Sonnet on Sneezing

When my ex would sneeze
she’d bring her delicate hand
up to her nose, turn to one side,
spasm and toot— as though a unicorn
had just farted a rainbow.

For me, the pressure builds
below my brain then my face crumples,
neck pulls back to get a running start,
hands cover as though praying
and I expel a noise like a tuba puking
a drum played by a hobgoblin
waking my dog from a deep dream.

Instead of “God bless you” or “Gesundheit”,
I say “Good catch” and wipe my hands on my trousers.

(For today’s prompt, write a sound poem.)


About Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, he worked in Connecticut for nearly twenty years before moving to Hillsborough where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit.
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9 Responses to Sonnet on Sneezing

  1. “Good catch “ was a good one!😂🤩

    Liked by 1 person

  2. berniebell1955 says:

    Previously posted in m’blog…

    “Klingon Cold……

    Bartholomew Barker has a head-cold – and he wrote this Fraiku about it……

    “The back of my mouth
    tastes like a bag of old nickels
    nose oozing meh”

    To which I responded with my own – kind-of Haiku – I’m never very clear about what is and what isn’t a Haiku….

    “When I have a cold

    My head exclaims in Klingon


    Then a Klingon pedant informed me that…. “majQa’! Though you misspelled the tlhIngan. It is more properly rendered “aH tar pu’ tu’ gharch”.

    My lord – it’s come to something when I’m corrected in Klingon!”

    Wiped on your trousers – you mucky pup!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kristin says:

    wiped on your trousers! yech.

    Liked by 1 person

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