The Valley of No Radio

The accordion’s reeds collapsed into static 
as I crested the hill 
into the Valley of No Radio. 
I had been listening to the station of the dead: 
the rock ‘n’ roll boys bending their beautiful guitars 
a faded seductress batting her tambourine 
someone, possibly my grandad, on the electric organ 
with a sound like singing dust. 
There are no ads on that station. No one speaks. 
Between songs is a long pause. 
I hadn’t found it before, I haven’t since. 
The valley propped itself up on its elbows 
the sun sucked out the patches of night. 
All the frequencies in the air had been sucked out too 
leaving a clean silence 
and the fog around the village. 


Airini Beautrais usually lives somewhere near Wellington. Her first book of prose poetry, Secret Heart, was published by VUP in 2006. She is currently working on a second collection. ‘The Valley of No Radio’ is part of a longer series of poems entitled ‘Omens’. Small and perhaps insignificant events in everyday life, such as losing a station while driving, become portents for the future.