If the Clock is Ticking

For today’s prompt at dVerse Poets’ Meeting the Bar, Victoria C. Slotto invites us to, “… take the challenge to be totally alive in the present and write to our perceptions.” Not one to disappoint the host, I took a picture of the old dog and penned a little poem for you. I hope you enjoy it.

If the Clock is Ticking


The old dog makes pitiful sounds

Sleeping there by my desk

Sometimes she sounds almost human

Whining as she sneaks toward the end   


There’s a ringing in my ears

Not loud, but steady

Not that it bothers me

I just notice it at times like these


Times when the house is silent

And I’m alone with my thoughts

And the ringing

And the old dog


The ceiling fan moves the air

Ever so slightly… soundlessly

If the clock is ticking…

I can’t hear it


Copyright © 2012 C. Mashburn



  1. Good News said

    I did enjoy it .. Blessings.. Bro Pat.. Good News..

  2. shanyns said

    Well done, you really caught the moment well.

  3. There is always a sadness in the slow hum of a ceiling fan. You have captured a lazy afternoon very well.

    • Thank you! I finally got the photo of the dog to load; you might want to take another look.
      Thanks for the visit and comment!

  4. Sherry Mashburn said

    . . . and the clock keeps ticking. The line, “Whining as she sneaks toward the end” just breaks my heart.

    • I finally got the picture of the dog to load. You might want to take another look at the post.

  5. You brought back memories of my old dog Bette. We finally had to put her down at 18 years old and even though it’s been 8 years now and I have a new dog, you brought me back to the moments when she would make those old dog sounds as she lay nearby. Thanks. Peace, Linda

  6. tashtoo said

    A perfect captured snap-shot of NOW. Love the picture Charles, but even without, your words painted it wonderfully.

  7. Laurie Kolp said

    Love the sounds! My dogs sit right by me when I write. One makes the funniest sounds when sleeping… she cracks me up.

    • This one makes funny sounds, too. Sometimes they’re not so funny, but other times, she cracks me up. I swear one day she said–in her sleep–“Uh-ooooooh.”
      Thanks for the reads and comments, Laurie!

      • Laurie Kolp said

        I think mine is dreaming of chasing rabbits in the fields.

      • Ours does that, too. Actually moves her legs likes she’s running and yips at the rabbit.

  8. Margaret said

    Time doesn’t matter when one is as content as you depicted! 🙂

    • Time never really matters. Life is now and what you do with it.
      Thanks for the visit and comment!

  9. Excellent poem…you nailed that exercise.

  10. hannah said

    Sweet scene, full of acceptance by both creatures in it.
    Wish the ringing in my ears was ‘not loud’ rather than sound like a washing machine on the high spin cycle 🙂
    Clever, the way you make sounds do the talking [so to speak].

    • Thank you, Hannah! Sorry bout the ringing in your ears; mine went away… I think. I wonder sometimes if it’s not always there, and other things override it??

  11. Ruth said

    the whisper of a fan, silent ticking of a clock – I treasure such moments too… and beautiful, peaceful poetry such as yours

  12. Absolutely wonderful and a great delightful ending.

  13. oceangirl said

    Really great poem, I enjoyed it.

  14. The quiet times of writing are often the best with music or without. I’m listening to Nat King Cole sing Smile and reading you here in the now where the house is still and waiting for returns of children, friends, grandchildren and missing the two long gone dogs and the procession of now deceased cats and wondering why. Lovely write.

    • When I was younger, I used to wonder how anyone could do anything without music playing. I remember telling a friend whose radio in his car was not working, “I don’t know how you can eveen drive it!” I lost that feeling somewhere along the way, and seldom listen to music any more. I still love it when I do; just don’t have the fire for it I once had.
      Thanks for the wonderful comment, Gay!

  15. hedgewitch said

    I like the subtlety in this, Charles, and I think you totally nailed the prompt–I had a moment of completely being there with you, in that moment. Excellent stuff.

  16. zongrik said

    old dogs do make pitiful sounds, and makes you wonder if you should be putting them to sleep 😦

    • I sometimes think she does it on purpose, just to break my heart!
      Thank you for the visit and comment, Zongrik!

  17. Nothing more says peace then the tick of a clock and the snore of old faithful

    • You are so right, John. The old dog follows me from room to room–she has a bed in the three main ones–and curls up near me (or where she can keep an eye on me) wherever I might be.
      Thanks for the nice comment!

  18. David King said

    This plunged me right back where I most like to be.

  19. I just love this…it helps that I’m such a dog-lover. I always had a dog beside me when I’m writing. One of the great things about this poem is how you home in on the sounds. Especially like the second to the last stanza.

    • That was what struck me when I read your prompt, Victoria; the silence that was surounding me, then the subtle noises and movements in the room. I just wrote it down.
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving the nice comment!

  20. amazing the sounds a house makes

  21. Very awesome work! 🙂 Loved it Charles!

  22. Raivenne said

    What a capture Charles. Even without the photograph, I could picture it vividly.

    “Sometimes she sounds almost human
    Whining as she sneaks toward the end”

    Love these lines, so sweet and yet so heart wrenching.

    • It is heart-wrenching to watch our little dog grow old. Sometimes, like this morning, she is spry and acts like a pup when I take her for her morning walk; then… she immediately curls up pn one of her beds and appears simply exhausted and worn out; lots of ups and downs; joy and sadness; a roller coaster of emotions, knowing one day she won’t get up.
      Thanks for the visit and nice comment, Raivenne!

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