The Empty Bed

To those of you, all over the world, who have lost or are about to lose a loved one, and especially to a very dear friend, I bring these words excerpted from my book, "The Empty Bed".(1)

We search

Together we search

For others

Who came so tremulously

Huge with hope

And left so abruptly


Do you mind if I share

Your vanishing?

Can silence die

Like I?

If so

Where does it go?

Can I go 2

With you?

Aging women have been forced

To occupy less space

Lest they spread truth

On our fragile toasted myths.

The oceans are allowed to roar

Why not I?

But then if I had two billion years

Of wrinkles and tears

I would roar too.

Silence shrouds the rose.

If we shatter the silence

Where do shatters go?

I think I will become silence.

You and I, we come and go

Silence doesn't know


The silence of lost memories subsumes me.

Where do they go?

Go with me.

Wrap yourself in silence

Float in the wind

Of simply being

Without being

What others demand.

Together we will search

Not for shatters or tatters

But for the totality of joy


In the womb of silence

Do not fear the empty bed

For I will wait

Just ahead

In the silence.

c. Corinne Whitaker 2019 - 2024

(1) "The Empty Bed", with a foreword by world-renowned art historian and curator Pratapaditya Pal.

From an online reviewer: "Fabulous book. Whitaker writes about silence, aging and existence, with wisdom that comes with years, yet combines it with a medium of art that is current and fresh. It is this combination that makes the book so outstanding...In an era that "attacks" us with data, taking a pause to process it through outstanding art and thought provoking poetry is a treat."

(2) "Noise in the Machine" points to noise as a qualifier in AI algorithms.

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