Poetry in Sounds – Everything Never Comes Your Way

poetry-in-sounds #2 Everything Never Comes Your Way
(cover image by Pawel Czerwinski)


FIRST PLACE: Sonic Bodhi





In her third collection, Nicole Stellon O’Donnell explores the landscapes of memory, argument, and wilderness. These poems deconstruct memoir, dig at the roots of philosophical argumentation, and critique the role of the poet as an observer of the natural world. From manicured baseball fields to the debate podium, from the lobby of the public pool to the hallowed Alaskan cabin where John Haines once sat down to write, these poems push against the notion that the solitary self is the arbiter of truth.


Advice to the Young Right Fielder

Hold the glove to your face,
cupping your chin.
Peek through the holes
and the world will telescope out.

See your mother sitting in the stands.
See the pitcher swoop her fast arm.
Breathe in warm glove.

You have been put here
because you are good
at being wrong.

Be wrong well.

Catalog the dandelions,
the lumpy lawn,
the foul line’s chalky trace,
the cloud that rises from first base.

Stand, unready,
in the green nothing
you have been allotted.
Close your eyes.
Don’t worry.

Everything never
comes your way.


Lonely Owl

early and late
under the star-black sky
by satellites
the boreal owl calls
from somewhere
in the aspen.
Five beats.
Not who,
but whowhowhowhowho,
meaning Why am I still alone?

His feathered loneliness,
was so much like yours
when you went out
to feed the chickens
and look at the stars,
and looked back to see me
through the living room window:
laptop open
face lit with green light,
so unaware of you,

you stood on the deck
hooting at me: five beats
copying the owl in his sadness
calling me outside to see
the aurora and stars
and breathe in the cold moment
with you.

I would love to say
I heard you,
but I didn’t.

I never even looked up.


The Other Side in April

It’s not greener. Admit it.
Muddy, punctuated
with burned spots
from the dogs.
Over the fence, familiar,
the other side lies.

Stand on tiptoe.

This late
snow clings
to the fence posts
and paced paths,
months of boot prints
that won’t melt
until May.

It’s all the same,
In every yard,
a playhouse
under the pressure.





Childhood Solitude

To participate:

Participation is free and open to everyone. For more information and to upload your composition, visit the Poetry in Sounds’ page.


The deadline to submit your composition is 16th March 2022


For the next couple of editions, the prizes will be provided by Kilohearts, a Swedish company creating a new generation of audio plugins that focus on workflow, providing artists with all the software effects they need for professional music production and sound design.

1st PRIZE: Kilohearts Toolbox ULTIMATE

Kilohearts Toolbox ULTIMATE contains Phase Plant, Multipass, Snap Heap and Kilohearts’ entire range of regular and premium effects plugins.

2nd and 3rd PRIZE:

1x Kiloheart Standard coupon (worth €30)


About the author:

Nicole Stellon O'Donnell is the author of two previous collections of poetry, Steam Laundry and You Are No Longer in Trouble. Her poems have appeared in Prairie SchoonerBeloit Poetry Journal, Passages North, and other literary journals. She received both an Individual Artist Award and an Artist Fellowship from the Rasmuson Foundation, as well as a Boochever Fellowship and an Alaska Literary Award from the Alaska Arts and Culture Foundation. Her teaching has been recognized with a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching and a Heinemann Fellowship. She lives and writes in Fairbanks, Alaska.



1 thought on “Poetry in Sounds – Everything Never Comes Your Way”

  1. Thank you for the inclusion in this project, it was a treat to work on!

    ‘Lonely Owl’ and ‘Duuster’ are great tracks, as well.

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