What I Hear

Conversation. Voices that are not mine or my children’s or the creaking moaning ageing of the house -voices from others are talking. And laughing. We have friends over, and we are visiting without fear.

As we talk about their move from out of state, we hear an airplane fly over. We hear a click-clunk of scooter on sidewalk coupled with happy child-talk, from outside. As the night darkens, the child-talk becomes teenage squeals as our older neighbors begin night games in the street.

Do you remember these things?

Music -I hear music. There’s an impromptu outdoor concert a few blocks away. There’s a neighbor cleaning his house with the radio playing. My husband sings to our baby; he grins, entranced, as he watches the slow notes move his father’s lips.

The hose, outside, is on. I hear the rush of water that used to send me running to scold, “Turn that off this instant!” Now, I open our blinds to summer sky; glance down to muddy children, laughing in the hose-rain. I wave.

I remember these things.

As sounds filter in where once they were not, I remember. I feel my soul shudder thaw stretch unfurl. I feel. I hope. I smile.

Photo by Marcus Cramer on Unsplash

In response to Rethinking Scripture’s post, “Summer 2020 – What I Don’t Hear.”

©2020 Chel Owens

The Case of the Kitchen Cacophony

Frank stopped to listen; the drip drip drip of the old faucet echoing in an empty kitchen. A possibly empty kitchen, of course. Frank remembered The Escapade of ’18 like it was last year and wasn’t taking any chances.

He peered around a finger-smudged corner; first an ear, then his cheek, then his left eye.

Now that his ear was exposed, a click click click from the old kitchen clock played backup music to the faucet. A whirr whirr swoosh whispered from beyond the old kitchen window. An ergh creak moan drifted from the old kitchen floor.

Now that his eye was exposed, he watched the glint squint of dancing stove light caught in leaking faucet drips. He saw the spooky lift and shake of branches sighing in window wind. His attention flicked to the stuttering movement of clock hand inchings. His feet felt, surely, an undulation or two from the beams beneath them in the groaning floor.

What ear and eye did not see, to their owner’s relief, was any sign of HER. Frank sighed softly. Softly, so as not to alert HER to his presence.

His left sneaker inched to and around his peering-corner. Amidst the drip click whoosh creak of kitchen cacophony his squeak-toed sneakers barely spoke. Soon; his left arm, knee, side, and nose came out. He still saw no whole person; no HER. He decided to fully enter.

Thus he stood, midst stove light shadows and singing sighs. Thus he found things just as he spied. Thus he moved, more stealthily still, across an ergh creak moan floor-sea in squeak squeak shoes past click click hands and drip drip sink.

And reached the silent ceramic pot, alone. Alone, with the sounds; which now, for dramatic suspense, all held their noise and watched.

He stretched an arm.

He opened a fist.

He grasped the white ceramic lid.

He lifted.

Standing just a bit taller on tips of toes, Frank used his eyes to peer inside.

And gasped.

All at once, the old kitchen orchestra strummed to life. All at once, they played in time. And, as Frank returned ‘cross noisome space, their song came clear to his sad ear; a rhyme he knew from preschool years yet hadn’t recalled till now it played in drip click moan:

♪Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?♫

And, sad little Frank answered truthfully, “Not me.”

 

Thanks to Peregrine Arc, for a great prompt idea.

For this week’s prompt, I want you to imagine you are a thief. Whatever motive you have, good, bad, or both, is up to you. Whatever setting and condition the safe is in is also up to you. It could be underwater, in a mine, in a delapidated mansion…Take the wheel of literature and drive us there!

But here’s the twist: you don’t get what’s inside the safe. Do you crack it and the contents are missing? Or do you lose your nerve and get caught? Ponderings. Take it and fly and add a psychological twist for $1000, Alex.

WINNER of the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Wow.

I’m speechless, so it’s a good thing I’m able to type.

I read through all the entries this week several times, and kept thinking that I need to make a ten-way tie. Only two or three of the submitted poems were too fancy for our dubious standards, and even those were just barely so.

