Robert Gibbons: Silence with a Tone All Its Own
Retreated at night to the one room held a bit of coolness away from day’s near hundred-degree heat. There were dreams alright, vanished. Morning dawned polyphonic with the trailing sound of a motorcycle in the distance, truck rumbling out front, but in the back, here, silence chimed in with a tone all its own. Hydrangea loved it. Clematis, red roses, pink, tall grass, & dead leaves loved it, practically saying so to the extent that I heard their additional choric murmur.
Now, a traditional aubade was written as a morning song to a sleeping woman. Hell, that’s not how things work here. She was up before me washing kitchen & bathroom floors, vacuuming living room, study. From my perspective upstairs in the one cool room, all that became a series of processional drumming, sheepskins wrapped round wooded hoops as prelude to later trailing in the distance, rumbling near at hand, silence with a tone all its own flowers, grass, & dead leaves loved.
(Ill. Cauyuk drum, late 19th C. / Nushagak Bay, Alaska, United States Metropolitan Museum)