Tag Archives: piano

The Violence of Silence


This is a new poem I’ve been working on for the past couple of weeks. It’s not about Black Lives Matter, but it was inspired by it. Or rather, the silence of the white majority to the unfair and unjust treatment of black people and people of colour. The implicit violence that silence can bring.

That is the only connection – silence. And how crushing it can be.

Please be advised that the following poem contains harrowing themes.

The Violence of Silence.

By David Milligan-Croft.

The smirk,

The eyeroll,

The sigh.

The undoing,

The redoing,

The restacking the dishwasher,

The recapping the toothpaste.

The elbow grease on the bath,

The busying of the dishcloth.

The fingertrail in the dust,

The torment,

The subterfuge,

The game.

The song unplayed on the turntable,

The needle stuck in the groove.

The portrait on the wall,

Staring into an unseeable space.

The spent match.

The sheet music on the stand.

The dried paintbrush.

The gagged canvas.

The unwritten manuscript,

Of characters without a story,

Or Motive.

The spoon in the can.

The creeping mould.

The hungry bottle,

The greedy glass.

The torn betting stub.

The baby shoes in their box.

The unworn party dress.

The deflated balloon.

The candle wax on the cake.

The forlorn swing.

The jury’s gaze.

The unwound watch,

Ticking in your head.

The heaving chest,

The eyes cast down,

Searching the floor for an escape route.

The unanswered call.

The empty wardrobe.

The rosary beads on the dresser.

The bulging suitcase.

The silent doorbell.

The ‘closed’ sign on the shop.

Fallen petals on a florist’s floor.

The midnight car lot.

The despondent moon.

The fallen tree in the forest.

The charred embers.

The ripple without a stone.

The starling without a murmuration.

The stalking wolf.

The disused canal.

The stagnant water.

The ghost of a railway line.

The forbidden tunnel.

Fragments of a life unlived;

Or lived.

Who knows?

Or cares.

The drop of the body,

From the bridge.

Falling

Into the darkness.

Silence.

The stoic rocks.

Then violence.

The relevance of the cello piece? I adore the cello and I thought the subject matter of the poem suited the haunting and melancholy sound. If you are familiar with the lyrics of Chandelier by Sia, you’ll see why I chose it as an accompaniment.

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Albors Askari


Albors Askari

Albors Pascal Askari has composed a piece of music to accompany the poem I wrote for the victims of the Japan Tsunami.

Personally, I think it is stunning. To me, it is reminiscent of Michael Nyman with a bit of Erik Satie thrown in for good measure. You might even say there’s a teeny bit of Penguin Cafe Orchestra in there too.

It’s very evocative and melancholy.

The piece is called Onagawa, (after the nuclear power plant), and you can listen to it here on Soundcloud.

If it tickles your fancy you might want to listen to the rest of his ‘work-in-progress’ album here.

Albors hails from Vienna, Austria and comes across as a very humble man so it would be good if you could ‘Share’ his work, or ‘like’ it if you have the time. And maybe, when the album is released, (he mentioned October time), you might even buy a copy. I know I will.

As some of you may recall, the poem was the catalyst for the Japan Art Auction which went on to raise just over £5k for the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal.

Here is the poem in a couple of guises. (Just click on them if you want to enlarge them or scroll down to read it on the post.)

Tsunami - A poem for Japan, by David Milligan-Croft

Tsunami - A poem for Japan, by David Milligan-Croft

Tsunami –
A poem for Japan
by David Milligan-Croft

The world cracked
And up you rose
From the Ring of Fire
On a day when the gods were too busy.

You rode ashore,
Like 40,000 apocalyptic horsemen,
Not pausing for houses, for cars,
For people, for breath.

Dragging their kicks and screams
Through concrete and timber and twisted steel,
Splintering bones
Like cherry blossom twigs.

Until they were silent.
And the world was silent.

Then you slithered away
On the belly of the night,
Lapping the shore whilst
Licking your greedy fingers.

And after you are satiated,
And we have un-buried our dead,
We will climb up out of the mud,
And the sun will rise again.

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