Depending on their shape, different rooms,
unoccupied, produce particular sounds
we lack a vocabulary for, gradations of silence
that turn ghostlier the higher the ceiling,
that deepen or disperse in echo the thicker
the surrounding foliage pressing against
whatever material the wall is made from,
whether fieldstone, brick, plaster, or wood.
To hear something without being able to name it
is a form of recovery and a source of frustration
which has at root an obsession with control
that can never be fulfilled, not in this lifetime.
Poem, copyright © 2005 by Ravi Shankar
Appearing on From the Fishouse with permission
Audio file, copyright © 2005, From the Fishouse