The Gift of Silence

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We can’t be happy, Hafiz says,
until we discover
we’re not who we think we are.
Then he leans near, whispers…
So… how are
we going to pull
that off?

I think he’s going somewhere
with this.
I can’t help myself:
I’m grinning like
the operator
of a prison search light
who’s secretly pulling for the inmates
to escape and run riot,
waiting for my Friend’s next words
to bust through
the cell block wall
and stride through
the front gates unaccosted,
armed with authenticity
and an armload of flags,
and pull a jailbreak handstand
in the parking lot
before giving me
a cloth-popping semaphore
crash course in breaking free.

I’m just grinning
and grinning and

Waiting and
grinning myself
down to the damn bone.

He was speaking rhetorically,
I gather.
I’m getting cramps
all up and down
my tear ducts, and
Hafiz, it turns out,
is waiting placidly like
he has an appointment
to have tea
in three days with
the King of Spain
and no interim plans.

Well, I announce–
clearing my throat
of all hesitation–
we know I’m
not about to
lay an egg…

Not sure where
that came from…
but my grin is back
and strutting about
like a peacock
that just awoke to
find itself in a media blitz
at the center of the Artic Circle,
and I sense vaguely
that I’ve become
a spontaneous test
of the hypothesis
that the best defense
is still a good offense.
Hafiz looks at me curiously,
which is all the encouragement
I need to dive ahead
into the silence
like a giddy thief into
his first bank vault.
Well, I say,
sitting up straight
to deliver the goods properly,
we know I’m
not about to
lay an egg…
or paint a Picasso…
or forgive that
no good
cheap ass
who’s squeezing
me dry and
won’t even fix the heat.

He raises an eyebrow.

(Uh oh.)
That doesn’t count, I stammer.
You set me up.

Now he’s grinning,
smiling like a proud parent,
and my squiggly, warbled,
overbearing sketch
of a sky blue fire truck
with flames shooting out
in all directions
is about to be hung
on the refrigerator door,
and suddenly,
my frozen grin
has limbered up
and begun to fade.

I tell you something
about my friend, Hafiz…
He’s got a silence
on him
that’ll have you
layin’ eggs
like a Rhode Island Red
in no time flat–
a Silence
that’ll pull
on the thread
of every half-baked
hypothesis and conclusion
you ever had
and compel you
to put them on display
like a stunning collection
of beautiful

just look at those things…


    • Truth tingles, I love that, Brad. I know what you mean. Thanks as always for your gift of being here.



    • I know it! The things that come out when we’re not looking. Accessing the deeper reality can require a few shake-ups, which Life is all too happy to provide I’ve noticed, but then when this stuff breaks free, it’s like, wow, who came up with THAT!? It’s great to be able to laugh at it, which is not always my normal reaction. There are those moments of shame and guilt that want to creep in… Dreaming moments with Hafiz helps me keep it real. 🙂



  1. Certain feathers help us fly to a molting point. So proud to preen and then to realize what they were covering up to begin with. Gracious, I have had some Vegas style show girl head dresses over the years that were so intricate and beautiful and prevented me from seeing much more than anything brought right directly to touching my nose. I am sure one day in the future I will see the one I am wearing now and laugh at delight at my current costume in the illusion. -x.M


    • Likewise, M. One day I’ll pull out the photo album and laugh at all the crazy feathered costumes I tried to make stand the test of time. We can trade our rookie cards. I’m at least down to a costume that doesn’t require attendants to enter and exit the vehicle. 🙂



  2. I love the honesty and the humor of this very sobering and somber thoughts you have analyzed. I love the way you do it, with such seeming facility. And enjoy it until I think of some recent costume changes I have had. They are painful but then the very best humor comes out of pain.


    • Thank you for the kind words, Ellen. And yes, the pain eventually breaks up in the spring thaw of humor… Not the flippant kind. The kind found in the joyous barbs the sun is sometimes caught flinging at the moon when she rises. 🙂 And of course, we’ve ALL put on some doozies… We are not alone in that, though pain begets a peculiar and difficult type of isolation…



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