Why Is the Silence?


I am trying to weigh the silence

Of simply being

Without being

What others


Of being in the now,

Without scurrying

Under fear of what hovers,


Like the Maoris, who stood with their faces to the past

Revering the ancestors and the ancient gods

Ignoring the looming sorrows

Of pain-soaked tomorrows.

The Maoris called the past naga raa a mua, the days in front

They called the future kei muri, what is behind (1)

We see only the fullness of now

The myth that once before

Means evermore.

I hear a roar of distress

Sweeping the globe

Fury berserked

Hope bleeding.



Do we clamor incessantly

To defy the silence

Of a supreme being?

Is this a rivalry between She who Creates and We who Destroy?

Do we surreptitiously harbor

A childish need

To flush God out of hiding?

To use ferocity as a bulwark against God's

Implacable silence?

If we shatter the silence it will always return.

Is it the same silence upon return?

Is silence a lack of signal, or a signal that we are unable

To translate?

Why do we have no Rosetta Stone for God's silence?

We have priests, rabbis, missionaries

They claim, and we accede,

To a special gift of hearing God's voice.

What voice?

There is only, and always, God's silence.

Is cancer God's answer?

A friend said, "It takes about 60 trillion atoms to make a human cell,

100 trillion cells to make a person

And 108 billion people have lived so far". (2)

Could not one, just one,

Toss a whimper our way?

Break the suffocating silence?

In the ancient days of yestermonth

Young women were told "bow down, lest you be seen

Quiet down lest you be heard

Settle down, lest you ruffle the centuries

Glide so silently past that your moving does not even rustle

The molecules around you." (3)

In a world that worships the male

Preferably the white male

Especially the wealthy white male

Women inhabit the toxic silence

Of being nonmale

Ergo nonbeing.

I am trying to dismantle the jibber jabber of fools,

Of shamans,

Of self-proclaimed masters

Who only master the miniverse that they see in their mirrors.

I am trying to peel away







Can we clothe ourselves instead

In a healing silence?

Can we hear

The quiverings of hope

The tremblings of compassion

The birth pangs of wisdom?

I reach a finger across the Chapel ceiling

To touch

Not God

But you.

I am trying to fill the silence

With the weight of boundless joy

Will you hear me?

c. Corinne Whitaker 2018/2022

I am also struggling to understand the silence of an American Congress that led to the horror at Uvalde, Texas. Children must be safe, always and everywhere.

(1)John Gray, writing in The New Statesman, 20 Dec 2017

(2) Mihai Nadin

(3) Women Artists of the American West