the silence between words

BirchTree  dana marie


I must hear the silence
between your words
to know how hard they
are for you to say.
Too smooth …I’ll know
you’re riffing jazz
to stay afloat until I say
stop…and we hide
in why and wherefore,
or you say…stop…and
we listen to a replay
of what and we’ll…
until we space our words
like two leaves on a winter tree
reluctant…holding on to stay…
words between the silence.


Bonnie Marshall

Artwork by Rob Gonsalves

70 thoughts on “the silence between words

  1. The vocal rendition is wonderful. It really gave a different dimension as I read along with the poem, as do your carefully chosen illustrations. Music and Art – beautiful.

      1. You’re welcome. We’re writers and readers both. Which makes it possible for us to better describe our reaction to reading. Generalities are nice; I always appreciate hearing that someone has enjoyed my work, but I also find it helpful to hear more details of a reader’s thoughts or feelings.

  2. first, an admission. i brought up your blog for the first time a couple of minutes ago, and mistakenly read your list under “browse” as a poem! oh, my! i liked it so much, i began to read it again until i realized it was probably not intended to be read as a poem. and i still like it! you’re such a good poet, that even your lists are poetic!

    in this fine poem i especially liked “I’ll know you’re riffing jazz/ to stay afloat,” because i listen to jazz a lot, and i could imagine just what was going on.

    oh, and it’s also good to find another poet who posts audio files. i enjoyed your reading of the piece.

    1. Smiles…yes…another reader did the same. I quite understand how it can happen. I’m glad you found my site, and I look forward to reading your writing…listening to your audio. Know I share your understanding of voicing.

      1. I thank you for your thoughtfulness, perhaps one day? too self conscious I think. I cannot really imagine it being read, let alone listened to!! xx

      2. Ah, well…no one need hear you except yourself at first. Might be surprised how much you like hearing your phrasing…how much you can layer meaning. Nothing extra is needed…just the knowing voicing of intent. Smiles…

    1. I’m grateful you found this one, very fine writer Sharon. Wish I could keep up the poetry writing pace I once had … at eighty it’s getting harder to do. No problem, though, for to have written what I have is one of my life’s greatest pleasures. Just glad you’ve liked some of them. Smiles …

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