The Creation of the Inaudible
by Pattiann Rogers
Maybe no one can distinguish which voice
Is god’s voice sounding in a summer dusk
Because he calls with the same rising frequency,
The same rasp and rattling rustle the cicadas use
As they cling to the high leaves in the glowing
Dust of the oaks.
His exclamations might blend so precisely with the final
Crises of the swallows settling before dark
That no one will ever be able to say with certainty,
”That last long cry winging over the rooftop
Came from god.“
Breathy and low, the vibrations of his nightly
Incantations could easily be masked by the scarcely
Audible hush of the lakeline dealing with the rocky shore,
And when a thousand dry sheaths of rushes and thistles
Stiffen and shiver in an autumn wind, anyone can imagine
How quickly and irretrievably his whisper might be lost.
Someone faraway must be saying right now:
The only unique sound of his being
Is the spoken postulation of his unheard presence.
For even if he found the perfect chant this morning
And even if he played the perfect strings to accompany it,
Still, no one could be expected to know,
Because the blind click beetle flipping in midair,
And the slider turtle easing through the black iris bog,
And two savannah pines shedding dawn in staccato pieces
Of falling sun are already engaged in performing
The very same arrangement themselves.
Pattiann Rogers, “The Creation of the Inaudible” from Firekeeper: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 1994 by Pattiann Rogers.
Find this poem and more about Pattiann Rogers here.
And so it is.