“To use words but rarely
Is to be natural.”
—Tao Te Ching, Book 1: XXIII
Some say: ‘Silence is death.’
Let these talkers live a day as I do,
My soul dying from lack of their death,
And they will refute themselves.
Dead, bloodless words
Aim in vain to compel me
To go against my nature and spirit
In untold ways throughout the day.
My nature is a fire set ablaze by silence,
A storm bombarding a calm house,
A discordant note, restless as wind,
Wrestling harmony. Words fail.
To hear the storm, to feel the fire,
To endure the discordant note,
I must stay silent and listen.
If silence is death,
Let that death revive my soul,
So when Death itself comes to claim me,
I will know already how to love
The great silence that comes after.