Wendy Orr

Ode to Attentiveness

I do not know what I’m listening to
but I know it’s listening to me.
In this attentiveness
to silence,

there is something
clamorous
there is something
of self-assertion

that will conflate
the moving dark lakes
of reticence in this silence.

It makes me Listener.
It makes me Watcher.
I could –
I can become

I can disguise myself
in the bright abandoned bones
within me.

I can ambush
the sliding banks of white mud
that are just shy of knowing,

and drink into my bright bones
the wrong side of apparent,
the intuitive.

I can know my body,
its breathing,
indirectly and true.

Wendy grew up in Glasgow and Ayrshire. She works as a teacher, education consultant and workshop tutor and curated the Children and Young People’s Art and Poetry Exhibition for StAnza International Poetry Festival, St Andrews. She is also a painter. Wendy has published in Poetry Salzburg Review, Interpreters House and Ink, Sweat & Tears. In 2016, she was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. Wendy has lived in Berkeley, California, where she began work on her first collection and now lives in Fife.

Listen to the poem at

Wendy Orr – Ode to Attentiveness.m4a