Poetry Friday ~ The Neighbor’s Dog Will Not Stop Barking ~#SOL 5/31 2021

The Neighbor’s Dog Will Not Stop Barking 

The neighbor’s dog will not stop barking
My body - Thursday Tired and aching to sleep
A rhythmic infliction of pain to my ears
three quick barks
And a fourth staccato 
Repeat repeat repeat
There are no verses
Only chorus after chorus
Repeating Repeating Repeating . . .

How can the neighbors not hear?
Why do they allow their dog to pierce and torment
the peaceful night’s air?
What could possibly be causing it to bark?
When will this torture end? 
Will I go crazy?

I wrap my half dozen blankets around my head
begging begging and praying praying for this to end

Memories of my father’s distress at barking dogs
Incessant at night when he could not sleep
Seep into my cocoon of auditory protection
One time - he stomping out of his bedroom and
In his bathrobe and slippers
driving on the three-wheeler
To the neighbors with a bb-gun
Or maybe it was an old boot
To put an end to the neighbor's barking dog . . .

Poor cupcake my little sister said

The memory made me smile
knowing he is still here

And, then. .  . I must have fallen asleep.

©by Shari L. Daniels, fierce despiser of dogs who bark at night

Poem draft inspired by Billy Collin's poem: Another Reason Why I Don't Keep a Gun in the House and
the fact that I could not sleep last night due to the neighbor's barking dog.

I am participating in the 14th Annual SOL 2021 March challenge. For 31 days, I will attempt to write and share a small slice of life from my days. If you’d like to read more of today’s slices from other teacher-writers, please head over to twowritingteachers, who have also committed to this challenge. It's also Poetry Friday! If you'd like to read other poems from teachers, authors and poets participating in Poetry Friday, you can visit Kathryn Apel's lovely blog as she hosts today's poets. Please join us in the sharing of a poem on Fridays!

When teachers write themselves, they are able to draw from their inner curriculum they have shaped for themselves in which to model and teach their students. But, more than this, as human beings, we also cultivate a writing practice that can be a buoy and and an anchor in the turbulent waters of our lives.

11 thoughts on “Poetry Friday ~ The Neighbor’s Dog Will Not Stop Barking ~#SOL 5/31 2021

  1. Your words so romantically and lyrically flowed together in this piece offering a literary experience second to none. I had to read this again to savor its beauty. I could feel the concern of your little sister as she sees your agitated dad storming out. I hope you can catch up on sleep tonight, Shari! Also, I totally snagged your poetry idea for today’s slice. Thank you for that reminder!


  2. Thanks for sharing. Are you even an adult if you don’t know “Thursday Tired”? Hopefully, the neighbor’s dog sleeps better tonight.


  3. I love the Billy Collins poem that inspired you, and I like the way you’ve expressed your unpleasant experience! And I’m glad you finally went to sleep. 🙂 Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com


  4. That first verse speaks loudly of your familiarity with this particular bark. And I hear you on incessant repetitive noises when you’re trying to sleep. (But I also feel it on random repetitive noises after extended pauses, that startle you awake time-after-time-after-time.🥺) But how warm and lovely, that you were able to fall asleep at last, to a memory of your dad. I do hope you all sleep better tonight.


  5. Shari, before I even opened your post I was thinking Billy Collins! My wife and I both love that poem of his, and quote it often (well, paraphrase, anyway). Your treatment of the theme is a pleasure to read, though I feel guilty finding pleasure in your misery. My own dog, a yappy little thing, barks a lot, but sometimes I think it’s because she knows I’ll call her in with a treat. Hopefully your neighbor will get a clue, though it seems they rarely do.


  6. I’m sorry for your miserable experience, but I’m glad it inspired this darkly humorous poem. Collin’s is a masterful mentor. Wishing you a bark-free night! 🙂


  7. Oh, gosh! That sounds miserable. We have a barking puppy neighbor (we live in a townhome), but the owner is working with a trainer, and I’m sure it will all work out. And it’s a distant, muffled sound, anyway. I’m so sorry for the misery, Shari, and I could definitely feel the influence of Collins here!


  8. Luckily there are no constantly barking dogs around, but plenty of dogs being walked. You’ve shown the trials of it, but I smiled when I read “Or maybe it was an old boot”. There is hope at the end!


  9. Great poem! I loved how your repeating words echoed the repeating sound. I think we’ve all been there at some point. Glad you were able to finally get some sleep!


  10. Oh my…you capture the torment of a barking dog in the middle of the night. Glad you finally got some sleep–and a poem from the experience.


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