April 12, 2016

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

2015 Sound Poem Project Day 17: Laughing Child

Today is Day 17 of Author Amok's 2015 poem-a-day project. We are spending February writing in response to sounds.  

For a full description of the project and how to participate, please read this post. I hope you'll join us. I'll continue posting poems from Day 17 as they come in. Thanks to everyone who has sent in poems so far. We've written over 70 new poems already this month!

Our Day 17 prompt is a child laughing. Some readers found the sound clip a bit too intense. If you’d like a gentler option, try this clip instead.

When Diane Mayr pointed out that the child laughing in our clip begins to sound uncomfortable, a memory popped up for me. I’m still working on this poem. How to show the complex feelings that arise when an adult knowingly/unknowingly presses kids’ boundaries?

By Laura Shovan

We called it
Tickle Torture—
our father
tickling armpits,
sides, and feet
until we begged
for breath.
Close relative of
our grandfather’s
signature move:
The Whisker Waller.
He’d brush
gray stubble against
our bare faces
until we
pushed him away.
We waited for it,
that cheek
to cheek embrace.
When would Grandpa
pull us close, love us
until we cried?

The clip for today specifies that the child laughing is being tickled (by the adult recording the sound?) Here is Diane Mayr’s response.

By Diane Mayr

His mother's brother tickled him 
to the point where he would hide 
from his flannel-clad Uncle. 
Now he is the uncle who does 
not know how to relate to a child. 
And so, he tickles. And tickles. 
Almost not knowing how to stop. 
His nephew will grow up never 
wearing a plaid shirt, but finding 
himself comfortable with pattern.

I like the way Heidi Mordhorst uses rhythm to show that fine line between play and discomfort.

by Heidi Mordhorst

that tickles it's
funny giggle funny guffaw
that tickles it's
funny giggle squeal guffaw
that tickles it's
funny giggle squawk guffaw
that hurts that hurts
gurgle squawl please STOP

Margaret Simon of Reflections on the Teche has a tickle monster haiku.

Hold your breath
blow trumpet horns
tickle monster reigns again

Mike Ratcliffe captures the passage of time with this haiku.

Fireflies of summer
become snowflakes in winter
with a child's laugh.

Linda Baie reminded me of the first things my children laughed at when they were babies. For my eldest: the family cat. And my youngest: her brother.

baby laughing

Nothing pleases more
than a belly laugh from a baby,
except perhaps the whisper
of a baby sneeze.

Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved

In turn, Linda's "whisper of a baby sneeze" reminded me of this video.

Let's end with a sweet little couplet by Charles Waters.

Strings of hiccup like chuckles
Emanate from freshly formed beings.

(c) Charles Waters 2015 all rights reserved.

Here are all of the sound prompts for the third week of February. As promised, I included a couple of sounds from New Mexico:

Sunday, February 15

Video of Santa Fe's Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi by my Albuquerque friend, Jennifer Lewis.

Monday, February 16
Quaking aspen. Read more about this sound here.

Laughing child.

Wednesday, February 18
Recommended by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes of Today's Little Ditty

Friday, February 20
Follow the link to choose your reptile.
You'll need to turn the volume high to hear this one.

If you'd like some poem-starters to wake up your muse, you'll find them at the bottom of this post. Drop in any time with a poem. I’ll continue to post your work throughout the month, no matter which sound you are writing in response to.

Would you like to read what we’ve written so far? Here are links to the week 2 poems. You can find links to the week 1 poems on all of these posts:

Sound of Waves Poems by Patricia VanAmburg, Diane Mayr, Linda Baie, Laura Shovan, Margaret Simon, and Charles Waters.

Bubbling Cauldron Poems by Diane Mayr, Charles Waters, Laura Shovan, and Buffy Silverman.

Fireworks Poems by Charles Waters, Diane Mayr, and Laura Shovan.

Classic Typewriter Sound Poems by Patricia VanAmburg, Diane Mayr, Charles Waters, Mike Ratcliffe, and Laura Shovan.

Mockingbird Poems by Linda Baie, Mike Ratcliffe, Laura Shovan, Charles Waters, and Margaret Simon.

Cape Eagle Owl Call Poems by Linda Baie, Patricia VanAmburg, Charles Waters, and Diane Mayr.

Male Woodcock Mating Call Poems by Diane Mayr, Patricia VanAmburg, Mike Ratcliffe, Laura Shovan, Linda Baie, and Charles Waters.


Michael Ratcliffe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

yes--all of those--all of those reactions to that laughter.

Linda B said...

I didn't hear the discomfort, perhaps because I've never seen this "tickling" happen nor has it occurred to me. Interesting how our experiences color what we write. No surprise, but still interesting. I enjoyed each one's response.

Margaret Simon said...

Glad we didn't have to write to that powdery baby fart. I love where your poem is going. The scratchy whisker cheek oh so familiar.

Tabatha said...

I like the juxtaposition of laughter and whispery sneezes in Linda's. And also Linda's comment about how experience colors our interpretations -- sooo true!

Thought you might get a kick out of this laugh:

Linda B said...

so funny, Tabatha! I've sent this on to my brother & sister-in-law-both musicians!