An Examination of Values
by Carol Hamilton

Their garments, their ropes
were forever made of beaten bark.
From the dawn of creation
the fierce fibers were pounded
into submission day and night.
The overlooked Rennell Island
was at last discovered in the 30's.
The West submerged its Stone Age ways
with a tsunami of modern life.

These Polynesians loved the makeover,
praised the lovely silence
ushered in by civilization.
The round-the-no-clock clamor
of beatings for survival were gone,
the eons of endless noise.
No sentimental longings
for the past nor fierce
praise of ancient ways.
The people welcomed
the undreamed-of
luxury of quiet.

I wonder now,
as my huge elm takes shape
in this rise of light,
if that woodpecker
would thank me should I set out
an insect feast to save
his daily drumbeat.
My pocket of peace is the night.
I arise early to share it.
Silence is a precious stone,
one overlooked, I think,
as we mine for gold.

Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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