Semaphore. A poem by James Sey

Every morning
When I wake up
There’s a moment
When I can hear
If I listen
There’s no longer
An inside or an outside.
Nor even, it seems,
The faint but total
Susurration of white noise.
Is the pretence of silence
A comfort?
Have even the satellites
Fallen quiet?
Then a dog barks
A distant caw.
I go back to sleep.


James Sey is an writer, academic and art dealer in Johannesburg, South Africa, in the middle of lockdown. He can be reached at

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