Those Who Wish

I wrote the poem below because of my sensitivity to noise and society’s seeming need for ever greater amounts of noise.  Simple acts like using edging shears instead of a strimmer (particularly a petrol powered strimmer) can make a difference to a neighbourhood’s noise levels.

Those Who Wish

Why do some people believe
They have a right
To inflict their noise
On those who wish to read?

Why do some people believe
They have a right
To inflict their noise
On those who wish to write?

Why do some people believe
They have a right
To inflict their noise
On those who wish to think?

Why do some people believe
They have a right
To inflict their noise
On those who wish to wonder?

Why do some people believe
They have a right
To inflict their noise
On those who wish for quiet?

Those who wish to read,
Those who wish to write,
Those who wish to think,
Those who wish to wonder,
Those who wish for quiet;
Where are their rights?

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4 thoughts on “Those Who Wish

  1. The ability to tune out unwanted noise is a skill worth acquiring as in my experience we have little control over our ambient surroundings. See all problems as challenges and find satisfaction in finding ways to control what enters the solitude of your mind.

  2. Though I haven’t thought of it in terms of rights, I have sympathy with this, and was thinking of it this morning as the noise of traffic was getting in the way of attempting to listen to birdsong outside, something which gives me a sense of wellbeing. I guess it is down to perception of what is good, rather than level of noise itself, as birdsong can also be noisy. I think filtering out the noise of the next door neighbour’s petrol mower, or someone using a power tool down the road, while trying to enjoy the peace of the garden, is a challenge to anyone.

    In other words, I think it is better to question the need for the power tool, than the need for peace, which is probably necessary for ALL our well-being, notwithstanding that it may be worse for people with Asperger’s, something which also requires consideration. Additionally, although the majority of us contribute to it, constant traffic noise is, I would guess, less conducive to well being than the sounds of nature. Though sometimes unavoidable, we need to question why we might thoughtlessly inflict this on ourselves, other people and other forms of life, particularly when it comes to further development, road widening and industrialisation. Additionally, I understand that human produced noise can obstruct the development of non-human animals.

    I came across research regarding the latter on a wonderful site a few months back. A musician and naturalist uses audio to both record the sounds of nature in many areas of the world for prosperity, as well as using sound to analyse ecosystems and loss of ecosystems through human intervention.

    http://www.wildsanctuary.com/

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