• Burnt Breakfast

Quiet Rooms | By Andrew Shields

You know I think it's fine to talk about those things in quiet rooms.

(Mitt Romney, January 2012)


We talk about these things in quiet rooms

where nobody can sit alone for long.

We weave our words as if on ancient looms

and turn our measured voices into songs

that everyone begins to sing as one.

We choose our proper places in the choir,

sing harmonies it seems nobody spun

and tunes that leave us nothing to desire.


If several singers always take the lead,

it's only that their voices are the best.

If anyone's outside, why don't you come

and join us? We'll teach you what you need

to know to sing our songs, or play a drum.

Or just come in and listen. Be our guest.


Andrew Shields lives in Basel, Switzerland. His collection of poems "Thomas Hardy Listens to Louis Armstrong" was published by Eyewear in 2015. His band Human Shields released the album "Somebody's Hometown" in 2015 and the EP "Défense de jouer" in 2016.

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