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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: In and Out (04/30/09)

TITLE: Twelve Hours
By Beth Muehlhausen


Twelve Hours

The cuckoo bobs
His head and nods
Each time the clock strikes a new hour
Up in his tower

Can’t walk or talk
Between tick-tocks
But waits within so quietly
Not being free

In still of night
He’s perched for flight
Inside the clock he waits to shoot
Outside and toot

The doors fling wide
And from inside
He jumps on springs with a loud shout
And a new count

At one o’clock
He doesn’t gawk
But sings and backs into his house
Quick like a mouse

Waiting so still
With patience nil
He’s cramped and achy head to toe
Ready to crow

The clock strikes two
And the cuckoo
Deftly escapes for twice as long
With double song

Then swept inside
He must abide
And patiently keep calm and cool
As per the rule

When three shows up
That bird erupts
From his closed doors on loaded springs

Retreats once more
To face the door
As he sits crouched inside the clock
Like a stiff rock

At stroke of four
Bursts through the door
Quadruple whew

Confined within
He tucks his chin
While hunched up close in the tight place
Devoid of space

But soon his song
Becomes quite long
As out he pops and calls five times
With cuckoo-chimes

Then zip and zap
The doors slap-snap
And leave him mute and hidden well
Inside his shell

Minutes creep on
Toward certain dawn
Till bobble-head announces six
And backward flicks

The minutes roar
Inside the door
Where clockworks tick and tick and tock
And tock and rock

The family wakes
To fresh hot cakes
While reveille the cuckoo bawls
With seven calls

He’d like to hop
On table top
And nibble breakfast with them too
But they’ve no clue

Then right at eight
They dissipate
And tho’ alone the cuckoo blasts
His eight calls fast

The spring zooms back
With him on track
To wait an hour till the next chime
Which comes at nine

Time doesn’t quit
So with quick wit
Our bird jumps out for nine cuckoos
And sings the blues

He seldom rests
Without a nest
Inside the clock where he might sleep
While minutes creep

With ready eye
He heaves a sigh
And shouts ten blasts of raucous noise
Like boisterous boys

Once more inside
He tends to hide
So well no one thinks he’s alive
Waiting to jive

Eleven calls
Take lots of breath
He belts them out with bug-eyed zeal
The cuckoo’s peal

Time to retreat
Before the feat
That takes his breath twice every day
Singing away

At noon the door
Opens once more
For twelve long calls he thrusts his neck
A pecking wreck

Silence and shouts
And ins and outs
Define the life of cuckoo-ville
Where he counts still

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This article has been read 944 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/07/09
What a great job on simulating the tick tock of the clock with your excellent, yet different, rhythm. I enjoyed reading this right-on-topic well written poem.
Sara Harricharan 05/07/09
Oh my! I've never thought of a cuckoo having a personality, but boy, you sure brought it out! lol. A fun and enjoyable read! I now want to find myself a cuckoo clock...
Sonya Leigh05/09/09
Wonderful, delightful poem!
It had me smiling throughout
And then laughing out loud.
At that point, that's a shoe-in!

Great job. :)
Sharon Kane05/12/09
Very creative, bang on topic, and however did you think up all those imaginative ways to describe the noise a cuckoo clock makes??
Lollie Hofer05/12/09
How do you masters do this??? You take something like a coo-coo clock and make it entertaining and delightful. You made it look easy but creativly filling every hour had to be a challenge. Well done!
Patricia Herchenroether05/12/09
Ditto what Lollie said - I'm gonna look around more at household objects for story themes! Very creative.
Sonya Leigh05/14/09
Great Poem...and congratulations on your EC. What's funny is, I could swear I left a comment on this already. I'm losing my mind, I think...and it makes me wonder, did I leave a comment elsewhere about a hilarious poem?????
Sonya Leigh05/14/09
Oh, my.
mind is eaten
So I have beaten
the kids who ate it up today.
LOL--I hope you enjoyed my most embarrassing comment on FW to date. Sigh.
Rhonda Schrock05/19/09
"Cuckoo-ville." I like that word! I think I live there...