Exuberant Noise by Safa Plenty


 She is the firefly
that lights up our nights,
her cherubed face,
and cheeky smile,
laying siege on our living spaces.

Her tiny form occupying,
our basement steps,
as she joyously serenaded us
in an infantile song,
spanglish laced with berber.

Her two energetic companions,
careening from couch
to table, then to floor,
laughing and screaming,
racing feet threading
across laminate floors.

Two little girls
crawling on all fours,
purring and pouncing,
as wild kittens do,
nestling and wrestling
with spider limbed boy,
filling our days and nights
with exuberant noise.

 The piece above is a poetic reflection on vibrant energy that my two nieces and nephew presence  had on our home. I thought it would be fun and enlightening for my reader to look up the animal spirit totems they embodied in the poem. You can follow the links to find their descriptions.

Safa N. Plenty, educator and mental health counselor, hoping to pursue a doctorate in Theology with a focus in spiritual formation and peacemaking. She holds a Masters of Social Work from Columbia University and an undergraduate degree in interdisciplinary studies with a minor in Africana Studies. For the past two years, she has worked as a K-12 educational contractor and assistant counselor at a local community college. Her research interest include Sufism, Attachment to God, indigenous eschatology, particularly Native American and Somatic psychology. She is also interested in religious mysticism, mindfulness practice in Buddhism and the role of feminism and religion in cultivating a peacemaking capacity among young Muslim women. She is currently working to develop a faith based healthy relationships program for Mothers and daughters. She enjoys writing poetry, research, and contemplative practice in art and crafts in her free time.

Categories: animals, Children, Folklore, Gender and Power, General

Tags: , , , , ,

8 replies

  1. My mother always spoke of “happy noise.” I always thought of that when I lived near a school playground and could hear the kids playing.

    You write beautifully


  2. Thanks Safa!!! Great reflection, giving up the pretense and liberating the child in each of us!!

    I wonder, you might make good use of a marvelous resource available at freesound.com — richly inspiring for poets!! and full of exuberant noise. They have delightful recordings of children in city playgrounds, spontaneous giggles, and also a whole variety of kooky insect sounds, not to mention bird calls, the fluttering of wings, horses neighing, kittens purring. There are some wonderfully healing water sounds I love too, streams flowing over rocks, waterfalls, waves breaking, etc. And they even have the sound of that old bell we used to use on the handle of our bicycles. I’m still a child.


  3. Beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing it with us. Also enjoyed the totem links- a new way to do poetry!

    My 6th grader son decided my animal totem was a badger and made me a statuette!


  4. Hi Safa —

    I love this poem. It reminds me of my grand-nephew and his exuberant noise, which sometimes becomes so piercing that I have to tell him to stop it, because it hurts my ears! Until recently my mother couldn’t deal with him as a result of his incessant noise and activity, but just recently we all got together outside and the noise didn’t overwhelm her and she could enjoy him again. I hope it’s the first of many times. Little kids are such blessings. They EMBRACE life (when they’re not throwing hissy-fits).


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