stuck in the middle with me

And now for our (optional) prompt. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates overheard speech. It could be something you’ve heard on the radio, or a phrase you remember from your childhood, even something you overheard a coworker say in the break room! Use the overheard speech as a springboard from which to launch your poem. Your poem could comment directly on the overheard phrase or simply use it as illustration or tone-setting material.


sometimes you just don’t

need or want

to overhear stuff


life made sense before

before he said that thing

that one sentence


spoken with that air

of knowing

that Old Etonian timbre


that said

do not dare to question

my word or in particular


those words that floated

across the pub and engaged

my ears in a dizzy dance


‘you know the rivers here, they

go straight through the middle

of the bridges’




and the wheel of life

turns backwards and you

question the reality


that once held sway

you begin with rational thought

a scientific posture of defense


but the mind is the

mind (well mine is)

and before long you are lost


watch now as scene unfolds

quite sensible shock at first

and then a strange questioning


aren’t they supposed to do that

don’t the bridges go over the rivers

am i missing something here


is there someone building rivers

to fit bridges that stood water-less

for years until now we discover their purpose


did we dig channels to the Goddess Aqua

and aim them straight and true towards

the very middle of those bridges which


perhaps were not called bridges then

as they did not go from anywhere to

well anywhere as they had nothing to span


what were they called then before rivers came

were they worshiped as mighty stone altars

planted with geraniums so as to look nice


perhaps children climbed on them and yodeled

or maybe they were actually placed upside down

and were supposed to be giant U-shaped U thingy’s


and so it went in a spiral of no ending and no beginning

a sense that all things had been turned upside down by

what was obviously an idiotic comment by a buffoon


of the highest caliber of buffoonery in a buffoon shirt

and pants drinking Guinness in a pub in Ireland which

as it happens is the home of my mother and father


to whom I mentioned this overhearing on my next visit

mocking the uttered verbiage  as I described the toff chap’s speak

to which they then both looked at me as if I had uttered the most inane of things


and replied with words that sent me reeling back to the moment I first encountered

Mabel ( don’t ask why he was named so) in the snug of the pub by the fire that day

‘Well where else would they go?’

~~~         ~~~         ~~~         ~~~         ~~~         ~~~         ~~~         ~~~         ~~~         ~~~


napowrimo 21/30 (2)

9 thoughts on “stuck in the middle with me

  1. Smitha V says:

    Love the line ” Sometimes you just don’t need or want to overhear made sense before he said that thing, that one sentence”. I feel this so often. Lovely poem.

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