quiet, please

Felice Casorati


No noise, chatter, busyness or worry.

Deep breaths.

Silence, sweet silence.




by Pablo Neruda

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;
I want no truck with death.

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 death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

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

~ from Extravagaria: A Bilingual Edition, translated by Alastair Reid (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2001)


“La Solitude du Christ” by Alphonse Osbert (1897)


Sylvia Boorstein reading the poem:




Savor these BLUE worlds of solitude and reflection:


“Save the Planet II ” by Robert Richter


Vladimir Danilyuk


“Bluebonnets” by Robert Onderdonk (1921)



“Blue Sea” by Xuan Loc Xuan


Ly Yeow


Lauren Wilmshurst


“Tullynally Upper Floor Window” by Hector McDonnell


Park Hang-Ryul


Annabel Gosling


“Night” by Olga Kvasha


“The Return” by René Magritte


Gianni De Conno


Kristin Vestgard


“Full Moon at Kankai Pavilion” by Hasui Kawase (1950)


“The quieter you become the more you are able to hear.” ~ Rumi



This moment of calm has been brought to you by blue skies, serene seas, bluebonnets, winsome whales, sweet dreams, distant horizons, mysterious moonlight, open windows, empty rooms, and minds adrift.

Have a peaceful weekend.



Be well.


Kristin Vestgard



The lovely and talented Susan Bruck is hosting the Roundup at Soul Blossom Living. Check out her fun, whimsical poem and the full menu of poetic goodness being shared around the blogosphere this week. As always, stay safe, be well, and have a good weekend.


Copyright © 2020 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

23 thoughts on “quiet, please

  1. Jama, you have brought us the peaceful world of blue solitude. These lines from Pablo Neruda’s poem speak to me:
    Perhaps the earth can teach us
    as when everything seems dead
    and later proves to be alive.
    There is silent beauty in your showcased work today.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jama, thank you. This post brings me joy and the feeling of solitude. What a beautiful collage of words and images. You are a genius and a healer. I feel the lifting of my spirit already.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks, Jama–calming blue and the peace of silence–what could be better right around now (although today it’s good to take a moment to celebrate, too!) I haven’t heard (or read) the Neruda poem before. But it’s now one of my favorites. And all the beautiful, blue images–I always feel better after visiting your blog, and even more so today.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such gorgeous art and the perfect mood for that day! What a beautiful reminder about quiet and stillness. Now I’m happy to be loud and celebratory!

    Liked by 1 person

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