Beyond Silence

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

Not wishing

But living

The impossible dream.

John David Willams August 6, 19833

COPYRIGHT 1999 U.S. Rehabilitation Services Administration

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group