Beyond Silence – Poem
John David Willams
Deafness is soundless sight
Music frozen in paper
Air with no sound
Rhythm with no beat
Rushing bodies in the street
Bumps of surprise
A tap of disruption.
Mouth and lips move against the
Glass of isolation
Words emerge: Life’s stream of bubbles
Crystal spheres, hollow of meaning,
Break and ripple at the surface of reason,
While silent, on the sandy floor,
Deafness sways in mute incomprehension.
Invisible to most
Embarrassing to some
Deafness hides from the social stare
Huddled in ghettos from the listening ear.
Talents wither in the soundless air;
Each hope blooms and dies in dumb despair.
What once seemed only a Quixotic joust
To turn the Public Ear
And see the Deaf as fellow men
–One Deaf man tried for forty years
to show the world the Deaf belong.
As humans do, in the Grand Hall of all creation.
No more must the deaf man
Stand outside, on tiptoes,
To see life’s grand commotion
But step up to the dance of life
And sing the song of strong emotion.
My Father within his own
Soundless world and intense frustration,
Smashed the locks on a million
Cells of desolation.
He set free, by single purpose
And tenacity of mind
The human force locked up in
A silent scream:
He leaves the deaf
The impossible dream.
John David Willams August 6, 19833
COPYRIGHT 1999 U.S. Rehabilitation Services Administration
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group