by Tanya Southey   Jul 16, 2019

The squawking parrots open
the first bars of morning,
breaking the hush that held the night;
the crows to my knowledge
have never committed murder,
except to screech intentions
at an empty sky;
the earliest dog walkers
totter like treble clefs,
led by their owners
in the opening movement
across the dewy park;
the swings barely awake
watch the slide
still slouched in sleep.

The old man in his driza-bone
raincoat, Akubra hat and
wrap-around sunglasses
starts the chorus of
older folk, making curtain
calls across geranium lined paths;
Slowly the children, with turtle-styled
backpacks, make their way across the
bridge to school;
feet and bicycles in percussion beats
finding their way into the day;
while mothers follow, phones
already clutched for all day connection.

Outside people
striding, nodding, quick
exchanges of ‘nice day’ or ‘bit cold’
but the woodwind in number 23
speaks of deep longing;
the strings in number 41 whisper
of abandonment, longing for a guitarist
that has no place in an orchestra;
and everyone’s relieved number 57’s
triangle has lost its beater.

Suburban symphonies
conducted somewhere
near you

© Tanya Southey


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Latest Comments

  • 5 months ago

    by Star

    I really loved this :)
    A morning in the eye if a poetess (you), is such a beautiful symphony; everything and everyone play their own beat but work out like magic!!

  • 6 months ago

    by William Mae

    A wonderful write that reminds us all of the things we see that seem mundane in the moment and yet later when thought upon makes us feel many things. The sleepy waking to find life still normal, and still beautiful.

    • 6 months ago

      by Tanya Southey

      Thank you, your comments are so true. That moment of gratitude that we are still alive and nothing happened. Yes!

  • 6 months ago

    by Milly Hayward

    Beautiful and very clever use of metaphors. It really is a symphony of images. Milly x

    • 6 months ago

      by Tanya Southey

      Thanks Milly. I had a lot of fun writing this one.

  • 6 months ago

    by Ben Pickard

    Your detail and way with words are a joy to behold. I was transported reading this.
    All the best as ever.

    • 6 months ago

      by Tanya Southey

      Thank you Ben. This one was a second attempt at my word of the week and I really had fun. Felt like an adult Enid Blyton :)

  • 6 months ago

    by Poet on the Piano

    The "symphony" theme was clever and tying it into a suburban life/atmosphere, and I loved the shout-out to the dog walkers (as I am one lol).

    This is probably my favorite piece of yours at the moment. Why? Because I feel like adding the extra, unique details about the day-to-day characters made this poem more distinct. Your other poems are wonderful for more of the bigger picture, for more of an openness that the reader can connect to. But here? I felt like I was privileged to look into this little moments that make up everyday life. There's an effortlessness in your tone here, and I have gone back to re-read this already and the most memorable stanza is still the first one to me. There's an innocence about first waking up, how one's intentions is just to get through the day just like the birds' intention are to sing their morning song. How I read the closing lines is that we can't always know anyone's true feelings by looking at their routine, the predictable "have a nice day"s and meandering... yet there is longing, abandonment, something more.

    So many of your poems give beautiful thoughts and sentiments about society, which I immensely enjoy reading and coming back to!

    • 6 months ago

      by Tanya Southey

      Yay! I love being a favourite! Did you get my double entendre in the dog walking? I really was giggling to myself. It was a bit like writing a dad-joke. I am so glad you appreciate my musings on ordinary life. I think joy lives in ordinary moments and we miss it because we look for the big moments.

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