alycewilson (alycewilson) wrote,

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NaPoWriMo: Day 24

I am participating in National Poetry Writing Month, where the goal is to write one poem a day for 30 days. During the month of April, I will be using the writing prompts at and posting the results.

Day twenty-four prompt (listen up!)

The world seems to be getting noisier all the time and often writers find themselves needing to block it out so they can concentrate. Well this week, don’t do that. Instead, listen to all the noise and let it inspire your poetry!

Bonus audio:
Me dictating the poem, plus extra sound (WAV file, 29MB - will play on new page)

Sounds of Silence

A one-sided cell conversation: How's that?
Bird chirps in surround sound.
Dog tags jingling. The soft pad
of my sneakers on sidewalk.
Growl, wheeze, bark of the
neighbor's Corgi, scratching the sidewalk
to get at us from across the street.
Car humming as it disappears
in Doppler effect. A door creaks open,
slams shut. One bird, laughing
a repeated phrase of descending tweets.
Plastic bag rustle. The crunch
of my dog eating a treat. Perfect day,
a neighbor calls to me from his front door,
where he smokes a cigarette. Another
car rolls past, low grow of a SEPTA bus.
Music out a car window, voices
muted by wind. Putting motor, workers
painting street lines. A car like a motor boat
needs a tune-up. The clank of a workman's
ladder, not fastened properly to his truck.
Low voice and high voice say
good-bye under the hum of idling engine.
Brakes squeak.
Wind rattles loose siding. A Rottweiler's
deep bark from a porch. Weed whacker and
lawn mower converge
in mechanical music. Woman
in pink track suit almost inaudible
on her phone. Above the hum,
the cheep, cheep, cheep of bird call.
My voice recorder beeping on
and off, as I pause it. Somewhere
the faint beeping of something backing up.
Backyard weed whacker in a solo,
rising up and down.
What are you doing?
An unseen rustle.

So often, I miss these sounds, tuned to my
own soundtrack. Far-away
train whistle. So often,
the world is a pantomime
to my musical soup.
Sit. Let's go!
Thump of a basketball, my own sneeze.
We humans tune out
the present. Zip past it,
like static, and choose
garbled crosstalk instead:
a Canadian radio station
coming in at night overtop
local pop sounds. Come on.
Muted hammer tapping. Faint
wind chimes. Air conditioner hum.

(The bird chorus sings)
Hee-hee-hee, hee-hee-hee,
hee-hee-hee. To-whee, to-whee, to-whee.
Squeak, squeak, squeak.
To-weet, to-weet-to-weet-to-weet.
Wee-oh, wee-oh, wee-oh, wee-oh.

I dictated this into my Sony digital voice recorder while walking around the neighborhood. I'm sure there are more convenient ways to share sound, but I was pressed for time, so I uploaded it onto my web site. Enjoy!

Everything is music.

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Tags: music, napowrimo, poetry

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