The Sound of Silence

Now what has jolted me awake?
What presence in the night,
So suddenly expels my dreams
And puts my sleep to flight?

I flicked the light, it naught reveals
No calming What! Or Who!
The dial beside the bedside clock,
Was showing ten past two.

Some rustling of a shrub proclaims
A change of weathers mood;
I hope it doesn’t blow too hard;
Annoyance will intrude.


Because a truant branch will sway,

Against the window drift.
(I must get Joe to trim that thing,
When he comes home from shift).

But now a chilling truth erupts,
My very soul to freeze -
The night is silent as a ghost,
There isn’t any breeze.

What utter creep is lurking there,
Outside my window sill?
What utter fear transcends the night,
The darkened hours to fill.

Then once I screamed: ‘Go, go away’,
I screamed with all my might:
Was that an answer that I heard?
A chuckle in the night.


Oh dare I flee to neighbouring home,

A half a mile away!
No, such effort might be more unwise,
Might leave me simpler prey.

A click against the window pane,
Near makes me swoon in fright.
(‘Twas but a beetle struck the glass,
Attracted by the light.)

Two fearfilled hours have slowly passed,
Then welcome break of day;
I tiredly rise and open up,
The brightening window bay.

Some violent rustling in the shrub
And then was put to flight,
A homing pigeon which had strayed
And nestled there at night.


Oh tears of rage, and then relief,

My telltale cheeks bedew,
I live once more that time of fear,
The bird had put me through.

But, this was not the unknown thing,
That woke me with a start.
Some other presence in the night
Had made my sleep depart.

Perplexed, I wandered down the hall,
Then, suddenly I knew;
The hallstand clock no longer ticked -
The dial showed ten past two.

Clarry Dunstan

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