Literary Yard

Search for meaning

‘Effects’ and other poems

By: J.K. Durick


You just like the sound effects
of moving, of getting up
the sound your knee makes
or is it your hip this time.
It’s become a measure you use
a counting up, or down
timing you from where you are
to where you’re going
clicking, clacking, up and on
your way. These are yours,
these are you, your bones
your muscles, tendons pulling,
sockets protesting and what else
plays in this chorus.
These sound effects of being old
remind you, warn you, make you
feel and hear the impression
you are making on the too quiet
world you live in.
Standing, walking, moving –
these are the sounds others hear
the sound effects that say so much.



Do we ever run out,
Deflate like a balloon
Left out in the cold
Or do our needles point
To E and we look for
Somewhere to slow
Down and pull over
Or do we end up like
One of those empties
That we save in a bag
In the garage, waiting
For their last trip to
To be recycled or
Perhaps redeemed. Or
Do we run out like
A deflated soccer ball
That’s been hit too
Many times, too many
Feet, too many heads.
Do we run out like
A jar of olives eventually
Does, or a favorite bottle
Of wine, and when we
Get to the bottom and
Know that it’s over, do
We still make a clanking,
Gurgling sound, or finally
Just the sound that any
Empty makes.



Fill in the blanks
Think of a new way
To say
What you’ve said
So many times
But this time
Reinvent, revise
Not more noise
And nonsense
But satisfying sounds
Soothing sounds
That they will
Make sense of
Analyze and interpret
After the blanks
Are filled
It’s theirs anyway
So there’s little need
To worry
They understand
Or misunderstand
Agree or disagree
So fill in the blanks
Make those soothing
Satisfying sounds
And be done with it.


  1. These are really evocative reflections on aging — that thing a lot of us get to do without much warning or guidance.

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