Monday Night Poetry – Unquietness

March 9 2024

We had a guest last Monday Night Poetry. Ashley Vargas, Ms. AyeVee, from Vegas. She and her poetry are fire! ❤️‍🔥❤️‍🔥❤️‍🔥 It was such a fabulous night.



The absence of sound
Censorship of oneself
Staying quiet

In searching for a quote about silence
I was reminded of the multifaceted nature of silence

Depending on the context,
Silence can offer welcome respite from the
Noise of life
Silence can be used against someone
As punishment
Silence can allow space to focus
And be mindful
Silence can be used as a
Form of protection
Silence can be welcome relief to one who has
Difficulty quieting the mind

Early in my life
I learned that silence
Was a way to reject attention

I learned to censor myself
My brain became the staging ground
For deciding which thoughts to release
And which thoughts weren’t allowed to leave

Staying silent meant safety
When I disagreed
When I had input on a topic
Silence was my knight in shining armor

I didn’t have to worry about others disagreeing with me
Disagreements brought forth an immediate learned response
Within me that I was wrong, that I was being stupid

I didn’t have to worry about others thinking
I was weird
Silence was the shield that protected me
From others thinking this about me

This shield was my instinctive response
When as a teenager I naively got myself into a bad situation
Of being alone in a car with someone I did not know
I thought we were going to someone’s house

As the car entered a wooded area, I begin to think
This was going to be the night I died
I guess I was lucky because he didn’t kill me
Instead, he raped me

I feared for my life
Thought if I fought back
If I screamed
I would die

So I used my shield of silence
Along with something else I learned as a child
I disassociated from what was happening

A similar scenario as this came into my life
Two additional times in my late teens

I never told anyone
I stayed silent
I mean, what would people think about me if I told them
I had been raped
Three times

I buried that shit deep, telling no one.

Until my silence was broken
In the year 2017
With the sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein
Thrusting the 2006 Me too movement into popularity

I was motivated, uplifted, and inspired by
Other brave humans
To break my silence

I shared on social media
That I was also part of this movement

I no longer remain silent
About this or any topic I am moved to speak about
I replaced my shield of silence with a shield
Of unquietness

For there is power in the many voices
Who decide to stay silent no longer

For those of us who stayed silent
For fear of what they would think about us
Fear of them saying it was our fault
Fear of not being believed
Fear of attention being drawn
To those who would shrink and wither
under the weight of this attention

I moved forward, using all my strength
The silence of my decade long spiritual journey
Empowered me to break a different type of silence in 2017

No longer being silent
When voices need to be heard
By those who have built walls of ignorance,
turned deaf ears,
To events, to fellow humans
They have deemed less than

The silence is broken
Never to be quieted again.
Camilla Downs

**Please note. I do not need comforting, nor sorrow about this. These events happened over 30 years ago. After doing my own internal work, and working with an EMDR therapist, it’s just something that happened. And I think we should talk and share about these things.

This is simply the poem that came forth to our prompt of, Broken Silence.**

This is simply the poem that came forth to our prompt of, Broken Silence. At the conclusion of Monday Night Poetry a much younger participant came up to me, thanking me, and telling me my poem meant very much to her. That’s reason enough to have shared this poem.**