Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Song for Silence

 by Steve King

A vacant house still stands in memory,
lost in tangle, past the old orchard.
No ghosts there,
just the sound of owls at twilight,
and fireflies to light a hidden path.

An old door beckoned,
rusty hinge to greet.
Still, it was no struggle,
just a reminder
time has its distinct reality
beyond the call of clockfaces
and endless afternoons.

In the furthest corner, a forgotten picture
of some long absent face,
now to be unmourned
through all new ages.
It regards the empty room,
smiles with unflinching gaze,
keeping ancient secrets
now mingled with these memories of my own.
It was discomfiting at first to stay,
as if trespassing in this other’s dream,
as if appearing unbidden
in the midst of a stranger’s
most intimate, unfinished thought.

The most unlikely sight:
a piano, waiting,
amid air that never stirred,
for the sound of new voices,
for pealing gladness, and impertinence,
and a noisy hunger for display.
Now no laughter, nor despair;
in the truest of silence,
at last, no room at all for any song.

I surveyed the scale of abandonment,
each shadow now it’s own chapter
in a long closed book,
an unsung canto to recall in part
the muted meter
of some flown soul’s epic loss.

My memory seems just another relic,
resting on these settled ruins
of some further past:
it was not a place for looking back,
for time had simply stopped,
collapsing to a last instant,
no clue to an arc of devolution;
only remains that tried in vain to speak,
like disturbed earth
that marks the shallow grave.


  1. this was like a stroll through an inner world - one that someone wouldn't see usually except the owner allows one in...and you the mood in this steve

  2. Definitely a walk throw ruined lands, with such a subtle presence to it, very nicely done!

  3. whew haunting write...the faces to be unmourned is a nice touch...a dark and thought provoking write....

  4. This is excellent; can feel the vacant space and "air that never stirred"; I like these lines "My memory seems just another relic,
    resting on these settled ruins". Nice work.

  5. I surveyed the scale of abandonment, LOVE this line. The imagery is fantastic! So very happy we saved you that seat! How many of these wonderful writes do you have hiding?

  6. great imagery here, Steve. Some great lines.

  7. Marvelous imagery on a satisfying journey - wrapped within a number of lovely lines, of which, like Natasha, I can cite "I surveyed the scale of abandonment" among them. Very nice!

  8. This seems like part of a story. Maybe you have more to write about this world? Just a thought :)

  9. Nice. I especially liked:

    I surveyed the scale of abandonment,
    each shadow now its own chapter
    in a long closed book

    And the silent piano!

  10. What amazing imagery! I could smell the dust. Really powerful, haunting piece.

  11. Goodness gracious, I love this in its entirety, was immediately entranced and didn't want to stop reading! I suppose I'll have to read the only other poem on your site; I look forward to more.

  12. What a wonderful expression...... You really nailed emotion on this.... I'm working on a very similar piece about two Victorian homes that were abandoned in my hometown. At midnight we kids would gather and rummage through them, sneaking through their incredibly ornate interiors with the most beautifully crafted woodwork..... Always looking for ghosts that were only ever rumored to be there.... Steve your immaculate piece here just made me realize that mine is a piece of crap and definitely will be updating it...... I really enjoyed this.....

  13. very wonderful piece.

    silent music, powerful way to perceive life.

  14. A haunting write....I especially loved these lines ~ "Still, it was no struggle,
    just a reminder
    time has its distinct reality
    beyond the call of clockfaces
    and endless afternoons." ~ they speak of the 'moment' the 'now'. A wonderful journey through that empty house (mind)Thank you :)

  15. This has a lovely pace, and is very visual and thoughtful. Very nice. The clockfaces part is wonderful.

  16. excellent imagery and flow to this. Perfect story for the upcoming Halloween activities.