is always felt
before it is heard.
and not heard.
Audible is a statement
of intent. When you could hear a pin drop,
did you get the point? You didn’t.
You think the world heard
Krakatoa? Thunder emanating
from sand suction-dredged by mineral undertow
clawed by pounding breakers
– the way an arctic fox leaps
to excavate – not the cataclysmic collision
of matter but the void
compressed by cubic tonne
its only release, to let out a peal
that reverberates the bowels
of deaf people, every beat, on impulse they distinguish
Received, emitted, rejected, audible, silent –
by resistance density is gauged. Blindly
a submarine threads a needle,
tickles its way through
strait and sound.
Radio hosts incessant talk, saying nothing,
rebounds. One rants, erecting a wall,
another nods, demolishing one. In a heated discussion
a calm person whispers and everyone turns,
‘pardon?’ One massages, another grates. Some utter no words,
their silence even ignored speaks volumes
weightier than mercury, war
People who never heard,
or heard of, Hiroshima
felt it. Nagasaki felt
and never heard.
listening is an art,
presumption presumably monochrome
If we could hear
would deafen us.
A lion roars
not aloft as often depicted
by circus tamers and Metro Goldwyn Mayer,
but at the ground to amplify
not the sound.
The sea roars
its incessant din, also lulls,
when calm we imagine
it must be quiet out there
but, as with us, sound travels
below the surface. We feel
what it sounds like at its core.
Its oceanic depth
– that silent world –
measured in waves, momentary reflections
smashing plates, undermines and usurps, gasping
Did you hear
the birds and tide retreat
prior to tsunami?
Some say waves are constant,
not permanent, yet ours remain –
even when uttered
and heard – mostly
unfelt. Either way can be
a blessing. “You can’t close your ears
to the sound of a child’s cry,” or tell,
looking each other in the eye,
but nature’s rumbling will
never be defied.
(Copyright – Kendal Eaton 2018)
Illustration Nick Victor