Silence is not a lack of words.
Silence is not a lack of music.
Silence is not a lack of curses.
Silence is not a lack of screams.
Silence is not a lack of colors
or voices or bodies or whistling wind.
Silence is not a lack of anything.
Silence is resting, nestling
in every leaf of every tree,
in every root and branch.
Silence is the flower sprouting
upon the branch.
Silence is the mother singing
to her newborn babe.
Silence is the mother crying
for her stillborn babe.
Silence is the life of all
these babes, whose breath
is a breath of God.
Silence is seeing and singing praises.
Silence is the roar of ocean waves.
Silence is the sandpiper dancing
on the shore.
Silence is the vastness of a whale.
Silence is a blade of grass.
Silence is sound
And silence is silence.
Silence is love, even
the love that hides in hate.
Silence is the pompous queen
and the harlot and the pimp
hugging his purse on a crowded street.
Silence is the healer dreaming
the plant, the drummer drumming
the dream. It is the lover’s
exhausted fall into sleep.
It is the call of morning birds.
Silence is God’s beat tapping all hearts.
Silence is the star kissing a flower.
Silence is a word, a hope, a candle
lighting the window of home.
Silence is everything –the renewing sleep
of Earth, the purifying dream of Water,
the purifying rage of Fire, the soaring
and spiraling flight of Air. It is all
things dissolved into no-thing–Silence
is with you always…..the Presence.
I can’t recall where I ran across this poem (or how it ran across me!) but I transcribed it into my journal in September of 2005 and just leafed past it today.
I am so grateful for the observations of Dr. Upton, especially as I reflect silently at the start of every day.