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The Sound of Silence

By Ashleylister @ashleylister

 Silence! The word always reminds me of the instruction given by school mistresses to my chattering classmates as we waited to enter St Paul's church for services.  Of course we would comply but there wouldn't be silence in church. The organ would churn out pslams and hymms, the choir and congregation would sing and Father Haigh would preach. There was never silence, even during prayers. 

So where can we really find silence in a  modern indusrialised world. Road traffic pollution and air-traffic noise especially in urban areas completely eradicate any chance of real quietness. Even a twice weekly walk in my local park is filled with noise. The shouts of children playing and honks from geese and seagulls scrapping over food fill the air. When walking in the less busy areas, we are bombarded by birdsong, from blackcaps, blackbirds, wrens and the glorous robins. Although these natural sounds are rellished, they are still punctuated by the sirens of emergency vehicles en route to Victoria Hospital. 

I grew up in a pub, so to me there is nothing more disarming than an empty room. My TV is usually on when I'm home alone. I may nor be watching but the constant background noise gives me comfort. 

I remember the song 'The Sound of Silence' by Simon and Garfunkel. The contadiction is poignant. The juxtaposition of 'sound' and 'silence' brings the quality of silence to the forefront. Even when I sleep, my dreams are filled with coverstion. So where can we find pure silence. Perhaps only beyond death - who knows?

The Sound of Silence

Silent Assassin


Yet Hark.What light through yonder window breaks?

It is the East and cock robin is the sun,

Ablaze with flaming youth in my mind’s eye,

Alights upon my primrose path to preen.

But wait, for something wicked this way comes,

As swift as shadow strikes the killing blow,

As sparrow hawk demands his pound of flesh,

Sound and fury flurry in sun-blushed snow.

With bated breath, I view murder most foul,

In one fell swoop, sweet joy falls sick at heart,

To witness how he fights to the last breath.

A sorry sight he sheds this mortal coil.

Short shrift the killer makes of beauty’s feast,

There’s neither rhyme not reason left to speak.

Such sorrow is sweet parting.  

The rest is silence.

Thanks for reading. Adele    

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