The expanse of silence remains unguarded

and the parable to our truest state.

4AM and the dead hush of somnolence

makes sound the sentry to unerring fate.

Underfoot the floorboards creak, there

is a laboured rise and fall from my mother’s

room. Is this how God sees us, contemplating

the vulnerable, loving life rush in,

so delicate, so dear?

What is it about the time before the sun

has risen, or the blackbirds chirp, that breathes

sincere uncertainty? Why does the dark escort

devout fragility?

Day breaks with no answers—just facts.

And now by tombs so old, they stoop;

I begin to pray. These souls are kindred

to the quiet and serve its longest sentence.

And devotion to fate is devotion to silence.


Coiled like a cochlea,

or conic, convex,

you bore the arms

for abalone, whelk.

Until your calcified

trunk became discounted,

or your spiral sucked

of its flinching

flesh, left you—

the cracked sea-litter

to our coastal drift,

the smoothed reaction

to decomposition.

You, the deep-sea

landlord to the Hermit Crab,

the off-track armour

to its supple meat,

or clutched to my ear,

a locked-up whisper,

a repository of sound—

an unmarked fleet.

F. C. Andrews is a writer from Dublin, Ireland. He is currently a student on the M. Phil. in Creative Writing programme at Trinity College Dublin. His poems have appeared in Drawn to the Light Press, Hot Pot Magazine, The Hemlock, Icarus and are forthcoming in Eunoia Review.