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

between vibrations.


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

and peace.


People who never heard,

or heard of, Hiroshima

felt it. Nagasaki felt

and never heard.


Someone said

listening is an art,

presumption presumably monochrome



If we could hear

all communication

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

much further

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

for air.


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


This entry was posted on in homepage and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.