Two Poems by Paul Waring

What Silence Knows

is nightingale song
heard for the first time,
sweet notes played until
morning; musk echo
recorded as memory trace,
kept alive somewhere safe.

A late-night tryst
from a Truffaut film,
a story stitched tight
to the roof of mouth,
recalled in full colour
when eyes fuse by chance

in an unfamiliar town, a
face in a crowd you could
never forget, recalls taste
of syllables once shared,
now unspoken on lips –
embedded, a latent virus

stock-still as the lakeside
heron who owns silence –
a secret you promised
to carry, hold words
that must never spill,
roll out like marbles.


No sleep or rest from constant fret,
it’s the part of you that stays pet-close,
won’t let you far from sight,

sends herds of thought to congest
neural highways, hour by hour
behind parked eyes at night

and by day, never further than
the next kettle boil, content for you
to do the work of the guilty, carry

a cross for those without conscience
to wrestle, bones that sleep sound
and don’t break, even in a stoning.


Paul Waring is from Wirral, UK. His poems have been published in print journals and webzines including Prole, Strix, Atrium and Ink, Sweat & Tears. Awarded second prize in the 2019 Yaffle Prize and commended in the 2019 Welshpool Poetry Competition, his debut pamphlet ‘Quotidian’ is published by Yaffle Press.
T: @drpaulwaring

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