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Are You Listening to Your Friends?

A midst our glut of persistent Twitter notifications, pesky unread emails, and ever-accessible Netflix streaming, our world is losing its ability to retain focus, its ability to listen. 


I am not here to say we should abandon all our technology like abandoning gold from a sinking ship. I am saying we just have to mind how much it is pulling us down.


Even during lunch conversation, I frequently see at least one person in a group with their head tucked into their device. Sometimes, this person still interjects in the discussion while thumping their thumbs against the glass screen. However, it is impossible for this person to have fully heard and thought about the words being said while still staring into their soulless phone. 


In high school, I took to writing down the funny, bizarre, cute things my friends said because I never wanted to forget them. If I had had one headphone tucked in my right ear, half-listening to my new playlist, half listening to them, I wouldn't have caught some of these sayings. I fear I miss more everyday, even though I try to be weary of pulling my phone out for something other than pictures.

Recently, I have taken these quotes a step further, I have begun to write poetry from them. I adore doing this because it is a way of framing the beautiful words of my friends in an intricate casing that I can constantly admire while also encouraging me to write more. Now, it has become a game in my mind, to listen for the little sparkly, gold nuggets buried within our conversations. Moreover, this mental game has made me avoid picking up my phone due to a fear of missing out.


Maybe if we began to look at the world around us as tiny bits of poetry all built off one another, we would be less apt to turn to technology for unneeded entertainment. Maybe not, this method may not beguile everyone's minds in the same manner. Regardless, it has certainly helped me.


Here are some of the poems I have written from words I found wedged in my friends' mouths. Hopefully, you will be able to pick some words from your friends' teeth now as well. 



You have doors

"if eyes are the windows to the soul,

You have doors"

I'll show you mine

If you show me yours.

Just kidding,

I leave my doors unlocked.

I let every curious soul enter

Before they've knocked.



"If eyes are the windows to the soul,

You have doors"

Painted by brushes dipped in the sky,

Hidden slightly by sycamores.

The scenery fluctuates

With the slightest breeze.

Keep your children from climbing

Up the trees please.


"If eyes are the windows to the soul,

You have doors"

Drafts enter my soul,

Neighbors that track mud on the floors.

They ricochet off

my myocardium chandelier,

I can't make them roam,

But I can't keep them here.


"If eyes are the windows to the soul,

You have doors"

Please don't touch the exhibits within

And remain with your tours.

There is much to see

So you best move quick.

I hope you enjoy the canvases of poetry

And roaring music.



"Your nails are pink glitter just like your soul"

Your nails are pink glitter

Just like your soul

Your heart makes decisions

You mind can't control.


Your nails are pink glitter

Just like your soul

You handed me your heart

Not in part but in whole


Your nails are pink glitter

Just like your soul

Now there's a gap in your chest

A love-spewing hole.


"I'll play the ukulele at you"

I'll play the ukulele at you,

Aggressively, without a smile,

Until you tell me why you're so blue,

Believe me, a little instrument can be hostile.


I'll play the ukulele at you,

And I'm not even any good,

I'll do anything I can do,

I've done everything I could.


I'll play the ukulele at you,

As long as you can hear,

Please please don't let my call just go through,

Caroline, are you still here? 


Image Credit: Author


Caroline is a student at VCU double majoring in theatre performance and psychology! Her favorite things include dance parties, chai lattes, and poetry.
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