Muse for Monday


We have talked about hearing loss before. We have also talked about selective hearing. The two are mutually exclusive. Mantra is here to tell you there is a third version of hearing loss.

The reason our devices all have bells and whistles, shrill and annoying, are to alert us when someone is reaching out for communication. Whether we really want the message being delivered is a moot point. The bell tolls when another reaches out to us.

Why a bell?

It is designed to be a sound out of place in our normal hearing, the soundtrack of our lives. It means to jostle us from what occupies our time, so we will interrupt what we are doing to focus on the one who wants our attention.

What happens when we do not hear it?

The Ring is not a story of being engrossed in other things and missing the call. It is not about choosing to ignore the bell. The Ring is about a completely different silence.

The Ring

I struggle to hear even the softest sound.
When did my hearing fail?
I remember…

Sitting under the maple tree
Turning the pages of a novel,
The bluebirds’ song in my ears.
I held my breath to listen
For the familiar ring.

As I concentrated to hear,
The birds’ song faded away,
A silence inside my brain
Washing away the wildlife,
Wind and the leaves rustling.

Back in the house, I cranked it up
Singing at the top of my lungs.
The oven beeped, dinner ready.
Silence pushed out the music
Waiting for the doorbell to ring.

Pull back the covers and climb in.
The sheets cool, reach for the remote.
Canned laughter between silly ads.
I mute the show to crane my neck
Hoping my ear catches the “bing”

Of an email delivery.
The sounds of night fade straight away.
Wistfully, it occurs to me.
The incommunicado caused
The silence… not loss of hearing.


What is the person in the poem feeling? What message is on the other side of the ring? Will the bell toll? Should it?

© Red Dwyer 2012
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  1. Hi Red,

    I am just calling in for a quickie read of this one but I will be back in the morning to comment, and to add my thoughts on the reblog posting too I haven’t forgotten, mind you with this scatter brain it’s a wonder that I haven’t 🙂 lol

    Have a fun evening and enjoy yourself, maybe a big Bear Hug later okay 😉 🙂 Noooo from him I meant cheeky 😉 lmao

    Androgoth XXx

    • Hope your car won this weekend 😉 I will see you when you come ’round! And Bear took care of that 😉

  2. Hi Red. I loved the poem, even if I’m not completely sure that I understood the meaning. 🙂
    Wendy Reid recently posted..20 Awesome QuotesMy Profile

    • I like some of the interpretations so far. The next post will bring it more into focus from my perspective. Great to see you tonight, Wendy. Have you seen my new flash feature?

  3. I think we’re a little too connected these days. It’s nice to disconnect once in a while.
    Binky recently posted..Greatest Movie EverMy Profile

    • I think some of us need to be unplugged for a few days to appreciate some of what life has to offer.

  4. Oh so eagerly waiting for that message from someone that he chose to close his ears to every other call….it does happen to me though when i am very anxiously waiting for a news of a kind my system automatically shuts down or blurs other sounds so that i don’t miss that one ring
    Soma Mukherjee recently posted..Trigger to TiggerMy Profile

  5. Sometimes the message we’re waiting for never comes… 🙁

    Love and hugs!


  6. I find the older I get, the more I yearn for silence. Silence! 🙂

    • Welcome, Lisa. Silence is one of those things I rarely have a deficit or an overabundance, although their timing is not the best. Drop by the Green Room and leave a link to your blog.

  7. Yours is the only ping I look forward to anymore, the others they simply need an application of chap stick for the fire they bring.

    You voice my feelings perfectly, it is as if we live within the same skin.

    I love you

    Valentine Logar recently posted..I am Mute TodayMy Profile

  8. This is a difficult one. Me thinks it’s about loss–the ordinary is changed. The heart listens but the loved one is gone, to be heard from no more.

    Sometimes, me thinks incorrectly. Can’t wait to hear the answer.
    tess kann recently posted..IS a Picture WORTH a Thousand Words?My Profile

    • That is a good interpretation, Tess. My version is in the next post. Great to see you.

  9. lovely piece, Red… often it is OK for a poem to have multi layers of meaning… and in fact, sometimes it is planned that way… I rather like the mystery of your multi possibilities…
    well done…

    BuddhaKat recently posted..A Salute to An American Hero – Sally RideMy Profile

    • You will find the majority of mine have enough layers to be a garlic pod. I rarely write the closed ended ones which only mean what I see in them. I do not like those nearly as much as the ones everyone can identify a part of it in their own lives. Great to see you tonight, Kat.

  10. Today is Wednesday and I am reading this post just today. I dimmed my internet lights last Thursday, put them out entirely on Friday and only lifted them to dim on Monday. Today they are full on.

    Sometimes we need to disconnect from all the connection. I missed friday follies though, but I plan to read them.

    Great verse by the way, Red.

    MJ Logan recently posted..Merry Go RoundMy Profile

    • I do not blame you a bit. I was off the line from Sunday to Tuesday (late, late, late Tuesday…as in almost Wednesday). Glad you like this one. It is followed up with Tuesday’s post. Hope you get to that one as well.


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