Published on Wild Poetry Forum, 2005.
SONNET IN SILENCE
The loathsome woods do not mean, but be.
May the silence of the oaks abide with thee.
If a poet falls in the forest, what happens
to his verses and his curses? Are they lost?
Does the brute deafness of the tanglewood and vines
absorb his eloquence, his outrage, his scatology?
Are the poet’s limping lines, his gasps and groans, wholly
consumed by the omnivorous silence of the crouching oaks,
the idiotic opacity of humus, solipsistic in its ruminating rot?
Are his moans unremarked, his blood unabsorbed by sated roots?
Do his cris de coeur slide soundlessly off leaves of glass?
When songs go unheard, in this great earless assembly,
does the meaning evaporate in methane monody?
Does the thicket know or care about a “unique voice”?
Is “mellifluous” a category for the deciduous?
Can notes carry through the fungal fumes of forest floor?
“The rest is silence.”
—Wm. Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 5, Scene 2.