The Many Shades of Silence (cento)

glassblock close up

A vision left its seed

stray thought

planted in my brain

sifting glimpses of interior life

in the sounds of silence.


I walked alone down narrow streets

absorbed by hypnotic stray thought

my eyes stabbed by a neon light

changing destinies like switching clothes

that touched the sound of silence.


I saw talking without speaking.

People you could have known.

Hearing without listening.

Reading pulp fiction by the lamp.

Writing songs to escape.

No-one dared

disturb the sound of silence.


In that silence

like silent raindrops

darkness enfolds on itself


My chest tightens

and whispered

I wished to my marrow I had spoken

in the wells of silence.

© Raili Tanska

A Cento entwined from the words of  –

Sounds of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel


In Silence by Candice Daquin of the featheredsleep




23 thoughts on “The Many Shades of Silence (cento)

    1. Thanks Jane. You’ll love it – it’s basically using words or lines from others’ poems and re-writing to create a new one. It’s fascinating. I particularly liked doing this one, although it was a challenge to get the flow right for it. And I only used two works to draw from. That version of Sounds of Silence at the end is spine tingling.

      1. I think I said something like this before, but his rendition is amazing – he grinds Simon and Garfunkel’s version into the dust, and it was their song! I always loved it…

  1. Look at YOU! I loved this! Wow girl! Okay so I only had to say write poetry and suddenly this beautiful OCEAN of words opens up and devours the ordinary world! What a splendid job you did to the prompt of the many shades of silence, and it is that idea of rendering and the ways of this, and the otherworldlyness of such art. You write with your quill in two worlds, this I can tell, maybe it’s why it’s so natural to you but good grief I am pleased that you are writing more poetry, clearly this was a gift that ached to be pollinated and I for one am loving the results! So proud of you!

    1. Thanks Calen. A cento is a poem made up of words, lines etc from other people’s poems 🙂 It’s fun to do although I found this one more challenging than usual.

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