April 12, 2016

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

2015 Sound Poem Project Day 4: Thunder

It's hump day, writers! We're halfway through our first week of writing every day.

Today is Day 4 of our 2015 poem-a-day project. We are spending the month of 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 4 as they come in.

Our Day 4 prompt was the sound of thunder.

This is one of my favorite photographs.
We were visiting family in the Catskills
(New York).  My brother Jason and my son
Robbie were sitting on an overlook.
A thunderstorm rolled into the valley.
If you look closely, you can see
the line of rain moving left to right.
Margaret Simon is in today with some comfort during stormy weather.

The Storm
by Margaret Simon
I thank you, God, for the rain
when all is quiet
in this night-house.

Yet when thunder comes,
the howls of distant dogs
shocks and shakes.

Will the tree keep its limbs? 
Will we find each other in the dark?

The cat with her soft white paws
stretches, yawns, bathes

I reach for her warmth,
tickle her little twitchy ear,
and absorb her fearless wisdom.

Mimi in a less than fearless moment.
Diane Mayr's little poem is about comfort also.

The Only Place to be Caught in a Thunderstorm
by Diane Mayr

In bed
lights off
covers pulled up
to my chin.

Here is a narrative poem, with a surprising twist, by Patricia VanAmburg.

Thunder Meeting 2011
by Patricia VanAmburg

Straining my ears for thunder
I hear instead the furnace fan
droning like a downpour—
the thunder when it comes
sounds like a scraping chair—
slight disturbance of everydayness—
like the irritating filing cabinet
moving on the floor above
until someone yells earthquake—
we dash for the stairwell—
the building begins to rumble.

Thunder often reminds me of the years when my son was a percussionist for his school band.

By Laura Shovan

Behind the band,
percussionists dart
between timpani,
chimes, and snares.
Their sticks
roll and beat.
Double mallets
ping the marimba’s
wooden backbone.
Someone picks up
the cymbals,
his hands become
two brass disks.
A rush of air
races to his face,
pushes back the hair.
The cymbals tremble,
echo, fade
like thunder.

Charles Waters uses a figurative sense of the word thunder in his poem.

Natures upset
Grumbling in

(c) Charles Waters 2015 all rights reserved.

Linda Baie's poem reminds me of why sounds are such a powerful prompt. When we listen to a sound, we compare it against our inner-library of past experiences. Everyone who hears the thunder in the sound clip will bring his or her own meaning to it.

Only This

My ears perked,
rabbits in spring,
wishing it would only be rain--
that soft patter, the wetter ground
the seeds soak in, and no other pound
of rumbling tanks, and crashing bombs
would not, could not be part of this sound.

Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved

Here are all of the sound prompts for the first week of February:

Read Water Wheel Poems by Laura Shovan, Margaret Simon, Diane Mayr, Linda Baie, Patricia VanAmburg, and Charles Waters.

Read Angel Chimes Poems by Diane Mayr, Margaret Simon, Laura Shovan, Linda Baie, Patricia VanAmburg, and Charles Waters. 

Read Knife Sharpening Poems by Diane Mayr, Linda Baie, Margaret Simon, Laura Shovan, Charles Waters, and Patricia VanAmburg.


Thanks to Renee LaTulippe for the suggestion.

Matt Forrest Esenwine, I love this recommendation.

Saturday, February 7: Listener's Choice -- pick your endangered sound.

If you'd like some poem-starters to wake up your muse, you'll find them at the bottom of this post. Look for next week's sound prompts (Day 8 - 14) at my Poetry Friday post.

Hey, everyone. I am taking a few days of R&R with my buddy Jen in Albuquerque. I'm hoping to continue the Sound Poetry Project posts, but may skip Thursday (travel day!) and post both Day 5 and Day 6 on Poetry Friday.


Linda B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda B said...

Terrific to see where all the poems take each writer, all from one low rumble. I hope you have none this weekend trip, Laura, & have only good salsa!

Margaret Simon said...

Another Sound collection. (double meaning intended) How one sound can send us under covers or back in time. Thanks for gathering and posting. I was a day ahead, but not anymore. I hope I can get two done today.

Carol Varsalona said...

I am intrigued by the sound poems project and hope to create one at some time. For now, I am enjoying the different perspectives as I read, listen, and search for my own possibilities.