Stephen’s poem is part of a series of competition winners and runners up for HMD 2012, inspired by the theme Speak Up, Speak Out

It begins in a fury of sound and ends in grave silence; Life.

To speak or not to speak – not so much a question as a Choice.

Neither love nor war is made without it; Noise.

A prison without bars, a refuge from this carnival of words; Silence.

Yet the tongue’s a double-barrel gun

Whose language includes the bullet-as-boomerang.

And yet, to live is human, almost divine; To choose, more human still, As is to love, to kiss – and in what consists a kiss, If not a secret conversation between lovers?

While to dream, to speak and wonder:

What does it all mean – to be human?

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