When the Music Stops

The Saturday prompt presented by Stu over at dVerse Poetics this week is: OUR Music. The following is where my mind went this morning when I sat down to write about the subject. It starts with a familiar occurrence, and ends with… well, you’ll have to read it to find that out.

When the Music Stops


A song playing over

And over and over

One that slips in unbidden

Filling the mind

With just the one line

Like an old forty-five

Hitting the spot where the grooves

Are interrupted by carelessness

Or impatience

Pushing the needle to a place where

I can’t stop loving you

It’s useless to say

While other times the words aren’t even

The right ones

But what you wish them to be

Or how you perceived them

So you just live your life

In faded dreams of yesterday

Often, you try to force the song

From your thoughts

Finding it impossible

Though nothing is

And choose another to take its place

Eventually cursing that one, as well

Hearing the rage of an angry father

Now coming from your lips

Turn that crap off!

But… what is it he wanted you to hear

What is it you want to hear

Music changes as times change

The heart of man changes

And at one point all music

Will be the same

For both father and son

And the silence will be not golden

For in the end, should it be final

And your heart be empty

All that will be heard is

White noise


Copyright © 2012 C. Mashburn


  1. Mary said

    Yes, one day all music will be the same…a somber reminder. Some songs DO stick in your mind like glue. For me too. Thankfully, with an iPad one can privately indulge and play them over and OVER and OVER.

    • No iPad yet. I don’t listen to music as much as I used to.
      Thanks for the visit and comment, Mary!

  2. claudia said

    nice..music changes as times changes as the heart of man changes…could identify with the pushing the needle to a certain place..took me back to childhood when i listened with my friend to her brother’s records when he was out of the house..ha.. the white noise ending gave me a bit of a chill but i get what you mean..

    • The ending seemed natural, as I tried to explore what music was, is, and might be. So much a part of all our lives, and a subject one could study forever. One of those things I imagine future civilization uncovering and being totally confused by. Or going back in time and playing all the different types of music for a caveman. Okay… now I’m gettin weird.
      Thanks for the visit and comment, Claudia!

  3. i hope that its not white noise in the end with me…i’ll sing while i have the chance…there are songs though that def stick in your head and wont let go…ugh…ha…you capture well the distance that can form between father and son when we dont take the time to understand each other…

    • I keep waiting to see if someone will notice the two lines near the end, and I think you and Stu may have seen them, though perhaps they didn’t grab you and speak to you:
      For in the end, should it be final
      And your heart be empty
      By those lines, I am saying I do not believe it will be white noise. I personally believe it will be music beautiful beyond our comprehension.
      Thanks for the great comment, Brian!

  4. Oh Charles, I really like this one, especially the closing lines. Great piece.

    • I think, perhaps, you see what I am saying in those “finishing” lines.
      Thank you for the read and comment, Vanessa!

  5. poemsofhateandhope said

    Very good…and a great take on the prompt. Music changes us, makes us remember things good and bad….but you are right ….eventually all we will hear is that white noise- I kind of hope not though – I hope it’s something beautiful….very thought provoking

    • I think it will be beautiful, Stu. I really do.
      Thanks for the visit and terrific comment!

  6. zongrik said

    music changes as time changes, but we all have an ear that is developed to a certain sound

    the river

  7. The change of mood in the middle made this a fascinating poem to read.

    • When writing it, Viv, I did not sense the big shift. But, Sherry noticed it immediately and really liked it,as well. Thank you for the kind words!

  8. leahJlynn said

    I like you use the visual of an old school record player.

    • Wel, doggone it,Leah; I’m old, and old fashioned!
      Thanks for the visit and comment!

  9. a nice piece Charles. beginning to end I enjoyed it.

    • I’m really glad you enjoyed it, Mark! Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment!

  10. Laurie Kolp said

    Wow… amazing piece. I like the reference to the 45s and hitting the spot where they groove.

    • Oh! An “amazing” comment with a Wow to boot! Thanks, Laurie!
      I appreciate the wonderful visit!

  11. Love my old record player, my husband and I usually fighting over what record to play next…we’re like little children music…it’s funny… music does change and I know my tastes have changed… Great poem with a strong ending!

    • We don’t have an old player, but it would be a cool thing to have. I wish I had all my old 45s and LPs from back when they were all there was. I breathed music back then; oxygen was secondary.
      Thanks for the great comment, Dianne!

  12. Loved this….

  13. Sherry Mashburn said

    The music will never stop . . . it remains forever in my heart.

  14. shanyns said

    There is something eternal about music, and even when the listener or the player is gone, the music carries the memories for us. And I believe we carry that with us in our hearts forever. I love this!

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