Monday, July 26, 2010

Re-entry and a Tuesday Poem


I’m finding it a challenge to modulate my voice. Is this too loud … too soft…? I’m speaking again into this place after a time of absence. Life’s gone on of course, in all its hurly-burly, but part of me has been very quiet.

Research shows that the longer a person holds back from speaking in a group, the less likely they are to begin. Yep. So here I am, tumbling back into my blog, needing to start again this …logue. Suddenly wanting, really wanting, to overcome this curious sense of shyness, this inhibition that feels like it could grow big, and cause me to shut shop here at cadence.

Silence has been a theme for me for a while. I’ve had a love affair with it in recent months. Recently, I’ve been up against its other face. No longer the lush darkly folded place of presence (the fur coat route to narnia), but a place that seemed thin, reedy. I remembered a poem that I wrote a few years ago. Then too, I’d become aware that my own inner sound had altered - a sense that somehow my internal orchestra had gone quiet. It made me wonder – where did all the instruments go?


A piccolo is playing in the hollow of my neck

The orchestra has vamoosed

The performance pit is empty

The piccolo is upstairs, playing on alone

The cello spat the dummy

Is sulking in the corner

Fretting on some score

The double bass has lost heart

It knows by holding still and turning to wood

It can pull off a vanishing trick

The trumpet has given up on noise

And is napping with the mute

On a bed of black velvet.

The violins are awol

Cavorting in a field

They may not be back

The piccolo is not holding its breath



  1. Welcome back, Pam.

    Silence can be a blessing, but it can also be a burden - something about feeling strangled as your poem suggests.

    It's good to 'hear' your musical voice again, Pam. Please keep speaking and making a noise. If everyone goes silent there will be no sound in blogosphere, only images. Both sound and images are necessary.

  2. Pam - so good to see you back here! And a poem that reminds me how gifted you are with describing the fleeting and tenuous... lovely.

  3. you articulate that so beautifully.
    And I love your poem.

  4. I like this poem a lot, not least because it contains that splendid word "vamoose". I like the idea of an orchestra vamoosing - provided that it is not due to a sudden funding cut...

  5. Dear PamMM - it's very good to have you and your orchestra back, although, in saying 'back', the implication is that you've been absent and silent which you both have and haven't been?
    I can't help considering the way sound continues to resonate outwards long after the instruments have been packed away and the notes seem beyond our easy reach. The air continues to vibrate, to honour the memory of every previous note?

    Your piccolo strikes me as being very versatile; the way it plays in the hollow of your neck (so intimate and companionable), then upstairs, playing on alone (but still within view of the other instruments), and when you finish with the solo line 'The piccolo is not holding its breath' it seems to me you might also be saying 'it IS'? Thank you. L, C xx

  6. Hi Elisabeth - good to be back in touch. Thanks for your comment. Silence is curious the way we can enlarge or diminish - depending on how we enter it. I appreciate your encouragement. You're right - this place is ours to make our own, and to speak into - and to be noisy, as you say. (Where will we go with that one?!)

  7. Mary and Fifi, I'm warmed by your visit and your words - thanks! And Tim - yes, here's hoping our local Sinfonia will not vamoose - we've just learned funding cuts may be looming!

  8. Thanks Claire, you're right about notes lingering. I can hear them. Perhaps it's the wherewithal to cock the ear that sometimes eludes. I like the idea that the piccolo is light and versatile. One to keep in the pocket (or the neck hollow). Px

  9. Pam, I have also dwelled in this place of silence. There is often something strangely comforting about it. I think that we retreat there in order to recompose ourselves, to give our inner selves a retreat.

    My favorite lines:

    The trumpet has given up on noise

    And is napping with the mute

    On a bed of black velvet.


    Happy to know the voice has returned!

  10. Nice to hear from you T Clear, and to hear you say that the silence has a resonance for you. I'm finding different corners of it, but I certainly know that place where re-composing takes place. The trick is to make the journey inward when we need to, and not get snagged in the the noise and clutter of daily life. (Someone I was speaking to recently called that syndrome 'hurry sickness'. A good term for it I think.)

  11. This is so cool! Great to see that the silence (often a necessary component of creativity) has produced this lovely poetry - with more to come I'm sure.