"Listen to the Silence" - Eugene C. Bianchi

"Listen to the Silence" - Eugene C. Bianchi

“How then does one speak of God?
Through silence. Then why do you speak
in words? The Master laughed out loud.
When I speak, my dear, listen to the
(One Minute Wisdom,
Anthony de Mello, pg. 124)

Away from the roar of cutting firewood,
partly to tell myself I can still do it and
okayed by my overseer if I stay off the roof,
I settle on the old bench by the Oconee to
watch a silent movie at this
unlikely outdoor nickelodeon,
with light and dark clouds moving fast
against blue sky as the green river
carries its quiet waters across Georgia
into the Altamaha and on to the Atlantic.

It’s one of those between-times when the
heat and stress of effort gives way to
a sudden shifting of gears in the universe.
Now the Buddhist prayer flags dance
in the wind as it whips young cedars
like pompoms at a game or parade.

Then in a flash he appears on the screen,
lovely red-tail hawk swooping all grace,
now slow, now quick riding the currents,
one eye on me – I swear it – the other on
his supper menu, all the while enjoying
this free ride on nature’s carousel. Back
and back he circles down to a few yards,
as I wave to this avian Nureyev
pausing with wings full spread,
flashing his ballet style for unsung
bravos, encores and merited bouquets.
Now no noise in my breathing, just in and out
with a virtual mantra: Buddha, Jesus, Red
Hawk, water, sky, trees, here, now, enough.

"Listen to the Silence" is included in Gene Bianchi's latest collection Chewing Down My Barn: Poems from the Carpenter Bees. He'll be reading and signing copies at Avid Books on Saturday June 20 at 6:30 pm, along with readings by Clela Reed and Bob Ambrose, Jr.(2013 photo by David Noah)

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