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.
My writing sanctuary above our garage was quite chilly this morning, the heat turned excessively down at night. I turn the electric heat dial to high in an effort to bring warmth quickly, before my fingers numb. A small electric fireplace in the corner across from me assists the main heat while also offering a background hum and a warm comforting glow.
Grateful for the warmer temps, with highs predicted in the 20’s, means my sanctuary becomes my writing-reading-playing-workroom. When the Minnesota lows hover around -20 below zero, I must migrate to a writing location inside the house as even with all the heat power my writing room has, it refuses to warm my midlife bones. My husband also complains about the electric bill when I’m up here in frigid, cold weather.
Usually, I don’t listen to this nonsense, but when I know he is more right than not, I bail.
On these chilly days, I tend to write in my overstuffed chair parked next to my bookshelves and wrap myself in blankets, rather than sit at my desk. I have two down blankets that envelope me on mornings such as this, both gifted to me from my husband who spotted them on super clearance, because he knows I’m always cold. They are perfect for cocooning in. Not quite bed size – more lap sized – a fuzzy imitation fur on one side, and the outer shell, well . . . nylon, but in a warm woodsy print.
Now at first, when he presented this gift to me, I was quite perplexed. Why would a company use a nylon fabric for this outer shell? It’s cold to the touch and it tends to slide down my shoulders when I am using it. It took me a while to warm up to it because I am a slow warmer-upper to sensory kinds of things. I had to force myself to use it, repetitively, in order to acclimate to it because it was a gift from my husband and his feelings might get hurt if he sees me not using his gifts to me. And, I can’t risk not receiving more gifts.
After a time, however, I realized it’s advantage. We have a yellow lab, named Ella, who roams our house and lounges on the furniture. These nylon blankets are the only blankets we have not attracted to all of her dog hair.
Frankly, this is the only reason I can find for the advantage of the nylon. I suppose it might be beneficial in the rain.
In a perfect world, the shell would be heavy flannel.
But, I carry onward as best I can. . . knowing my spoilage. . .
Well, I certainly didn’t know this Warming of the Writing Room would be the first entry I would pen for the Slice of Life this year. This tending to the heat has become a necessity ritual in the creating of conditions for writing each day.
The ink in my pen now thawed, my breath calm, my heart open.
I welcome in new words for the day.
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. 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.