The Deflowering of Silence

Oct 21, 2014

I don’t think I like you much.
For starters, you have me at a disadvantage.
I am not at all used to
sitting at the dining hall table,
on a bench beneath a tree,
or beside a brook amongst tall grasses
wearing not a stitch – not one!

Although I suppose
we could skinny dip
behind the falls of the brook…
or from the reeds I could watch
as your splashes tinsel the air
with motes of rainbow
and transfigured song
one must open ones heart to hear,
for ears are useless here.
Only now can I begin,
tentatively, to fathom
how Beethoven heard
four sublime movements
in a void.

Ah, yes, we must engage
in some long overdue
conversations and compromises,
my not yet friend,
my Silence.

Is it that I have no armor here
that I drop my eyes
before your gaze?
Draped in scarves and sheaths stitched
from spilt skeins of words –
black words, white words,
words of every color –
I take cover.
Will you think me beautiful,
will you think me ugly
when at last, trembling,
I allow my raiment
to fall in musty folds
about my feet?

I know of only one way to speak
with no words…
Ah the honeyed inevitability
of your strange embrace,
of this awkward, first coupling
between us – between you,
my Silence,
and I.
The rush of discovery building
then extinguishing itself
in a sudden green shoot of bloom…

And, now, I love you.

So, of course, at exactly the perfect
moment, I cry out…
while the fountain still splashes
and petals strain heavenward
to take their first breath.


Matt Lavin_Anemone patens_Wikimedia Commons


The Deflowering of Silence was written (mostly) beneath an olive tree at a silent retreat.
Copyright © 2013 Jenine Baines

Photo, top right, by Petr Pakandl, CC-BY-SA-2.5, via Wikimedia Commons
Photo, bottom, by Matt Lavin from Bozeman, Montana, USA, CC-BY-SA-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Find more of Jenine’s poems, writings, and musings at


2 Responses for “The Deflowering of Silence”

  1. Wondrous: the silky vulnerability of silence! Admiration to the poet!

  2. Jenine Baines says:

    Thank you, Esther!



Flintridge Books

Lyd and Mo Photography

Louis Jane Studios

Homage Pasadena