Several years ago, my friend Christine and I were taking a poetry class at the local senior center. One hot afternoon, our instructor asked us to sit outside for about ten minutes and listen to sounds around us, then write a poem about what we heard. Below is what I wrote. Click this link to hear me read it. I hope it warms your heart on a wintry day.
In the heat of the afternoon, saws whine.
Equipment clatters, rattles.
Cars enter the parking lot.
A plane flies overhead.
A tepid breeze kisses the back of my neck,
brings little relief from the relentless sun.
I stare at my reflection in the window, see nothing.
The cool interior beckons.
Christine’s poem inspired by this exercise was recently published in Helen: A Literary Magazine and nominated for a Pushcart prize. Although she didn’t win, it’s still an honor to be nominated. I inspired this poem, and you can read it here.
Now, it’s your turn. Take about ten minutes and listen to sounds around you: the hum of your computer or furnace, a dog barking outside, your neighbor shoveling newly fallen snow from his walk while his car idles in the driveway. Then write about what you hear. It doesn’t have to be a poem. Please feel free to share your results in the comments field.