Sacred Silence

The hood of night hangs heavy upon my head,
weighted down with wearisome worries while Hypnos
unburdens the brain with fabric beseeming a bed
as a temptress shamelessly unwoven of clothes
lays both bare and bold, her halo-arrayed hair
frizzed with the hazy animal heat
to consign the storm to climax, and then still, silent air.
I would forfeit myself to Aphrodite’s vulval shell
were it to shut up and plunge within waters deep
where that tight-lipped harlot would tell no tale
or speak at all beneath the hushing ocean’s keep.
Alas, Zeus censures with his lightning strikes
to shake the heavens and wake me from rest,
the world trembling with judgmental spikes
which can kill the heart within a sad-sighing chest.
For we are all acolytes in these heavy cowls
proselytizing ourselves in anticipation of the Truth
which relaxes even the bitterest, most determined scowls
that sneer with a Polyphemus eye or a Hydra’s tooth.
The River Lethe calls so mutely to one and all
with the sweetly flowing song of “Naught”
as we sag beneath the cumbrous folds of a shawl
and long to retire to oblivion, as we ought.
Let us bow our heads in soundless prayer
to that most sacred of songs, Silence, the purest peace
in which there disturbs not a draught of holy air
as we each of us nod off into quietude, without surcease.
Shun Apollo, that lord of the lyre and of the light,
and, of course, Zeus, the throne’s thunderous thief,
and Helios, the charioteer whose light-hoofed flight
chases Stygian shadows unto endless grief.
Shun all who would peel back our hoods
as if we were Lotus-Eaters squatting in a gloomy glade
or errant youths lost in the wondrous woods
while the duplicitous dryads offer us shade.
We are men and know enough of wrath and woe
to value Silence above salt and silk and gold
and gods, too, for even they, in their souls, know
they were born of that deafening Silence, so sacred and so old.

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