The Quiet One

La Porte dr l’Enfer a ete dressee dans les jardins du musee Rodin (The Thinker at the Gates of the Inferno and the Museum in Rodin)

My quietness has a man in it, he is transparent
Frank O’Hara, “In Memory of Feelings”

The Quiet One

I don’t have the words so in silence I stand
While everyone’s words are a radiant band
And the conversation lives all around me
But my silence is the one thing it cannot see
Quietly I realize my greatest fear
I dissipate into the atmosphere
With ease they shout and even scream
While I’m caught in this silent dream
They draw to them every light and color
Trying to verbally eclipse one another
While I fade into darkness, shadow and night
Merely a shape illuminated by their light

But in the dark corners of this private hell
Where the quiet ones so often tend to dwell
Look closely, you might just see a quiet man
One who few take the time to understand
Slowly drifting from their lusty laughter
Unwelcome in their happily ever after
Trapped by the words that will not come
That will not pass his leaden tongue
Desperately desiring that wordy key
Which unlocks the palaver’s mystery
The speakers’ words seem to simply glide
While his slow forming thoughts continue denied
Verbal impotence has come like a sudden attack
Their parlay continues as he fades to black

If you approach him for a tête-à-tête
Enter his silence and dwell there a bit
Seeking the thoughts that the silence may hold
If only the words were somewhat more bold
Would you encounter shadows and night?
Or would the thoughts unspoken be equally bright
For sometimes the quite voices screen
Rare beauties that are but seldom seen
The mind too full for conversation to proclaim
Whose inner world galaxies might contain
But the crowded world in conversation bright
Will never quiet down to see their light

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