She was like that house upon the hill
that no one wants to live in
the one whose scarred walls
hold dark secrets and whose
darkened windows are like
empty eye sockets
that silent, uneasy house
which even the poltergeists avoid
no one ever goes there
but when you pass it there is
always a suggestion of movement
the sound of a door closing
a flicker of light in the emptiness—
haunted and haunting at the same time
We were sitting at the edge of the river
exactly where we’d met a few days before.
“There is a deathly silence today,” he said,
“‘Deathly’ is the wrong adjective for silence.
Death is not silent.
It is more vociferous than life and anyway
there is never complete silence,
the mind is continuously moving through
the quiet of the inanimate.”
Silent as the dead is a known idiom,” he replied.
“It is, so is the quote, ‘“silence speaks louder than words.’”
“Have you ever been to a cemetery, a morgue—
or better still a graveyard,
or stood ‘quietly’ where the dead are put to flames?
The noise of the dry bones overrides everything.
There is nothing louder than dead air,
a dead relationship, dead dreams, dead promises.
Death, my friend, is anything but silent.” I paused.
“Death may not be silent but silence can still be deathly
and that’s what I said” he insisted,
though I felt his conviction wavering a little.
“Silence is not just lack of movement or sound.
It is the same with death.”