Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Inside Voices

Inside Voices

We don’t know silence here,
we can’t, but we can imagine
it by gathering the available
quiet and pulling it towards us
like stacks of poker chips.

We draw it into our bodies,
the quiet. To listen better,
we make ourselves quiet,
ease air down the trachea
without letting it scrape

against our throat or mouth,
soft-pedal our brain so it
doesn’t crackle as we think.
What parts of yourself
did you trim away when told

to use your inside voice.
Where do our voices hide
within us, our noisy bodies.
What could we feed them
in order to coax them out.


  1. I'm going to keep asking myself the question your poem poses.

    Reading several poems today. And I like reading this one with "Cymbalism" also in mind! Loving the sounds of that and the silences of this.

  2. What a thought-provoking poem! And, as Kathleen notes, an apt complement to yesterday's poem.

    Sleep is supposed to be a time when our brain rests, and yet think of all the noise in our dreams.

    I like your source of inspiration, too.

  3. Talk about grounding heaven. "Where do our voices hide / within our noisy bodies?" Indeed.

  4. Love it...I do that frequently when I shut out the outside and selectively allow a few in my own world where I can think and be happy : ) You are the best as I have told you a dozen times perhaps now. xoxo

  5. The image goes well with this poem. I am always pulling the available quiet towards me. I love this poem.

  6. from Therese L. Broderick -- I like the soft-pedal and the poker chips images. I like the turn of the common phrase "indoor voices" into the more complex "inside voices." Nowadays, so many voices are "inside" the "chips" of computers, phones, cameras/videos, GPS, etc.


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