Bland On Bland – Sound

The theme Jon chose for the JVG Radio Method today was “SOUND”.

Click to play today’s piece … [audio:JVG_Poem20070701.mp3]

Back in the country for the first time in months and I still have to phone it in (sorry for the scratchy sound). I had to do a quick dash to a gig on the the other side of town to play with the band.


A thunderous gale swept in from the west
Even the rumble of traffic was drowned
To a fraught Gordon Grimsley the tempest meant rest
A few hours respite from what he called “the sound”

It began as a whisper like a bubbling kettle
Then a shrill piercing hiss like a discharge of steam
Then followed the clang, like metal on metal
And the rush like rapids in a fast flowing steam

Reluctantly Gordon sort advice from his father
Who glibly dismissed it as wax in the ears
But it happened the next night, the next and another
Weeks turned to months, months turned to years

Gordon tried tablets, he tried counting sheep
Each night it grew louder than all those before
The sound never left him, even in sleep
Each drip now a torrent, each murmur a roar

He said nought to his friends, for he feared their derision
His body fatigued but his ego defiant
In the way schizophrenics bore the weight of suspicion
When one man’s crimes made them all Martin Bryant

Doctors and surgeons, opticians, neurologists
Probed and scanned every inch of his brain
Naturopaths, psychics, clinical psychologists
Ten consultations to be told he was sane

They ruled out tinnitus, syphilis and tumour
But knowing what it wasn’t brought little relief
Rogue radio waves, though conjecture and rumour
Had him rush to replace every filling in his teeth

But the noise was incessant; there was nowhere to go
Alone and despondent, and no-one to call
The sound was above, within and below
Like an army of rats trying to eat through the wall

Close to exhaustion, broken and shattered
His only desire to find a release
Escape at all cost, nothing else mattered
He screamed out “you bastard, leave me in peace”

In answer, a voice rose up from the din
It’s only your own conscience, this sound you can hear
It’s waiting for you to acknowledge your sins
Only then will the sound that haunts you disappear

Without question or falter, no hesitation
He scrambled to shed the misdeeds off his chest
Every transgression, every fall and damnation
Right back to his days as a babe on the breast

How he’d tortured his hamster, pulled the wings off a fly
And the doctors and nurses he’s played as a kid
How he prayed his geography teacher would die
And the sense of achievement he felt when she did

The lies he had told, the promises broken
He’d cheated, corrupted, embezzled and bribed
And one sin so heinous, it could hardly be spoken
How he’d loved RRR, but never subscribed

The sound that once thundered like stampeding cattle
And worn down poor Gordon with its dogged persistence
Was now reduced to little more than a rattle
A low gentle hum away in the distance

A wave of peace and contentment descended
But his conscience was far from done with him yet
Though he thought with good reason his troubles had ended
His relief, though sincere, held no trace of regret

His mind had found stillness, but his soul had found riot
The silence so perfect it felt utterly wrong
Driven to madness by the vacuous quiet
In terror he realised his conscience had gone

Onto the street he ran, shouting and screaming
The traffic frenetic, but he gave not a damn
It seemed so surreal, he prayed he was dreaming
In the deafening silence he missed hearing the tram

His memory was lost, along with one arm
At ease and in comfort he now spends his days napping
The only sound to enter his calm
Is the gentle rhythm of one hand clapping

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