over breakfast, writing in my head, i can’t hear the words land—they’re swallowed back down the chute they come from—thud of molars as they chew buttered toast which slides, with a slick suck, into the whirlpool of digestive juices—outside, rain is rivetting itself to the ground, a seamless crackle all around tacks maple leaf to sod, roof to paver, electric wire to garbage can—me, inside this chill kitchen, glued to thrum, let my ears expand like megaphones until the background blur is scored by a chickadee’s brilliant note—listen, we’ll try an experiment—see if you can hear what i do—
the city garbage truck’s one-man percussive band rattles through the lane, hisses to a standstill, engine still rumbling—clash of automated arm against brow, beating the contents into its bowels—emptied bins boom then snap as they bite the dust—the pigeon nesting in my neighbour’s roof revs up in three short bursts to rival a motorbike zipping ’round a corner somewhere near east hastings street, while distant sirens, in waves, usher goods trains into sidings down by burrard inlet—
suddenly it’s burst in upon by the fridge’s song, first a breathy whirr overlaid by an electric hum, then into digestive mode—gurgles once—i hold my breath in anticipation—splutters twice—falls still—i’m almost tricked into thinking what i now hear is the sound of
s   i   l   e   n   c   e
shattered by a male house finch, its warble capped by another and yet another—a round of crystal glasses tinkling—cheers! salut! proost!—human tongues try to capture the sensations that quiver our animal bodies in our demi-urge to name and claim the world into being—as sure as birdsong flutes the seed into shoot, so our babble influences earth’s atmosphere for better or for worse—a car swishes by on the road out front and i wonder how i know the next one’s going in the opposite direction, when i locate the beginning and end of its crescendo—the way i can distinguish a father’s intonation from his young daughter’s chime as he accompanies her past my house to school, and hear in my mind’s ear little soles scuff the sidewalk as they scoot across its surface—
here we are, you and i bound, by sound and imagery—our minds’ morse code urgent as rain tap-tapping on the laurel leaves—green hands clap, only to applaud upstart of spring minuet, dandelions, weak-kneed round tulips, whose turgid stems—if you lend an ear—lightly squeak as they bend—now, let the still cool wind this morning, zither baby green leaves, the jet-black crows scissor momentary lulls into a racket—and let us continue, in counterpoint to teeth, saliva, rain, chickadee and garbage truck, bins, pigeons, motorbike, sirens in waves, finch and glass and human tongue, birdsong, babble, car and father–daughter duet, soles and leaves, green hand clap, green stem squeak—joining the reverberations of the big bang.

Image designed by: Jason Paré.