We Pray That We Will Find Silence

At the bottom of the ocean,

In a mariner’s trench so deep

That Hillary could have climbed it,

We pray that we will find silence.

 

So carefully we tap the phones,

A titanium-encased bug

That we place in the ocean’s heart

So that we can find its stillness.

 

Yet even here, beneath the waves,

We can still hear nature breathing;

Earthquakes crackle through the damp air,

Humpback whales groan and glug with joy

Serenading lovers unseen,

Whilst typhoons pass by overhead.

 

We try escape, but we cannot

Yet halt the never-ending whine

Of a passing ship’s propeller,

Nor the niggling feeling of doubt

That we are all just voyeurs;

Listening without permission

Then ruining the symphony

By running onto nature’s stage

Screaming “Look at me! Look at me!”

 

Hydrophone being lowered into the Challenger Deep trough in the Mariana Trench in 2015. (Photo credit: NOAA)
Hydrophone being lowered into the Challenger Deep trough in the Mariana Trench in 2015. (Photo credit: NOAA)

 

This is a poem that was inspired by the research that is currently being done by researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), who have been listening to the deepest part of the world’s ocean. Instead of finding silence, they found a dissonance of sounds ranging from whale song to the noises made by passing ships. You can read more about this research here.

 

An audio version of this poem can be heard here.

4 thoughts on “We Pray That We Will Find Silence

  1. Thank you Samuel. We have put so many barriers and distractions in the way of ‘hearing nature’s breathing’. Even worse than ‘look at me’ is ‘I didn’t know you were there’; and its nearly too late…

    • Thanks Phil, this is so true. I hope that it won’t be the case that in 20-30 years we end up saying ‘can you remember what we the away…’

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