Q is for Quiet

 I love night’s quiet.

When I lived in Budapest, I loved walking home late at night.  The song of rigó birds filled the air as I climbed the stairs from the river to the top of the Castle District where I’d pause to admire the view of the Danube and the lights of Pest; then past the cathedral and across the square, to stroll along the back walkway to my flat.  The blackness of the night dotted with lights of people’s homes in the Buda hills, and stars in the sky above, silence sometimes broken by a screaming cat, or the tap tap tap of a woman’s high-heeled shoes as she hurried home.

In Barcelona, I loved cycling late at night; the traffic was calm, water from the freshly washed pavement slapped against the tires of my bicycle as I headed for my flat, zigzagging through the narrow streets of Gracia, the quiet sometimes broken by the strumming of a late night guitarist, or laughter of a group of revellers not yet ready for bed, the smell of their hashish wafting through the air as they smoked the night away.

Here in Hove, the peacefulness of the seafront late at night answers my need for quiet.  When the sea is calm, it’s only the sound of the waves whispering to the pebbles on the beach, and the occasional car passing on the road nearby, that breaks the silence.

Years before, in Canada, it was a canoe trip to Booth Lake in Algonquin Park that awakened my hearing to the quiet of the night, and inspired this poem.


who made this place

where hollows between hills hold water

wind sighs through pines

rustles birches

where forest, carpeted with needles and fern

meets shore, lined with statues

bush-totems: deer, moose, lynx

hewn from trees, roots, stumps

torn from land by storm

sculpted by wind, rain, ice

bleached by sun

beached to stand sentinel

where in night’s darkness

stars look at themselves

in water, still as glass

and hills, perfectly round

cast shadows on the lake

and back again to the sky

where in the silence

the earth snuggles me

as I nestle my head in the ground

twigs fall from trees

coyotes call, beavers thwack

loons sound their home.

I am overwhelmed by my smallness

here, where forest and water can take me

make me theirs forever

where it wouldn’t matter if I died

where I could die, and dying wouldn’t matter.

Who made this place?

9 thoughts on “Q is for Quiet

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  1. Wonderful contemplation. Late night, alone, is a great time for imagination and considering one’s place in the world and universe. I used to like to walk at night when I lived in Tennessee, but I don’t think I’ll do much night walking here in Los Angeles.

    Tossing It Out

  2. I have to listen, and the test is. If reading it slows my Heart. It takes one Back to a time like it. One that we don’t get a chance to feel often, where I live either. My Heart Slowed well. Not to worrie. (the use of the word “Thwak” Brought my Heart, probaly saved my Life) Lol. Truley a Beatiful Read. I remember the Universe lit by Stars only, made it look, like we were all inside some Great Ballon. And we, jest Dust.

  3. Hasen’t everyone: If they get a Good View of the Stars, seen the outer skin of that Balloon? I don’t see how you could miss it? That marks the Spot, where your Vision Stops. Unless you saw it’s Sister. The holes in the Baloon skin. I think she left with the Telescope. The Good News, (I Think) is Our Balloown is Expanding. Does that mean Our Dust, gets smaller? We are NOT Insignificant, Not from our View. (Konigsberg) is where I View From=Kings Mountain. This is a clue, so you might look for my Face in da Book. Shhh (gve it a Shot -friend)

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