Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Be Still And Know

I wrote this poem several years ago. Today seemed like a good time to share it with you. I wouldn’t call it autobiographical. You might, but I wouldn’t. The pronouns could just as easily have been feminine.

Be Still And Know
by Robert H. Brague

Somebody told him, or maybe
he read it in a book,
“God speaks in silences,”
but he, a creature of noise
living in a land of achievement,
filled his days and nights
with meaningless activities
because he had no time
for silence.

He rushed to obtain
the prize that dangled before him,
he pushed every obstacle out of the path,
he devoted his energy to running the race;
he was nearly trampled in the stampede.

He sought the spotlights and the applause,
public acclaim and celebrity,
but the gods he worshiped were fickle deities
who soon tired of him and
turned their attention
to other contestants.

Shaken, abandoned,
brushing the dust from his clothes,
he left the arena unnoticed
with the voice of the ringmaster,
the one who had urged him on,
ringing in his ears.

He turned to curse the ringmaster,
the one responsible for
all of his miseries,
but the curse died in his throat
as he saw with a shock
that the ringmaster’s face
was his own.

After a very long time,
after the unmistakable
laughter of demons
finally stopped,
there came
a silence,


He tried to convince himself
that the silence was empty,
that nothing was there,
but after another very long time
he realized with
another shock
that something
indeed was there,
no, Someone
was most definitely there


Finally he admitted
to the deep, penetrating sky
that he needed help,
that he could not do it on his own,
that he did not even know
what it was he was supposed to be doing,
and most important of all,
that he was not in charge.

At last,
he begin to hear,
though not with ears,
faint at first
but growing stronger,
the undeniable
singing of angels,
and the


  1. It is a beautiful poem. I mean that.

    What you call 'God', I call 'conscience'.

  2. Wow. That was wonderful, Robert.

  3. Wow! That was very nice.
    Yes God speaks to you because he is inside.

  4. Skilfully wrought. Every word had weight and purpose even though I am not convinced by the last line. For me it would have to be Silence.

  5. Interesting, but I would like to see this written as prose. Arbitrary division into different length lines detracts from the underlying story, which has a salient point to offer.

  6. I truly regret that I have been absent from your blog for so long. This is a beautiful poem, RWP, and I don't care one whit that the lines are not the same length. For me, that did not detract from the message at all. There seems to have been some soul-searching going on prior to the composition.