And how the silence surged softly backward

The earth keeps some vibration going:

The hoarse leaves crawl on hissing ground,

Seeds in a dry pod, tick, tick, tick.

The warning whispers pass

With songs of misery, music of our woes.


My soul, dressed in silence, rises up.

Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn

With only our tongues for our swords

And learn to chaunt a tongue men do not know–

I hear it in the deep heart’s core.


My attempt at a cento. The title is from Walter De La Mare’s “Listeners.”