Day 91: Silent Night

Silent Night
Matt Zurbo


They say the night is silent, but I have my doubts.
(Head and shoulders of kid, night, ruffled hair, pjs on, wide awake.)

When dreams dodge and escape me, my mind still ticking like a clock,
if I listen hard…
(Close-up of Kid’s ear.)

I can here stray cats fighting.

Dogs barking.

Sometimes I hear the rain, and think; How good would it be, to be outside right now?
(Kid, arms wide, face skywards in the night rain, pjs still on.)

I hear a storm, blowing against my house, trying to make it lean.
The house creaks, air pressure shifts…
(Night storm blowing house onto an angle.)

Sometimes I hear Dad snoring.

When I listen close, I can hear a distant train.
And wonder where it’s going.
If it will be back again?
(Kid in window of train, as it travels through refineries or train yards.)

I can hear the breeze in the trees,
hissing like a snake,
ebbing and flowing, approaching like waves

A bat or two if the season is right.
A street sweeper sneeze.
An aeroplane passing. Where are they going? Why so late?

Who’s on board?
(Kid, seen sleeping in window of plane, pjs on.)

A shift worker returning home, gently shutting their gate.
(Shift worker, factory clothes, lunch pack, gently entering gate.)

Sometimes, in the dark, I stare at my ceiling as if its a movie screen for my dreams.

I look at the stars and wonder what sounds there are in space. 

I look at my window as if it’s a picture of the world.
(Window, with moon the other side.)

So many strange stories happening out there, between the cracks, enough to entertain us all.
(Dockyard workers unloading shipping containers using cranes and ground crew.)

Sometimes I picture Viking tiptoeing down out street.
When all it really is, is the patter of possum feet.
(Viking tiptoeing down suburban street, on bin night. Moon above. Possum keeping pace by running along fence line behind him.)

When we go to my cousin’s (in the bush), there are no cars passing, everything’s silence.
But I can still hear the crash of distant waves.
(Waves crashing, old wooden pioneer sailing ships being thrown about. Kid, in pjs, on cliff, watching.)

A creek.
the small rip of sheep chewing up grass.

The thump of wallabies.

Animals, far away, howling in the night.

When I’m all wound up past bedtime, I listen to a lone owl,
forever defiant.
(Owl, wings spread, grasping a small field mouse, moon behind it.)

And let its call carry the silence,
putting me to sleep.
(Owl in window, watching kid sleeping).

The last thing I hear,
is the sound of my heartbeat,


The End


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