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Speaking in Silence
by Jim Bennett

Don't be frightened
of silence
don't try to fill
every breath
with words
she said
a doyen of word power
a purveyor of poetry

who had listened for the space
my poems lacked
slowly this idea took root
bloomed into something
silence became a tangible
part of every poem
I read or wrote
I saw silence as a poem
performed by Dead Good Derrick once
he moved through a mantra chant
of movement
turned his hand
made shapes in the air
more eloquent
than words
And I heard others
some who dispensed with words
to make an elegy of sound
pour meaning and a canvas
for the making of a poem
into the listeners
some bring the sound of laughter
others play
connecting unconnected syllables
constructing and deconstructing
making and breaking
wrapped in silence
I on the other hand still work
with conversation
now I find the silence
says more than
the words  

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