Listening Poems 

The original Listening Arts page had listening poems from multiple contributors and links to a variety of listening-themed poems. I hope to rebuild this page one day. In the meantime, please enjoy this small selection of three poems from my collection The Beauty of Listening and a special contribution from Marva McIntosh, founder of I Love to Listen Day.

 

THE MODERN ART OF CONVERSATION

By Linda Eve Diamond

 

Conversation, once a high art,
has changed in favor of simplicity. 

Seems the art of blending led to clashing.
Perspective was a bore.

The many styles and points of view
confused things even more.

Discourse moved to smooth, quick lines
then simplified more over time.

Welcome to the gallery
of modern conversation.

I’m in the blue room
with all the blue people.

Water horizon and sky wash 
into a nearly solid blue.        

The plaque on the wall refers to a ship 
which must be the same blue as the sea.

The lighthouse and the beacon, too,
I presume are the same blue hue. 

Undoubtedly, shipwrecks are rampant
in the blue, blue, blue, blue world.

The room of reds is no better
red folding into red upon red upon red.

In the purple room, 
an artist true to light

paints only colors true to life
but still only the life of purple.

Thus, Woman with Teacup
shows only a floating purple cup.

To those who love purple,
this is the only place to be.

Blues gather with blues.
Reds with reds. Greens with greens.

In each room, the solid blend 
of voice and vision  

blinded by the beauty of the color
blind to anything missing at all.

In fact, they say the other rooms
do nothing but distract.

Speeches all begin and end:
I know I’m preaching to the choir.

That phrase echoes through the gallery
which is, incidentally, falling apart.

The halls are dark and dangerous.
Common grounds are never cared for.

When these patrons meet in the hall,
tempers flare with no provocation at all.

Each room is heated with endless talk
that the art of conversation may be lost. 

For more poetry on the beauty of listening,, please visit http://LindaEveDiamond.com

 

THE DOORWAY

By Linda Eve Diamond

Trapped inside myself, I heard your voice,
the gentle offering you placed in the doorway.

You offered to listen. I opened up just a little.
You stepped so softly… as if entering
a place of prayer.

You didn’t look for a light switch,
bring a flashlight, open the blinds,
or try in any way to illuminate
my space.

You sat quietly beside me
in the dark.

I talked in stops and starts
becoming smoother as you listened.

You didn’t jump in, preach or rant,
judge me, entertain or chant.

I unburdened, articulated,
and could feel my breath… slowing.

You didn’t tweet, text, check your phone,
or update your online status to “listening.”

I don’t know when the door blew open,
but a natural light filled the room.

Through that generous, open space,
stirred a breeze of fresh, breathable air.

As you listened, my thoughts began to clarify,
opening to a knowing voice deep inside.

You helped me find my voice,
my center and my smile.

You say you didn’t do a thing.
You simply listened.

Thank you for all that you didn’t do
and all that you did by listening.

Find audio of this poem on the International Day of Listening's Listening Moments page, where you will also find other "listening moments" and in invitation to submit your own (which can be poetry, music, nature...).

For more poetry on the beauty of listening,, please visit http://LindaEveDiamond.com

 

THE PROBLEM WITH INTERRUPTING

A Cautionary Tale.  ;)

By Linda Eve Diamond

She said   I couldn’t love you
He snapped a quick reply: 
You said you did, you lied to me, but then—all women lie.

With that, he gathered up his things and spewed a harsh goodbye.
She would have loved him always, but he had one awful flaw. 
He interrupted her every sentence, her every little thought. 

But oh, how she cried when he walked out the door.
The rest of her sentence would have been more!

 

 

For more poetry on the beauty of listening,, please visit http://LindaEveDiamond.com

 

TODAY I WILL LISTEN

By Marva Shand-McIntosh

 

Today I will listen

Without interrupting

Without judging

Without second guessing

Without gazing

Without rehearsing

Without discounting

Without filtering

Without correcting

Without contradicting

Today I will just listen

Today I will listen

With attention

With humility

With respect

With patience

With understanding

With awe

With gladness

With empathy

With warmth

With gratitude

With reverence

Today I will just listen.

Marva is the founder of I Love to Listen Day.