The winner this week is D. Wallace Peach.

Poots

by D. Wallace Peach

There once was a hairy old coot
Who loved to squeeze out a poot
It was stinky and smelly
Gurgled like jelly
And popped off a sound like a toot

But he wasn’t close to the worst
My granny caught poots in her purse
She saved up the sound
For when grandkids came ‘round
Then out of her purse they would burst

Now MY poots are dainty as roses
No trouble for delicate noses
They make a small putter
Wheeze or soft flutter
But they won’t curl your hair or your toeses

Congratulations, Diana! You are the most terrible poet of the week!

I don’t want to encourage next week’s poets to utilize this strategy, but I had to force myself to go through reading hers the second time. 😀

All of you employed bad meter, mismatched rhyming, theme that rambled somewhere and then got lost but came back in a related way, and plenty of references and word usages to make artistic nerves cringe. On top of that extremely high bar, Diana won with the added benefit of -well, if you read it, you know.

I am not pandering in any way when I say the rest of the entries were AMAZING. As a poet sponsor, I am so proud of you all!

Here you are, in whatever order I could use to catch ’em all:

THE LOCKLOOSE GOOSE TRUCE!

by southernwriter122051046

I was hunting in far off Lockloose,
In the woods near St. Patty’s dam,
When I spied me an aging goose,
Just as sure as I’m sure I am,

And I was so damn hungry,
So, I wasn’t a bit choose-y,
So, I grabbed my gun, see,
And shot that ole’ goose-y,

But then it grabbed my gun,
And shot me back, damn!
So, we both lay bleedin’ at the settin’ sun,
Just as sure as I’m sure I am!

So, now, me and ole’ goose-y
Are bestest chums, by damn,
If you can’t eat ’em, don’t be choose-y,
Just as sure as I’m sure I am!

—–

Untitled piece

by Peregrine Arc

Listen…

Hark! Hark! Listen to that bark.

For sooth, or is it for sure? The tea kettle is boiling over, I assure…

Drip. Drip. Drip.

KLANG! KLANG! KLANG!

Ring, ring, ring.

Ka-boom, pop, boom!

Noises! Ack! What, where, how?

My ears are crying green pus, how doth one make it stop now?

Oh, I have my instrument pointed at Earth. It’s picking up all the audio waves. ‘Tis a terribly noisy planet, ’tis sooth, I’m afraid.

Quick Makbobblec3ft0, point the spaceship the other way. We shouldn’t have taken a left at Mars, nay neigh.

For sooth.

KLANG!

—–

Untitled piece

by Greygirlieandme

What’s that noise?
The car started it.
I felt such a twit when
The intermittent twanging
From the bang
When I put my foot down
Was actually
Nothing.
And then the kettle
Got really annoying
When it sang an aria rather than
Its normal whistle.
Don’t they know
It hurts my head
When their infernal row
Makes me see Scarlett.
Bet she didn’t have
These issues at Tara.
All her noises went away in the wind.
And she had a butler to sort them out
Anyway.
All day.
Not like me.
Stupid noises.

—–

The hootin’ toothy tootin’ lady

by RhScribbles

There was an old lady who tooted
The kids all thought it was a hoot
She sniffled and coughed
And ate applesauce
And went to sleep over there
On the sofa
Her bed was piled with laundry

—–

Bawls before kickoff

by Molly Stevens

They’re sitting in the stands,
All settled in their rows,
Bundled in sensible layers
Wearing adorable chapeaus.

The crowd noise is thunderous,
Delighting in their teams,
When a star takes center stage
And utters a piercing scream.

Has there been a threat to life?
A gunman on the loose?
From whence sprung this shrill shriek?
Some sort of harsh abuse?

The throng is shocked into silence
Hoping no one throws a tantrum,
As the screeching goes on and on and on and on
To execute the national anthem.

Oh, say, can you sing?
No! The group decrees.
Hire an opera singer
Who can reach the last high E!

