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Thursday, February 2, 2012

In Silence

(Untitled, 1969 by Mark Rothko, 1903-1970, American

“Contemplation is related to art, to worship, to charity: all these reach out by intuition and self-dedication into the realms that transcend the material conduct of everyday life. Or rather, in the midst of ordinary life itself they seek and find a new and transcendent meaning. And by this meaning, they transfigure the whole of life.”

~ Thomas Merton (1915-1968), American Trappist monk, poet, and writer of many books and essays, from
Art and Spirituality


Be still.
Listen to the stones of the wall.
Be silent, they try
To speak your

To the living walls.
Who are you?
Are you? Whose
Silence are you?

Who (be quiet)
Are you (as these stones
Are quiet). Do not
Think of what you are
Still less of
What you may one day be.
Be what you are (but who?) be
The unthinkable one
You do not know.

O be still, while
You are still alive,
And all things live around you
Speaking (I do not hear)
To your own being,
Speaking by the Unknown
That is in you and in themselves.

“I will try, like them
To be my own silence:
And this is difficult. The whole
World is secretly on fire. The stones
Burn, even the stones
They burn me. How can a man be still or
Listen to all things burning? How can he dare
To sit with them
When all their silence
Is on fire?”

~ Thomas Merton


Charles Van Gorkom said...

Basking in the silence.
enfolded in the rich tapestries
of the being all around me.
Breathing deeply
the subtle scented waft-
is it perfume-
in Someone's presence

Thank-you for this poem
I will read it again

Tabatha said...

The Rothko painting is perfect with this poem, Maria.