Short Wave

Tuning the endless white noise.

Interminable. One faint

voice after another.


audio detritus came

and went, discarded, dialled

out of mind as the needle’s

searchlight moved on, pausing when

a pitch or a tone cut through,

tricking the ear to engage

as an eye deceives itself.

A shout or prayer, a cry

like a hand lifted for help,

calling out in the dark, drowned

in the boredom of seeking,

(always excused with hindsight,

just too quiet to notice,

as we might convince ourselves

a trick of the light perhaps,

it’s easy to miss these things.)

The forgiveness of ourselves,

amnesia of conscience

hides us from what we are.

In the end, I don’t recall,

for all the weary scanning,

if we ever found anything

worth attending to at all.

Ears hear but a mind listens,

and as Thoreau said, it’s not

what you look at that matters,

it’s what you see. (Or choose to.)


From: Camera Obscura (Rockingham Press)

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