—–

Squirrels go whirling

by RhScribbles

The squirrel in the attic
Became full of static
From running around in the insulation
Itching and scratching
He left the attic because the people
Heard him running
And they went to chase him out
But it was a nightmare because
He caused sparks that sizzled
From the static in the attic
And then I woke up.

—–

Untitled piece

by Anne Copeland

Terrible noises.
They seem to follow me secretly.
They can be farts
Or doggies squatting
with terrible noises that don’t come out
But I can smell.
Or they can be loud and rude
Especially when the back
of the one I love
is turned directly to my face.
It gives me warning,
but it is too late.
I’m afraid terrible noises
are to be my lifetime fate!

—–

The Bottom Burp

by TanGental

At heart
The fart
Was really very small

And well
It’s smell
Was nothing at all.

But parps
That start
On the tiny side

May grow
You know
And be difficult to hide

Don’t think
The stink
Will give you away

It’s the sound
That’s bound
To make you pay.

Try, my boys
To keep the noise
Under some control

Or you’ll find
Mankind
Won’t be very impressed and may well think you’re some kind of uncivilised idiot.

—–

Cola Etiquette

by Jon

It’s OK to slurp
at the bottom of the cup.
But try not to burp,
or let some come back up.

If you drink it too fast,
a cola will fizz,
and run out your nose,
that’s just how it is.

—–

An ode to Aunt Marlene

by Bruce Goodman

I worry some about worrisome noise, boys.
Cars are not toys
No matter if they bring you joys.
They are dangerous and when one hears a worrisome noise
When driving along the road
One knows instantly that it’s either the engine producing too much heat
Or old Aunt Marlene in the back seat.

The other day while driving along the road,
Just after leaving my abode,
Something went clack clack clack.
Oh what a worrisome noise!
No, it wasn’t old Aunt Marlene in the back.
I’d run over Aunt Marlene’s cat.

Old Aunt Marlene likes to read poetry out loud
When she’s in the back sitting proud.
Last week she read “The Ballad of Dick Turpin”.
It went on and on.
I said, “Can’t you shut up, Aunt Marlene, you’re driving us nuts?”
She said “It’s by Alfred Noyes”.
And I said “Well he’s a most worrisome Noyes.”

Drop the “I” out of NOISE and you get a WORRISOME NOSE.
Blow it.

—–

Untitled piece

by Bladud Fleas

here is a poem to sing
grundle pip boing thwack and ping
brrrp tinkle whap hmmp prr-dong
and that’s about the end of the song

no, wait, there’s another verse
and the noises they get a whole lot worse
but so we don’t increase our fears
we’ll just think them so no one hears

—–

Noises Everywhere

by Anneberly

What’s with these ear piercing, skin crawling sounds?
They are eating me alive, I just can’t stick around.

Where would I go? These noises are everywhere.
They’ve even made appearances in my nightmares.

Please save me from these “schlik, squish, slurp” type noises,
Before I become psychotic, and start hearing them as voices.

—–

Visit tomorrow for next week’s prompt, and keep up the terrible work!!

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The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

Good day to you all. This here’s The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest, tenth edition.

Don’t know what ‘terrible poetry’ means? Read mah handy article, “How To Write Terrible Poetry.”

Here are the rules for this week:

  1. Topic: Worrisome Noises. They could be anything, from anywhere.
  2. Keep it reasonable in length. No ballads, please. (That means we don’t want a poem in excess of 200 or 300 words.)
  3. Should it rhyme? I don’t care. It’s yours to let us read.
  4. This may be the most important rule: make it terrible.
    I want the neighborhood auto mechanic to beg you to bring in a hundred engines with ‘funny noises’ driven by grandmothers who don’t know which body part is aching while their grandchildren drop something in the backseat that makes a suspiciously-messy *sploosh* sound.
  5. Keep it PG-rated. The grandmas might read it.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (January 25, 2019) to submit a poem.

Post your poem or a link to it in the comments, or fill out the included form. I read them all and judge as impartially and blindly as I may.

 

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Photo Credit:
Clark Young