Sonorous Silence

by John Herzog

As you tiptoe out
over the cool stone
of your driveway
on this June evening,
I want you to fall gently back
and hold your hands
toward the constellations
and let the earth
be your mattress
as you gaze out
into the window
of the skies
into the darkness dotted
with twinkling lights
that gaze sweetly
and gently
upon you
and you know
they are your comrades

Though this mattress
is hurtling you through space
at eighteen miles per second,
you'll never really reach them
Eighteen miles per second
could carry you to the stars,
but you'll only go as far
as you take yourself,
and you'll never find
life on other worlds
when you can't even find it
on this one

But if not life,
what do you call the
song of the crickets
that chirp away
the background music
to your late-night lament?
If not life,
then the earth is
doing all it can
to break the searingly
sonorous silence
because you never know
when the low
heavy hush
of your breath
is going
to stop


Author's Note: who knows.

Posted on 06/10/2010
Copyright © 2021 John Herzog

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Glenn Currier on 05/25/18 at 10:48 PM

First of all, I like that word, sonorous. I was reading a poem by Pablo Neruda the other day and the words touched me so much that I wrote a poem of my own entitled Resonance. The Spanish word for resonance is sonoro. I love Spanish and Neruda is one of the reasons. I like your poem, the words that flow and seem to be like leaves in a stream gathered together but in moving easily and gently upon the water. The earth as a mattress, standing there reaching for constellations, the images you use are brilliant. But then at the end when you say: "But if not life..." you bring the whole thing to a nice focus on the humanity of the subject. "Searingly sonorous silence..." these words are so evocative in light of the noise that seems to rush at us from all sides - that we become so strangely and perhaps pathologically accustomed to. Thanks for this beautiful piece, John.

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