March 27, 2020
Photo by Dick Salmon

Listen to the Silence
A poem by Hilde Oleson

I have an affinity with trees. 
They lift their arms to listen. 
They stand quietly to hear. 
The wind whispers to them, 
Brings messages from clouds that do not linger. 
There is the rustle of a leaf as a bird settles down, 
A rumble in the distance as a car
On a distant highway races by.
It is a gift today to find silence. 
In our own homes the clock ticks, 
The ice-cubes rattle in the fridge, 
The cat purrs.
Our own hearts beat a noisy cadence
But deep within us we look for quiet. 
Peace is not found in nights of fireworks, 
Chanting folks or laughing crowds. 
Peace comes to us when we dare hush
Our voices and listen carefully to hear no sound. 
To stand like a Joshua tree, with wounded branches. 
To stand still strong and vibrant, grounded
In the very earth of this our country.
Listen to the silence. A bird will perch upon your hand
If you offer it sustenance. 
But it will not speak to you.  It offers trust
And beauty. Nature has the answers to our pains, 
Our worries and our fears. 
We need to listen to the silence.

To submit your own photo or poem, email Assistant Library Director Brittany Taylor at