Penetrating Tinnitus

Written for:  Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads – Sunday mini-Prompt with Brendon:  Voices
Write a short poem about the voices you hear or the ones you used to; the voices which call or enthrall; the voices which yearn and those which burn. Your assigned poem is a seashell; hold it to your ear; tell us what you heard the sea sing …

Tinnitus adapts well
to sounds of sea captured
in conch shell. It also
dims memory of voices
who have to fight to be heard.
In a lull, Dad sifts through,
reminding me to wait after
eating before going swimming.
Gulls cry in Montauk, and I hear
laughter of four friends on
vacation. Stations pick up
static. Tinnitus moves on
to sounds of a truck
backing up.

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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16 Responses to Penetrating Tinnitus

  1. Brendan says:

    Lots of feedback and noise to filter: our brains are set up to maintain a consciousness in the middle of that sloshing sea of sound. Bad news may have caused Van Gogh to cut off an ear — he’d just heard that his brother Theo was getting married–Theo who had been the sole plank of support in his perilous existence. Maybe the buzzing is our protest against the world’s interference. Anyway, great response to the prompt, thanks.


  2. othermary says:

    I have never thought of tinnitus as crowding out other sounds…this is so interesting, on several levels.


  3. Tinnitus is that persistent voice that blocks it all… the sense that it gets amplified from the sweet sound of conch shells sounds familiar.


  4. kaykuala h says:

    Tinnitus moves on
    to sounds of a truck
    backing up.

    It is horrifying and most infuriating to experience. You got it very well here Sara!



  5. Sherry Marr says:

    I especially love the gulls crying in Montauk!


  6. You are the second person to mention tinnitus. I’m so sorry you suffer from it. I have it a little (loud music) but not always. Or is it just that it gets drowned out at times?


  7. sanaarizvi says:

    Ooops! I am so sorry to hear about Tinnitus.. sending love and light..!


  8. Helen Dehner says:

    I must share your poem with my first-born son who suffers with this. Lovely write.


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