December 9, 2004

Into the Silence

The last sound heard before the silence
Settled on my flesh in wisps,
Was the shriek of frozen ambulances
Wraped in sharp, revolving red.
Then two holes in my skull sealed shut,
And on my tongue I heard the tang of brass.

At first a ringing whine rose high and faded far,
Then bells began, each dun and laced with smoke,
And merged with walls of wind upon crisp water,
Bloomed high in white, white only, drifts
Of softly falling snow that falling softly
Blurred beneath all shapes of sound and speech.

The memory remained awhile, and moving lips
Became the signs of sound I could not see
To read, and all my mind filled not with silence,
But with dark brushed on deeper dark
Within which all stars died and dying threw
A single fist of sound beyond all song.

It moaned and chittered, groaned and sighed.
It grinned at me, inscrutable and blank
As shells evicted by the sea are spurned
By waves and parch above the sand,
Polished first by dust, then honed by rain,
Into whitened replicas of stone.

Made new, I loved large gestures.
Marked furrowed face and curl of lip.
Memorized the signing hands that stripped
My half-guessed comprehension bare,
And learned at last to wait upon a glance,
Upon small words scratched on slate.

As days to years enlarged their rule,
All records writ within my skull were smudged,
All songs and music drifted off to send
Pale emblems of their realms as tribute
To the stone that once had formed a throne,
Now crowned with unsensed pleasures shrugged.

All treasure spent, all gems decayed,
All metals melded into dust, all trace of walls
Where once the filigreed firebird sang,
And drums of heroes' skins were stunned,
Were now but shadows strewn as faint
As lines of light on planets seen from space.

And then, with time, all that too -- Erased,
And sands and seas swarmed over all,
And ruled at last alone a globe of frost,
Of ice, of snow, of sheaves of glass,
Until along the farthest strip of polished shore
One distant crystal glinted, gleamed, and chimed.

Posted by Vanderleun at December 9, 2004 11:18 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Very, very beautiful, and very, very sad.

Having been a musician all my life, and with the Christmas season in particular, I don't stop very often to think about utterly I take the joys of music - of listening to music - for granted.

I think I would be unable to stop weeping were I to find myself no longer able to participate in what I love so much.

On the other hand, sometimes I can be a tough little bastard. Whatever. Ya got me thinkin'.

Excellent poem, Gerard.

Posted by: ccwbass at December 9, 2004 7:12 PM