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In the North Pacific

scientists have discovered a baleen whale

who swims alone,

singing at a frequency

unrecognized by its own species.

To this one,

the world is nothing but an empty ocean

he is calling into—

a broken record

waiting for echoes.

 

And then, there’s humans.

In this information age,

we broadcast everything.

We move through a sea of radio waves,

wakes spreading behind us—

echoes of a world screaming

“listen to me!”

Everyone is trying to be important.

Filtered information

expelled as proof of our value:

               an opinion, a story, an argument

               anecdote lesson scripture prayer

               insultpoemjokeconfession

               a suicide note in 140 characters.

We are learning that if we cannot entertain,

society does not want to hear from us

so why try?

Scream all you want

but outside of our atmosphere

it is still silent.

Turn on all your lights

but the universe will still be black.

If everyone lives with a fear of being forgotten

all we can produce is dead noise…

we are told to just stop talking

but for some of us it isn’t a choice;

we are writers who brew words like tea

and the pot is boiling over—

here is my handle,

here is my spout,

tip me over and pour me out

for I am nothing more than a vessel

which cannot empty itself

nor stop the overflow

when whatever is held within

has nowhere to go but out.

We remind the world

that despite the loneliness,

that one whale keeps on calling

and we will do the same.

We do not scream,

we sing!

We are whales,

sinking ever deeper into the music in our heads

flukes curving in a last, glorious farewell

before we dive in.

Do not try to silence us.­

(c) Marie KR 2013

Noise Pollution

What was the first word spoken

under today’s sun, I wonder?

The first yawn or

bark of a dog—

the first noise unfurling ribbon-like

from tongue or television.

Did today awaken with piano chords or discords?

It matters because

that first sound

broke the silent dawn

and billowed off on the wind

like a runaway kite.

But it does not stop there;

how much noise can we make in a day?

Every breathe, every word,

all our music,

all our hearts (muffled but still dully thumping)

dropped objects giving cracks like

gunshots,

automobiles moaning on the motorway

the never-ending noise

and it all rises.

Chains of sound

rising on the heat waves

and filling the sky

until she expands

like a blue balloon over our heads

so heavy with sound

that it swamps our lungs

and sinks the birds.

 

And then, it rains.

If you ever stand out in the rain

and listen to the cough of water on pavement

you are hearing the atmosphere

spitting our words back at us.

(c) MarieKR 2013

Storm Windows

I have installed storm windows

on the front of this house

and now I cannot break.

The workmen invaded

in their heavy boots to

soil the rugs and trample the flowerbeds.

They smashed in the old glazing,

splintered the frames,

removed old screws and bolts,

staples and caulk,

and for a time left only a pair of gaping holes

to let out the rain.

Now, at last, new glass is in place.

I have installed storm windows

on the front of this house,

and now the weather inside

cannot get out.

(c) 2013 MarieKR