There is a strange beauty in the slow loss of sight, for there is a progressive transition, a discovery of much that went unheard, unfelt, missing in the glare of the need to see, to categorize and organize, memories neatly arranged in an array of curated visual files.
But without sight what once was cast aside as noise is an intricate tapestry of sound and undistracted, you begin to see the individual threads to see deeply into the art and craft of the unknown weaver.
Without sight, you so often store images in two dimensions but now requiring touch, everything is three dimensional of necessity and the world is infinitely more complex and yes beautiful than you recalled.
And the darkness of night, which marked a border that dared not be fully crossed grows meaningless and hours once lost may again now demand to be lived.
The gravestones, in random shapes line the hill the morning chill creeps between them and onto the runway until washed away by the spring sun slowly pushing upward as the jet noise washes the hill unheard
He passed away quietly in his bed ending his dread of the cancer slowly engulfing him his vision dimmed by the morphine that pulsed through his veins. He paused to remember the first spring rains.
She selected the plot on the hillside she would confide to friends, so that he might see the valley at long last free, to see the flowers bloom in early spring, the land that was his home and he its king.
One summer the caskets were carried out while the devout cursed the sacrilege of the master plan of the madman who decided that the airport must sit on the hill, his valley forever split.
The jets rush over the cemetery February snows blown across the gravestones in their wake as one snowflake melts slowly on the ground, a falling tear which, unheard, marks another passing year.
First Appeared in Candelabrum Poetry Magazine (UK), April 2002.
Deep beneath the Arctic ice the whale songs shimmer in the harsh light of a frozen sun. We strive to hear them, hear nothing, hear only our thoughts echoing through cavernous memories. With thoughts of what was, what we wish had been, we are ambient noise in a universe which cradles hope, craves silence. Dolphins dream of days when the sea was theirs, lives lived in a slow paradise a world the land- bound would never comprehend even as they laid waste to it.
There is a blessing in silence that we so often deny ourselves, unaware that it lies just beyond the noise of our minds and lives. We crave it, beg for it, and hearing the beggar, shun him for the noise he carries like the skin he cannot molt. Beethoven understood silence in his later years and filled with a music none of us will pause to hear.
He’s heard the expression “the silence is deafening” and he could never understand it. Today they studied his eyes, he staring into the the equipment, lights changing and flashing, they sitting, repeating “Blink.” Soon he understood what it was. to be “blinded by the light”, and while he waited for his eyes to undilate, he imagined blindness, and understood for the first time in is life how a deaf person might crave noise of any sort.
We spend countless time trying to find silence, and when we find it it drives us to distraction. We can lose ourselves in noise as we never can in silence, and being emotionally naked alone is the scariest place this side of death, and we know that death promises only silence eternal.
Namdaeman is a ghetto of shops and stalls, where men squat cupping cigarettes and gesture, their hands grasping stacks of bills, rocking on their heels until they leap up to a patron, asking this price or that, assessing the will of the buyer by the thickness of his or her wallet. An old woman sits on her pack frame, gumming kimchi from a small metal bowl, as two wheeled pack mules sputter and weave by, casting faint blue clouds. Here, where the alley narrows so that a bicycle cannot find passage unless all standing about inhale, where trays of flounder and eels lie amid slowly melting ice, where pigs heads, boiled, stare at the sky in fascination, as their cawls lie in a box below. Here a man sits and grinds dried peppers, his neighbor throwing rotting leaves of lettuce to the ground and arranging the trays of fungi and ginseng. Half of this city walks slowly by, staring at leather jackets, jeans, sweaters and brass pots, Celadon and a sea of shoes crying for their mates in the frottage of commerce.
On the street of brides, a wide avenue of transfixed cars and buses, a cacophony of horns, school girls stare into a sea of windows and imagine themselves in the gowns of lace and beads, their faces the porcelain of the dolls of their childhood, fearing the rupture of their youth.