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The Volumes of the Unspoken
by Lori Othouse 
06/27/12
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Last night I found myself wandering

To a place I never had been,

A place unknown by most everyone

And with the eyes of the heart, unseen.



It was a fortress, of sorts, looming and large,

Chilling my soul to the core,

But it was too late to turn back now,

Too late to hide anymore.



I pulled open the heavy, massive door,

Which creaked as the light filtered through

To reveal a vast, dark library,

The origins of which no one knew.



The old, dusty books were wedged in tight

With seals not easily broken,

The title on every book was the same-

“The Volumes of the Unspoken”



I stared, amazed, at this curious vault,

Wondering what all it might hold.

Then, pulling a book down from the shelf,

Found the answer in stories untold.



The book told of feelings kept inside,

Of truths never uttered out loud.

A lifetime of silences chronicled there,

All wrapped in a hardcover shroud.



I read with dismay at the love that was lost,

The apologies that never were made,

Opportunities wasted, questions unanswered,

Friendships given away.



I picked up another book, then another,

Wanting each one to forget,

But book after book, they were all the same-

Page after page of regret.



“I’m sorry”, “I love you”, “You’re important to me”

Like a prisoner’s song never heard.

Every persuasion that should have been shared

Tucked away in this tomb of words.



The last book I picked up read like the rest

But with dialogue I should have known.

I shuddered when I read the cover’s fine print-

The author’s name was my own.



With great trepidation, I read it again,

Wanting only to look away,

But I couldn’t ignore what I knew all too well-

All the words I chose not to say.



I stared at the pages for hours, it seemed,

Longing to turn back the time,

To say all the things that I should’ve said

And erase these cursed lines.



To see it all down in black and white

Drained the life from my soul within

And I cried ‘til the tears would come no more

Over all that might have been.



At long last I saw something I hadn’t before-

There were pages in the back unfilled.

My life not yet lived and the contents would be

Determined by my own free will.



Maybe it wasn’t too late for me

To say what I might have said.

A small spark of hope lit in my heart,

Clarity after too long misled.



My silence had written many pages, indeed,

As this book had so cruelly kept score,

But from that day on, I put down the pen

And I vowed to write no more.



Slamming my book shut, I turned to the door,

Ready to start living out loud.

Then, leaving this mausoleum behind,

I set forth to make good on my vow.


To let my words flow like water, quenching dry souls,

So that another heart won’t be broken,

And, God help me, I’ll no more contribute to

The Volumes of the Unspoken.



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Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Murray 27 Jun 2012
Hi Lori, I love the point of your poem - the theme of words unsaid - very timely and well said. In this day and age I would like to scream it out with you. The story unravels beautifully. However, the rhythm is very irregular and distracting. I think you could do a lot about that. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Last night I found myself wandering To a place I never had been, A place unknown by most everyone [And] with the eyes of the heart, unseen. A fortress, looming and large, it was Chilling my soul to the core, But it was too late to turn back now, To pretend, or hide, anymore. I tugged at the heavy, massive door, Which creaked as the light filtered through To reveal a vast, dark library, Whose origins nobody knew. The old, dusty books were wedged in tight With seals not easily broken, The title on every book was the same- “The Volumes of Words Unspoken” I stared, amazed, at this curious vault, Wondering what [all] it might hold. Then, drawing a book from the dusty shelf, Found the answer in stories untold. I read of those feelings kept inside, Of truths never uttered out loud. A lifetime of silences chronicled there, (Love this line) All wrapped in a hardcover shroud. The above verse is brilliant, and rhythmical. It's the core or axis of the poem, and beautifully written. I read with dismay [of] the love that was lost, Apologies could have been made, Questions unanswered, chances wasted, And Friendships given (thrown?) away. Above are some examples of changes that may help. Hope this helps Lori as I really love people writing on such valuable themes. Blessings to you. elen The attitude development at the end was exciting.




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