The Singing Dark

THERE is no silence anywhere
Either side of death —
No stint of breath
That does not make some little stir.
Remember? Under those dark trees
We paused to say, “How still!”
Then field and hill
Rang with a thousand melodies.
We heard a host of unseen things
In unrelated keys
Play symphonies
Like an orchestra of harps and strings.
A cricket scraped his rasping bow,
A lonely tree toad fluted;
Some disputed
Katie’s guilt. From high and low
Pin-point singers hummed their song.
No, no silence there,
It was the ear
Not listening, and we were wrong —
And wrong to fear that death might bring
Silence to conquer sound
When grass and ground
Shelter in shadow those who sing.