Tuesday, September 22, 2020


image from etsy.com,


“ I have learned silence from the talkative,”

--Kahlil Gibran.

As a youngster

I hated

having my Mom.

or a teacher

shush me.

As an Old Soul

and a Gemini,

I’ve always got a lot to say.

You may pick the subject

and I will take it from there.

God help you

if you pick movies, politics, or religion,

for I have 76 years of stored data,

that will pour out ad infinitum,

untilI I take a breath,

or you speak,

or that ferocious forefinger

presses your glossy lips.

Of course, I refer

to social intercourse,

not silence.


is something sacred,

and to some extent

is unattainable.

You can’t find it or capture it

midst a meadow in a dewy glen

or the verdant depths of the forest,

or underwater 50 fathoms below,

or in the catacombs of a city,

or in the flinty bowels of a cavern,

or at the bottom of a mine shaft.

Even meditation

if rife with breath and heartbeats.

Maybe in outer space,

between galaxies,

where I am an astral projection

passing through black holes

for a few precious moments
there might be an absence

of everything;

actual virtual 


where even movement is soundless,

but I would submit

I might hear a faint whoosh,

or the fluttering of my cosmic wings.

According to my Sci Fi training,

I expect that motion




too much is just

conjecture, hope, faith & imagination.

Seventh Day Adventists believe,

that initially there is no after life,

that we are thrust into the Land of Nothingness,

until Jesus, or his saintly minions rouse us.

Probably, these folks’ souls do encounter

this terrible silence because

they expect it, actually create it.

Since time does not exist beyond the veil,

all souls do, at some point, discover

the truth, no past, no future, just

the Glory of the Eternal Now.

I’m pretty certain, while there, I remain just

as gregarious, vociferous, garrulous, and

loquacious as I have ever been. I cannot even

imagine God’s lips covered

with his holy forefinger. 

Glenn Buttkus


Posted over at d'Verse Poet's Pub


Sanaa Rizvi said...

This is richly woven, Glenn!💝 I admire the vivid imagery and glimpse into your being. I feel like I understand you better through this poem. As a Sagittarius, I salute your Gemini traits and resonate with them greatly! Especially like; "Since time does not exist beyond the veil,all souls do, at some point, discover the truth." Yes!💝

Shawna said...

This is a fabulous piece, particularly the first half. I got to read it earlier in the day, while your link was still up.

Given the opening, the removal is all the more apropos and humorous.

Lucy said...

A very beautiful and thought-provoking poem. I really could relate to the first few lines, though I admit, I was a quiet child for the most part. Ha.

Stunning and visceral work yet again. It's always a joy to read your poetic style.

robkistner said...

Wow brother, what a trip. Loved the journey into outer space! Really killer piece Glenn, yes!

brudberg said...

I am a very talkative guy normally (and usually loud) but it's amazing how often I can switch to totally silent as well...

Kim M. Russell said...

A brilliant play with the quotation, Glenn, and I love the title! I too hated being shushed and I don’t like adults telling children to be quiet when they have something to say or a question to ask – that’s how children learn. But then, young people often tell us older ones to be quiet, even though we have those ‘years of stored data’. I’m looking forward to hearing your voice again at the next live OLN – maybe we an have a bit more of a conversation. But I agree that ‘Silence is something sacred’ and it’s out there in space. The final stanza made me smile.

Merril D. Smith said...

From childhood to space, and beyond. Quite a trip! I'm probably the total opposite of you. 😀

Ron. said...

Oh, man, I haven't written anything that long in ages; and I'm pretty sure I haven't written anything nearly as riveting, either. Thanks for bringing us along, Glenn.

JadeLi said...

Glenn, I have a story about shushing. It is a story my grandma told, about a day she came to visit the house when my younger brother and I were very small, before the next brother was born. My dad was talking with my grandparents and my little brother ran up and said something and interrupted my dad. Grandma said my dad grabbed my brother and pounded his head on the floor. These days my brother drinks a lot and when he's not working or drinking, he's lying on the couch with his face to the wall. No, where he is now is not just about that shushing or head-pounding, but it set a tone in his mind for what was to come.

I tend to be more quiet, unless the setting is right, which isn't as often as it once was for many reasons. I've always appreciated those with the gift of gab.

Your poem is one of the best I've read by you. I'm not sure what I fear more: dead silence or shushing while still alive.

Dwight L. Roth said...

Wow Glenn! This is a most interesting change from you Western tales! I love how you have thought this through from beginning to end. I will have to leave this body to ever have silence! My ears keep ringing and a medium pitch all the time. Perhaps that is why I find solos in noise from the TV or music etc. I love the end of your poem that God would never put his finger to his lips to shush you!! Very excellent piece!

Kerfe said...

You always make me smile Glenn. Even when you are being serious. I like the idea of an afterlife of nothingness and silence myself. Just our elements reconfiguring themselves into a different state of mind.

peterfrankiswrites.wordpress.com said...

Bravo Glenn, yep I can still remember my mother (in her german accent) reciting "children should be seen and not heard" - pah. Our words make the world - talk on.

Ingrid said...

This is brilliant, Glenn! I'm sure God wouldn't dare to 'shush' you!

'You may pick the subject/and I will take it from there.'

Thank God there are people like you because if everyone was like me it would be a very quiet world! I like how you examined the idea that we even create our own afterlife, that one day we all have to face the eternal now. There's so much in this, even though framed humorously it is very profound.

Vandana Sharma said...

Since time does not exist beyond the veil,

all souls do, at some point, discover

the truth, no past, no future, just

the Glory of the Eternal Now.

These lines say it all, nothing less, nothing more ,the gist!!

JIm Feeney said...

Love this Glenn, where I come from, loquacious is the default mode...jim

JadeLi said...

Glenn, I haven't seen you posting since this one. I hope you're ok. Please come back. I miss your poems.