This poem talks about the need for quiet introspection and creating feelings of mutual understanding, love and respect among human beings.
The poet suggests that he count to 12 and we all keep still. The purpose of this exercise, according to him, is to create a sense of togetherness in the minds of all people. In the twelve seconds of silence that the poet wishes to observe, he wants all the people on earth to not talk in any language, but to speak through their hearts and understand each other. He feels that it would be an exotic moment, with silence. There would be no rush and no noise and all the people in the world would be bonded by this sudden stillness.
Fishermen in the sea would stop their act of killing and men who gather salt would stop their work and look at their hands, hurt from the burdens of their toil. For once, they would be able to pay heed to their selves, rather than their work.
People who fight wars would stop and walk about with all others, like brothers, doing nothing.
The poet does not want total inactivity or death. He feels that today, all the people are so engrossed in keeping their lives moving and fulfilling their duties, that no one has time to think about themselves or others. He believes that if we observe these few moments of silence, it would unite us in a strange silence and help us understand ourselves better. It would foster a sense of brotherhood and unity among us.
According to the poet, we should all learn a lesson from the earth, who appears to be dead on the surface. But beneath the surface is amazing life, which proves that there can be life under apparent stillness.