Final NaPoWriMo prompt! And it is to translate a poem, but unfortunately there is no otter literature, so I have had to listen to the varied vocalisations of the giant otter and then make up some complete nonsense again. Giant otters have twenty-two distinct sounds, probably because they live in the largest and most complex social groups. They are also very stressed out by being in close proximity with humans.
I may not have lived among giant otters, but I have shared flats
with people I can barely tolerate. Their hastily-chosen, temporary
sexmates, on catching sight in a doorcrack of my solitary moshing,
have given just that strangled yip of laughter that would garner
a small dead fish from an alpha otter momma.
I have beaten wearily at floors and ceilings in the incoherent Morse
of the diurnal trapped among nocturnal experimental loop-pedallers,
whose weeeekrrrikkering dial-flip zzewstatic WAH interferenzzzzeee
resounded loud enough to alter the direction of hunting otter packs
as far afield as Lake Salvador.
I have nursed beers on window seats whilst macaw-hoarse flirters
make throat-back grokkle sounds in the crowded kitchen, tsip-tsip
their own drinks and then exit the yikkering, yipchuckling hodgepodge
to find a place to ‘be alone’. Through my wall I heard them,
little snouty buzzings, universal language of purr.
And yes, I have felt that wavering scream of isolation threaten
to come sailing out like a violin bow dragged ragged on a saw-edge,
though I have been habitually considerate and kept the noise down,
at most emitted a pup-squeak like a balloon-dog having its neck rung,
but no otter ever answered.
One thought on “Human/Otter Dictionary”
‘People I can barely tolerate’
For someone living longish term in an Airbnb flat with the constant come and go, I feel your pain.
Wonderfully written poem to express the bizarre and sawing sounds, the frustration. Doesn’t matter how quiet you are. Never will 😉