poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘office

sounds in the silence #1

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If niche has colour, it also has sound.  Some of those sounds are soothing, the sound of a babbling brook, or the wind in the Red Pine.  Some sounds are alarming, the cry of a child, or the squeal of brakes.  At my office, there are multiple sounds in the background – people talking, computers whirring, copiers copying, printers printing.  When there is a power outage, I am amazed at the silence of the building, and wonder how I can possibly work with all the noise.

When I can’t sleep, I turn to a trick my Mom taught me  – I count the sounds in the sleeping house.  Last week, a welcome sound was added to the usual repertoire, the three part hoot of a Great Horned Owl.  Hoo-Hoo-Hoo   Hoo-o  Hoo-o.   It was a gentle but penetrating sound and it ruled the night.  The owl hooted three times at about five minute intervals and then I fell asleep.

Not long ago I went for a walk in the grey woods and heard a sound I have heard so often before, the grating squeal of two trees rubbing together.  These trees, a Balsam Fir and a Grey Birch, have tried to grow into the same space and now they reproach one another in an endless competition.

the branches of one tree grate against the bark of the other


fear of heights


as dizzying to look up

in the forest

as down

into the abyss

the trees taper so


they lean


against fir

rubbed raw

where branches touch

and reach for one another


and sudden, wrenching sounds

a branch swings back or breaks

loosened by a squirrel

or burdened where crows complain


or where a warbler scolds

teacher teacher teacher


© Jane Tims 1996

Written by jane tims

October 2, 2011 at 9:20 am

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