Sometimes Silence

Some­times silence does all the talking.
Sum­mer slides away and we look
into the faces of the dahlias and roses
to see how they show not tell.
This is what it is to find another:
an eye to the blos­som­ing stars,
irra­di­at­ed galax­ies of col­or and form,
freed, like hous­es turned inside out
to wel­come every visitor,
bee and ant and hor­net and human;
leaves tan­gled in dark­ness and roots
that know each oth­er’s secrets
in the world below.

Some­times silence does all the listening.
Our thoughts move down and in
to their gra­cious, slen­der stems.
They take us in, motion us to stay,
invite us, any­one at all, only to consider
where we’ve come from to meet them here
and where we might be going when we’re done.

Some­times silence sees so much better,
one blos­som to the next and next and next.
Such clever mas­ters to sit qui­et­ly this wan­ing season
while we fig­ure on our own the true way
to care for one anoth­er and ourselves.

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  • Some­times silence is lis­ten­ing to all that is not said.

    When we lose our­selves in our silence, our real knowl­edge of the path humbly appears.

    Our jour­ney tru­ly begins when we lose pos­ses­sion of speech and all we are left is silence.

    there­fore for so many silence can be under­stood at times as dis­ori­en­ta­tion that is nec­es­sary as we thrust from what we think we know to all that needs to be.


    GREAT PHOTOS and beau­ti­ful poem.
    Thanks Dan!

  • Beau­ti­ful­ly said, Lol­ly. I love the con­nec­tion with dis­ori­en­ta­tion — and read­ing in a lit­tle — with a sense of awe.

    All the best and thank you for stop­ping by!

  • Hoda Maalouf (@MaaHoda) wrote:

    My rela­tion­ship with silence is bit different:
    I remained silent when I was scared to death from death. I had to be silent and vig­i­lant to save my life and oth­ers who could not remain silent.
    I remained silent when I was deeply hurt and peo­ple only want­ed to see my “beau­ti­ful smile” as they said.
    I cried in silence when I lost dad so my kids would not see me cry. They said he was 94, you should be hap­py that he lived so long. But how could I if I missed him so much!
    I can’t remain silent when I see some­thing beau­ti­ful, just like this poem. I have an urge to share my joy with the world!


  • Dear Hoda~

    Your com­ment high­lights, as Lol­ly’s does, the com­plex­i­ties of our rela­tion­ship with silence. Per­haps, so you get a sense of why I wrote what I wrote, I should offer some background.

    Look­ing at the flow­ers I was some­how remind­ed of an arti­cle on Zen Bud­dhism I read a long time ago. Per­haps it was by D.T. Suzu­ki — I can’t remem­ber. Any­way, the author explained that as a heal­ing prac­tice a mas­ter might sim­ply sit with some­one who was trou­bled or afraid, say­ing noth­ing. Words were no longer appro­pri­ate or nec­es­sary. The mes­sages of com­fort and strength­en­ing came through the teacher’s silent pres­ence, an ulti­mate form of com­pas­sion with­out the need to ver­bal­ize everything. 

    The flow­ers I saw drew me to that same space where words were unneed­ed. It was as if all of them became my Zen mas­ters and I received their strong messages.

    Your heart­felt com­ment shows how dif­fer­ent the role of silence might be — from sav­ing our lives to nur­tur­ing a pri­vate grief. And I like that you can­not remain silent for beau­ty! I can­not either!

    All the best~

  • Hoda Maalouf (@MaaHoda) wrote:

    Dear Dan,

    I guess I for­got to add this to my pre­vi­ous comment:

    I remain silent when I hug my kids to com­fort them and make them feel safe close to my heart.

    Such a beau­ti­ful poem & com­ment Dan! No Words can express my gratitude!


  • Hi Dan,
    Love­ly poem for it takes me far past the words to anoth­er place. That place is dif­fer­ent for each and yet the jour­ney lifts us to a lev­el we did­n’t even dream of.

    I must give you a spe­cial thank you for using the word “some­times”. Some­times rep­re­sents bal­ance. It rep­re­sents a nat­ur­al truth for the oppo­site — always — is gen­er­al­ly a skewed per­spec­tive, a place to hide, or a con­trol­ling wish.

    There are times that silence isn’t the appro­pri­ate response. There are times when silence can actu­al­ly cause oth­ers pain.

    Yet some­times it is the most apt step giv­en the moment.

    Bra­vo on this post — it’s terrific.

    Warmest wish­es,

  • Dear Kate~

    What you say is so true, and per­haps that is why I love so much how the silence of flow­ers is dif­fer­ent. They sim­ply show us them­selves rather than try­ing to tell us what we should be or do. 

    Their advice on how we might live, it seems to me, is always an open book, but instead of words, we get a ring of wild­ly or soft­ly col­ored petals and, for ros­es any­way, an inde­scrib­able scent that cuts through a life­time of mem­o­ries. All the ros­es I’ve ever smelled some­times seem like only one. 

    Our human silences can cause so much pain, it is true. I once watched a man break into tears as he real­ized that his fam­i­ly had been silent at every meal togeth­er for years. I say let a dif­fer­ent kind of silence reign, the one that dress­es the flow­ers. It soft­ens our hearts and reminds us to smile as they do, out­ward­ly to the world and also inward­ly to themselves.

    All the best to you!


  • My dear friend, I read this post yes­ter­day and LOVED it! Was on the whole ‘voice’ podi­um and theme yes­ter­day so…not in my ‘qui­et’ space at that time. (grins) LOVE the pic­tures and your words.…a moment of peace, tran­quil­i­ty and gen­tle still­ness to qui­et the mind and allow it to rest so the heart and soul have time to just ‘be’ .….

  • Dear Saman­tha~

    Thank you so much! I under­stand — every­thing in its time. When the heart and soul have “time to just ‘be,’ ” I believe we dis­cern more accu­rate­ly how it is we are to go for­ward, car­ing for one anoth­er and ourselves. 

    We have that inner resource, some­thing not quan­tifi­able, and there­fore some­times invis­i­ble to any­thing but the “naked eye” — that eye we use to see a flower, expe­ri­ence it, and let us speak to us by show­ing, not telling

    Thank you again, my friend, for shar­ing here!

    Many best wishes

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