Silence. A poem by Ellen O’Brien

What if the world as we know it came to an unanticipated and sudden
The trains screech into the station, releasing the last clusters of busy commuters,
the bustling streets of hyperactive cities become empty of the usual tense and hurried footsteps.
Theatre curtains close, leaving only the ghost-light flickering its eerie protective glow from the
spirits that linger.
The threat of ghosts is overshadowed by what is happening outside.
This is much more frightening.

The usual hum of chatter and music is replaced by deafening
Cafes and restaurants, hubs of social activity; all lost to the quiet darkness.
Do not hug your loved ones, do not say goodbye.
The horror of this cannot be ignored.

Perhaps, all of this would happen for some sort of reason.
Perhaps, we needed this.
Perhaps, we were lost.
Lost in the deadlines and endless productivity,
the isolation of being constantly connected.
Lost in the mentality of ‘keep going, just.. keep going’,
Lost behind screens and blinding lights.
Consumed by the endeavours of everybody else. Running on auto-pilot.

Too busy doing everything and nothing.
Too busy to see the various palettes of colour that shape the ever-shifting sky,
to hear the birds serenading the world each day.
The things that are ever-present but go ignored in-light of seemingly more appealing, yet ultimately artificial sounds.
The things that will be there for us when everything else is uncertain.
Too afraid to lose the constant noise that helps us to drown ourselves out.
We cannot hide from ourselves any longer.

Distraction from the voices in our heads. They only grow louder when ignored.
With this new silence, it feels like they are all that can be heard.
Hearing them and listening to them are vastly different things.
Perhaps, we needed to be re-united with ourselves away from the noise of the world.
To be given the space to listen to the most important sound of all; the voice within yourself that always knows the way.

It is only in times of crisis that the most important things occur to us with great clarity.
Our hearts and souls open with vulnerability and yearn for that which is dearest to them; love, family, friendship and true connection.
We are given what we have been missing; perspective, priority, clarity.
In a world which has been developed and transformed impeccably, the greatest treasures still remain those
which cannot be bought or sold.
I do not fear the quiet darkness any longer, because I know that
the most valuable things are to be found in the


I am currently an Undergraduate student of University College Dublin studying English & History. I am a writer and am usually drawn to poetry. Previous publication includes the April 2020 issue of the UCD English & Literary Society’s ‘Caveat Lector’. Feel free to contact me for more information, please email.

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