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He’s back. One of my favourite humorous writers has sent another poem. We’re surrounded by things that beep. The irritating sound is meant to alert us to some problem or other. Here’s what happened to Sterling Haynes.

Beep — Beep — Beep — Beep
I am becoming an alarmist?
On my 83rd – it just snuck up on me,
my gawd, it wasn’t intentional!
My house is wired for sound, that
sometimes goes Beep in the night.
It wakes a deaf octogenarian,
who can’t find his glasses.

Many questions are pondered?
Is the sound inside or out?
a truck backing up? a burglar alarm
on my car? or in-my-house beeper.
My wake up alarm clock or
the smoke alarm, perhaps change the
batteries? The carbon monoxide
detectors scream, my dog howls.
Call the gas company, evacuate
the house and neighbors too.

I have all the alert devices,
on the wall, on my wrist or a necklace
should I fall, stroke out or stop
breathing. I am overprepared for
life’s catastrophes. False alarms give
me panic attacks which promote
“flight or fight,” a call to arms – alarme.
I have never cried wolf, where is the
the danger? I am an alarmist now!
Where is that damn sound coming from?
My computer, furnace or the hot water heater?

©2011 Sterling Haynes

Note to e-reader fans. Sterling’s Wake-Up Call: Tales from a Frontier Doctor is now available in digital formats.

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5 comments for “Alarming

  1. January 11, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    This is quite an insightful observation of modern living. The other day I heard an unidentified beeping in my house. I wandered about, pressing my ear to this device or that appliance, until I narrowed it down to one wall in the kitchen, and I STILL couldn’t tell where it was coming from or what it meant. I had no choice but to ignore it, and the next day it was gone. I can only assume that my husband came home, could not tune it out, tracked it down and fixed it. I keep forgetting to ask him about it, so it remains one of life’s little unsolved mysteries. Thanks for sharing a great poem that makes me both chuckle and shiver at the truth of it.

  2. January 11, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    A beeping ghost in the wall? Modern version of wandering spirits? Creepy. Those darned beeps always give me a sense of impending doom of some small sort or another.

  3. January 13, 2012 at 6:12 am

    Brilliant! I love it! We are a world of “many beeps and alarms” — maybe someday we’ll be able to replace fear with love, as Marianne Williamson writes about in her book, “A Return to Love: Reflections on A Course in Miracles” — until then I thank you for this wonderful poetry! Have a beautiful weekend. –Daisy

  4. January 23, 2012 at 6:50 am

    We can all relate to the mysterious beep, but a friend of mine has us all beat I think. Her and her husband woke up one night and heard a woman’s voice. He got his gun (yes, a gun!) she picked up a large candlestick and they began to creep around the house looking for a female intruder. As she walked past a box where they kept their grandson’s toys, she heard the voice again, it was a talking plastic toy! Thankfully, no humans or toys were shot that night…

  5. January 23, 2012 at 9:04 am

    What a story! Glad no creatures, inanimate or otherwise, were harmed in the making of it. 😉

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