The Weight of Silence

All has become quiet in Moscow.”
–Count L N Tolstoy, The Cossacks, Sampson Low, Morton, Searle & Rivington, 1878

The air is heavy with silence,
the quiet is a roar of denial–
there is no war

there are no reports
of fallen soldiers and grieving mothers,
only the special operation to protect and save—

do not say otherwise, wiser to say nothing at all.
The air is heavy with silence. That silence is heavy with fear.

For dVerse, where Linda has asked us to write a poem inspired by one of the opening sentences she has supplied. Foreign journalists in Moscow have been forced to leave. Within Russia news is restricted. No talk of war or invasion is allowed. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is called a “special operation.”

77 thoughts on “The Weight of Silence

  1. I am convinced that line is the one that will inspire many poems today.
    Beautifully done, Merril.
    I must have misunderstood. I thought we had to use the line not just be inspired by it.. D’oh!

  2. Such a powerful poem! You know, my heart aches for the Russian people too. Putin has poisoned many minds through his repression, and those who know he is lying have to flee their country. It’s frightening how one man can damage and destroy so many.

  3. “the quiet is a roar of denial–”
    Haunting line in your powerhouse of a poem.
    Thanks for dropping by to read mine


  4. Fits just right, and in those careful lifting of the stones to uncover the facets of the “roar of silence” one does discover fear. Too many Russians accordingly see themselves as victims in this brutal war waged. Powerful poem that really hit a chord with me.

  5. I’m shivering Merril!
    Well messaged. The fear laden silence reaches here.
    As I had mentioned, I will be doing another Sunflowers post on GLAM.
    I will have a series of photos of Sunflower murals/street art.
    Each photo will link to a poem, post, art whatever creatives have done.
    I’m hoping you will let me use one of yours. I’m not sure which one, as you have done many. Perhaps this one. Thank you!

  6. Thanks for writing a poem which says something sharply and clearly about this war, and about things most people don’t want to see or realize. We are in much the same boat as the Russians in terms of what we are told about so many things…and fear is a cruel ruler.

    • Thank you so much.
      Yes, it is getting very scary here. We’re not told everything, but also too many people choose to believe the mis or disinformation that is so widespread.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.