Susurration

Dungeness shingle beach, Kent

When the noise of inner city
— siren, shouts, traffic, trains,
door slams, blues parties —
gets too much,
when sleep is shut out

then seashore susurration
of surf sucking shingle
— irregular yet interminable —
shushes out of speakers
from blessedly ambient CD,
soothing the stresses and strains
of a jangled day


Exercise written for a creative writing class on attentiveness and feeling

14 thoughts on “Susurration

  1. earthbalm

    Synchronicity eh? Just as I’m reading the Tiffany Aching saga in which the word ‘susurration’ is somewhat ubiquitous. We used to have a small indoor artificial fountain which de-stressed wonderfully.

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    1. Calmgrove Post author

      The word just popped into my head this morning as I was doing this exercise for class, a suitably sibillant sound to suggest that white noise hiss that helps blanket unwanted noises. Synchronicity? Maybe morphic resonance, especially if you were reading about it!

      There are loads of these expressive sounds, aren’t there—‘murmuration’ and ‘ululation’ are two of my favourites, though one rarely gets a chance to use them… 😁

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      1. earthbalm

        Indeed. I don’t want to highjack your post’s comments but my current re-read of the Tiffany Aching set has revealed to me so many commonalities between TP’s writing and UKLG’s – both quite Taoist and both loving the idea that ‘to leave is to return’.

        Sorry to single out your posts from the world of blogging but they do seem to trigger ideas or help to connect apparently disparate features in books, for me.

        Diolch!

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        Reply
        1. Calmgrove Post author

          Happy to be singled out, and glad to trigger ideas and suggest connections—Tiffany is an exceptional character and I’m so pleased you recommended the series on the first place! I’ll have a think about the UKLG / TP commonalities, it’d not occurred to me before though it makes sense.

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          1. earthbalm

            There are similarities too between TP and JK Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’ novels (I’ll admit I am a fan) but these are probably the result of both authors leaning heavily on the same horror and fantasy cinematic conventions and tropes.

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            Reply
            1. earthbalm

              I’m currently re-reading ‘I Shall Wear Midnight’ and, since, your comment, have noticed the breadth of Pratchett’s folklore knowledge. It isn’t so much in the ‘main writing’ as in throwaway lines and side comments. Of course, one of this novel’s main ‘motifs’ is that most magical of animals in folklore – the hare!

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Calmgrove Post author

              I have all that to look forward to now, Dale!

              Interestingly, Pratchett’s Dark Morris concept rang bells with me. When I was with electric folk group Elecampane in the 70s one of the band members used to be with Bristol Morris Men and had also been involved in a ‘silent’ Morris-tinged dance performance. In this, if I remember right, the dancers moved to the notional beat of a silent drum as they went through the formations of one of the sets.

              Now, I wonder—as TP was a journalist around that period for the Bristol-based Western Daily Press did he witness something like this, lodging it away in his memory to use unconsciously as a motif in Wintersmith? Just a thought.

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