is amazingly moving, Joy Ann.

  12. Breath silenced is the death of it all, both literally and metaphorically, but while we still can, breathe that is, we must do so with meaning and with intent. This you do so powerfully, eloquently and with intensity. Bravo.

  13. ‘The white noise of fools’ - so much said in these few words . Outstanding poem, Joy!


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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