A Noise Inside Me

A noise inside me seems
to be my natural tongue
struggling to be understood
through my fog of upbringing
and schooled-in language.

I don’t know what to think,
who to thank or blame. All I hear
when I try to tune in to it is
a nagging rattle. I can’t turn it off,
like hail on a tin roof

going on all day and night.
(Hail never lasts that long in real life,
though. It’s more like a storm
of lost marbles falling from charcoal clouds,
slowly wrecking my home.)

Exhausted from trying
first to understand it and then
to block it out, I seek the aid
of anyone who might speak this
natural tongue, translate it for me,

teach me how to respond.  Is it you,
is it you, is it you? I ask everyone
I let get close enough
to hear it echoing from within.
Most look at me

as if every word from my mouth
was hail on their own roofs,
or a storm
of lost marbles tearing 
their own safety down.

The few who stay
don’t understand it either, 
but they understand the nature
of shelter: how temporary any of it
really is, how much we need

to hold onto each other
when we find ourselves together
under those crumbling eaves.
We pull close and speculate
on what it all might mean.

It helps. Sometimes,
when I am not alone with it,
the noise inside me even begins
to sound like music. T
ogether we try,
raggedly, to sing.


About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

One response to “A Noise Inside Me

  • charlotte

    nice one! singing a ragged tune – even by yourself – is a nice strategy and better than getting pounded with a hail of unsupportive messages from the past!

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