A crow barks in a nearby tree

relentless in its rowdy call until

neighbour, three doors down left

shouts “shut up!”


I feel his pain,

yesterday it was someone in the

street shouting “hey Joe, Joe, Joe, JOE!”

to the point where you’re silently screaming

Jesus just answer him Joe,

and for three days now it’s been a squeaky toy,

bought for a new puppy, four doors right, whose

owners’ tolerance is to be frank surreal – the

utter depravity of this relentless noise – and

really only surpassed by the surprise brought

in the restraint then collectively shown as we sit,

quietly in our Cuprinol-fenced zones,

trying to read a book or make a call or just still

the mind to contemplate the depth and purpose

and trajectory of our sodding futures, only

to find ourselves haplessly stuck listening to this shit

valiantly managing to refrain from the loud

“shut up!” deafening within.


Shut up.

Just shut the fuck up.


So I now, three days on, hear the neighbour shouting

at the crow who has come to represent all that is

Disturbing, Intrusive and Unacceptable in this world,

and I want to echo his sentiment, or at least support it

with loud applause, but I’m too damned British and

so instead I sit in quiet glee,

just nodding,

just smiling.


The ambience changed this week as

neighbours are, it seems, collectively

on annual leave – how bizarre – but

booked, presumably, when the weather was

fair and all seemed perfect, and so

now they light barbecues in the rain

with grim Dunkirk spirit,

smiles kept bright, voices chipper,

squeaking their fucking dog toys,

and pegging out washing overnight

that still drips low each morning,

wishing they could cut the grass

and at least feel there’d been some sort

of productivity to it all



in the midst of it

if just one

finds the courage

to momentarily shut the world up

well, for that I am grateful.

~ Zand, 24thJuly 2018

Photo by Nina Strehl on Unsplash


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