SILENCE, PLEASE (a poem about American wilderness by Franz Camenzind)

Please- leave your cell phone behind
Lose your ear-buds too
Lower your voice –­ Please
Clear your mind of rushing thoughts

Be still
This is a beautiful place
Silence is a gift received

The silence I seek is not the absence of sound
The silence I seek is the sound of the land –
Air moving, quacking leaves
Streams flowing, splashing the sky

Grasshoppers buzzing away on wings
A red squirrel chattering
Gray jays calling
This is the silence I treasure

The silence of the living land
With no barriers between me and earth’s songs
Between today and creation
The primeval sounds found here still

On a wild lands trail
My backpack creaking
Footfalls on a hardened earth
The scuffing of dirt

My own breathing
Heartbeats heard inside
Pack straps rubbing
The clicking of my walking stick

Sounds unknown by far too many

We avert our eyes from the unsightly
But cannot avert
Our ears from the world’s new noise
So persistent is the clamor

We have accepted
Being numbed to the noise
Accepting the unnatural
Removed from the wild

I seek the wild places
Where the land still speaks
By mechanized sound

We treasure tranquility
The feeling born
From the silence of the land
Becoming every more rare

Silence, Please
For wilderness harbors the sounds of our soul
Freely given
We need only visit – and listen

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