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Listening for Quiet

Jim Crouch | Crest

Photo Sandpiper Archives


THERE ARE TIMES in our bustling little town
When it’s quiet. Very quiet.
Not often, I wish it more.

It usually appears at end of day,
Or very early morning
When people are settled in,
No cars or trains running about.
The onshore flow, like a silent shadow,
Pulls in the fog
Like a soft, cozy blanket
That muffles the highway drone away.

Most of all, I only hear the surf,
That sweet music of Mother Ocean
Brushing her kisses upon our shores
And gently calling to our souls.
Rhythmically, as if a siren song
Whispered from a distance.

Then a wren warbling one closing bar of music,
Or maybe it was a flycatcher,
From a Torrey Pine or that acacia there,
A distinct, delicate trill I hadn’t noticed before.
Clear, punctuated in the still evening air.
Was that a moth just winging by?

In the fading distance a dog barks out
His evening goodbyes
To anyone lucky enough to listen.
A distant clink of glass,
A child’s laugh,
A door swings shut,
Then quiet. It’s near.

In Del Mar
Quiet smells like the ocean,
Shy. Invisible.
But it’s there.
I can only hear it if I hold my breath
And just listen
For the drip of d
ew from a leaf nearby.

Photo John Kerridge



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