Poet in the City Archives In The Whispering Gallery By Kei Miller Poet in the City · Under the Skin Commissions: In the Whispering Gallery by Kei Miller Kei Miller is a Jamaican poet, fiction writer, essayist and blogger. In 2014 he won the Forward Prize for his collection The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way To Zion. In The Whispering Gallery by Kei Miller Isaiah 29:4 Brought low, you will speak from the ground; your speech will mumble out of the dust. Your voice will come ghostlike from the earth; out of the dust your speech will whisper. I. Come now and see a trick: say something to what might seem like silence – which is to say, a wall, its quiet sprawl of bricks. And let your words themselves be soft as silence; now wait. What you thought no one would hear, will find an ear - will travel round and round. The bricks you thought might muffle sound, in fact bears your voice whole and distinct. And what is this if not prayer, the way we speak to what might seem like silence, which is to say, god, her quiet sprawl of sky, or just her chamber of bricks, and how our desperate syllables of dust, the words we thought no one would hear are in fact borne up, and never lost. II. Kings 19:12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. You will find her, not in the fire that skipped smooth as stones island to island, Portugal then across the arc of archipelagos, Madeira, Porto Santo, Desertas You will find her, not in the wind, its furious funnel, the tornado that snapped the buildings of Jiangsu, 98 people dead; You will find her, not in the sea, its salt or squall; how even the calm Mediterranean can close over the floating shanties and suck them down. You will find her, not in the blood, the bodies, the spent bullets of Orlando; not in the slipped mountains of Sao Paulo, the marauding mud, Not in the heat waves or the hurricanes, or the earthquakes – Italy wobbling Like an untuned TV; not in the airplanes that fall like flies; But here. Just here. In the Whispering Gallery. She is here. III. Job 26:14 And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Consider then this cathedral, its dome and its crypt - the once loud lives that now only whisper, the muted script of soldiers and kings, of poets and priests, reduced now to the softest of syllables of themselves, And yet they have been heard And yet they have changed the world. And what I mean to say is - In this loud world, be not afraid of the quiet, of the stillness, of the low humming night, of the sleeping birds, of the moments that stretch wide as horizons, when we might hear our own selves, our own painful hearts roaring For there too we might hear The faintest whisper of some god. Come now and see a trick: say something to what might seem like silence - which is to say , a wall, its quiet sprawl of bricks - Commissioned by Poet in the City and St Paul's Cathedral for Under the Skin 2016 © Audio recordings by Kieran Lucas. Photographs by Graham Lacdao.