After the blah-blah radio is unplugged
when raucous tongues trail into distance
at closing time
comes the long, longed-for silence

It is blessed peace, relief
where once the head pain throbbed
only flashbacks of residue behind my eyes

Flake by flake, reticence settles
muffled, mute. Against this iron curtain
a countermand is calling

An insurgency, to throw the pebble
– plop – and hear the ripples
slop against the muddy bank.
Be startled by the moorhen’s screech

or the resurrected record of your voice
in long ago tit-for-tat chats

Remembering the lonely and socially isolated during this, another lockdown. Misky’s twiglet 'a long silence' gave impetus to some get-the-ball-rolling  poetry writing as I join with others @dVerse for Open Link Night

44 thoughts on “Muffledom

  1. You really capture the resounding silence of isolation here, Laura. Although it’s necessary it’s a big ask of anyone.

      1. I know. I get sick of hearing about’a small sacrifice’ when some people may be struggling with their mental health or locked in with an abusive partner. These aren’t small things.

  2. “Flake by flake, reticence settles muffled, mute,” this is such an incredibly poignant image, Laura! 💝

  3. Muffledom really sums up my life since last March, Laura! I realised it more this week as my husband has been home on furlough and he insists on having the television on in the background from the moment he gets up until bedtime. I miss my silence! However, your poem reminds me that if he wasn’t around, I would miss him and his noise, and the only relief would be to ‘…throw the pebble… and hear the ripples’ and ‘Be startled by the moorhen’s screech / or the resurrected record’ of his voice ‘in long ago tit-for-tat chats’.

  4. Double kudos for rocking Tuesday’s prompt, and expressing so vividly blessed but unflinching silence. Your wordsmithing was excellent .

  5. A gentle yet firm touch here. I like this line:
    “Flake by flake, reticence settles
    muffled, mute.”
    It will good to see peace again.
    Your missing those conversations about this and that resonates for me.

  6. Silence is friend and enemy. When we turn off the din, the first feeling is a sigh of relief, but there is never real silence—nature, memories, wanted and unwanted—fill the gaps. I can empathise with this.

  7. I live in the land of license (no lockdown), so you poem sharpens and distills the sense of isolation to a “muffled” and “mute” interiority. The ad infinitem ad nauseam of the self. That is yet a thing to behold, and you do a fine job of it.

    1. fabulous feedback as usual Brendan – silence and the self is an existential dilemma just touched on here – people are essentially pendulums!!

  8. A great poem. The longing for nature’s silence is within all of us. Sometimes we listen! The wave against the muddy bank says it all!

  9. Laura, your poem really hit me.

    Often, I like to comment on a particular line or phrase that I enjoyed, but in this case I want to comment on your title – you had me at the first. I just loved this!


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