Count to Twelve

Image result for pictures of quiet

“I love the gap, that momentary gap, where day and night are not defined.”
Debbie Lynn


Pablo Neruda 1904-1973.  His poem ‘Keeping quiet’ was written in the 1950’s.  His wisdom will live on and perhaps this short silence of counting to twelve, might interrupt this sadness of never understanding ourselves.


Keeping Quiet

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.

Life is what it is about…

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with

Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

20 thoughts on “Count to Twelve

  1. Fabulous and fantastic poetry, Karen and for sure I so agree with each and every stanza and then there would be only brotherhood of man where we would all love each other the way our Lord wants us to. Awesome poem.

  2. I also love this time of day, and this poem took my breath away. If only the world could gather in this silence and we could push past our differences to the bigger picture. I, too, will count… xox

  3. I’ve been pondering the many possibilities if we all, all of us in the world, simply stopped, briefly, to be quiet. A count to twelve would do it. What a lovely poem. 💕🙏🏻

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