Annoying Neighbors (dealing with difficult neighbors)

I dedicate to this poem to an elderly couple we moved in next to many years ago in a different time and place. Having them as neighbors was an interesting experience to say the least, but never dull. I'm sure many of you can relate, and I apologize in advance to anyone who falls into this category of neighbor themselves.

I actually submitted this poem to the local daily newspaper for their regular 'poets corner' feature but they found it too controversial to print even though I wrote it as 'anonymous'.

(I have attempted to change any spelling to American English as most of my colleagues on here are from the USA eg. neighbour to neighbor, but there may be some Aussie slang words or 'strine' found within).

Nosy Neighbors

by John Hansen © 2012

I'd like to dedicate this poem

To neighbors who complain

About so many trivial things,

Such pettiness a shame.


They're nosy to the point of rude,

And never miss a thing.

Sitting, staring from their porch

Just like the Queen and King.


"Why'd they go across the road?

Whose car is parked next door?

What's that she's got in the sack?

Who's that at their door?"


"Don't you know it's 10 o'clock?

You've watered quite enough.

We'll have to ring the council up

Unless you turn it off."


"Your grass is getting rather long,

When are you gonna mow?

Don't put up a paling fence,

Weld mesh is the go."


"That old shed is quite a mess",

They tell me with a frown,

"It really spoils the neighborhood,

Why don't you pull it down?"


"What's that tree you've planted there?

I hope it won't grow tall.

We hate trees that shed their leaves,

It makes work for us all."


"Your water's running in our yard

Every time it rains.

We'll have to ring the council up

And dob you in again."


These are the type of neighbors

I never wish on you.

You have no personal freedom,

No matter what you do.


They'll complain and intervene

Trying to control,

To be rulers of the neighbourhood

Is their unworthy goal.


Just ignore them if you can,

Is easier said than done.

Having their will forced on you

Really is no fun.


So stay strong an persevere,

Don't bow to every whim.

If they can't break your spirit

Eventually, you'll win.


© 2013 John Hansen

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Comments 26 comments

cjbryant27 profile image

cjbryant27 2 years ago

This is great! In Colorado we call the nosey neighbors Not-In-My-Back-Yardians...or NIMBY's. We have so many. I love the pictures too. It's funny that you mentioned the trees shedding their leaves. I think the leaves should stay on the ground and enhance our otherwise nutrient lacking soil.

I enjoy your work. I'll keep peeking in. Keep writing!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Joni,

Glad you liked it. NIMBY's love that term, I'd never heard it before but I'd like to use it in future. I agree the leaves should be left on the ground as mulch for the sol, and often they look good too. I'll keep writing if you do. Have a good day.


drbj profile image

drbj 2 years ago from south Florida

Yo, Jodah. You impaled those nosy neighbor types perfectly, mate. (I'm trying to get in the swing of strine). Funny poem this is.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks drbj, much appreciated. If there are any 'strine' words you'd like translated just let me know...lol.


wayne barrett profile image

wayne barrett 2 years ago from Clearwater Florida

Neighborhoods can be the most entertaining places.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

So true Wayne.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS

Funny, Jodah! Its lilting meter tells it like it is. But the tendency is not particularly age related.

My young neighbor laid a complaint on me that rainwater off my roof was causing his house to lose ground. He recommended a gutter company and insisted I get rain gutters installed! I complied, being a considerate old neighbor. ;-) haha!

Another time an anonymous neighbor called the cops who came an left a notice because my husband's pickup truck had been parked in front of our house too long!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

haha Nellieanna,

No it definitely is not age related. This was just my particular situation, younger neighbors can be just as bad or worse. I can't believe they called the police because your husband's pick up was parked too long in front of your own house.


Benjamin Chege 2 years ago

Hi Jodah. Unlike the newspaper editors, I find your opinions realistic. The poem, although claimed to be controversial, depicts the real world. Keep it up with the beautiful poems. Voted up, awesome and beautiful.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for the kind words Benjamin, also for voting the poem up. I agree that it depicts real life situations. Glad you enjoyed.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS

Aw, thank you, Jodah. I didn't for a moment think you'd stereotype!

Yes the pickup incident was quite unfortunate. It was being parked there for unusual reasons, too. We'd loaned it to a neighbor who had finally returned it, at my insistence, in quite bad shape. Our driveway already had several vehicles we needed for commuting 500 miles to the ranch, so we parked it at our own curb.

What was/is ludicrous is that further down our street, where there are more transient residents, it's very difficult to steer one's car between vehicles parked on both sides of the modest sized street for blocks on end!

Perhaps whoever turned our pickup in was nervous that our end of the street might become an eyesore and hazard like that! haha - But people on our end do sometimes park on their curbs and some vehicles seem to be there rather constantly. I understand now, though, that if a vehicle is moved at least every day or so and then returned to the curb, it's perfectly legal! Go figure!

At any rate, we intended to return our pickup to the ranch, from where it had come to be loaned to the neighbor while his own car was out of commission and his delivery work required transportation. But he hadn't gotten his car repaired in a couple of years and seemed to assume our loan was foreve. My kind-hearted husband didn't insist it be returned until we had to have it for a ranch trip, but I finally did insist. It was a danger in his loan. If the guy had been in an accident, it would have been our responsibility & our insurance would surely have been canceled. As wildly as he drove, it was a miracle it hadn't happened. In fact there was evidence of damage from some of his 'accidents'. The wear on it was also a factor.

But our immediate problem with getting it back to the ranch was that my husband had suffered a severe heart attack and wasn't confident he could drive it alone that distance, since I would have to also drive in another vehicle for our return trip! We'd also hoped to have it repaired closer to the ranch, where the charges would be much less. While we were working on those glitches the police edict came. It said that it had to be moved from the curb within 24 hours. So we had to take it to a local repair shop, where they allowed it to be parked until we could move it, after the extensive and expensive repairs were done. And - that is a 'whole other' story! haha


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Wow Nellieanna,

What a drama an at of kindness turned into for you and your husband. That is unfortunately often the way. Once I was at a club attending a special event and I went to the men's rest room. I found a wallet in the cubical and doing the 'right thing', I thought, took it and handed it in at the bar in case someone was looking for it. The bartender checked the wallet's ID and knew the owner who he subsequently returned the wallet to. Well instead of being pleased to have his wallet(containing driver's license, credit cards etc) returned, the owner came to me and accused me of stealing the money from it. I hadn't even looked inside.

Instead of being thanked for doing a good deed I had to go through the 3rd degree and try to convince the guy I hadn't stolen his money. It's a strange world.


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 2 years ago

Jodah, bless your heart, this is exactly what I've been trying to say about my neighbors but you said it much more eloquently! LOL

I've been the most awful neighbor to some as they would say.

I let the flowering weeds grow because they supports things like bees.

I refused to shoot the woodchucks that are living in my rock cave.

I have company sometimes.

My neighbors are a tad bit more extreme though.

One said I was "crazy" because I planted a garden, and she couldn't understand how the town let me do that (on my own property).

And they called the post office after they noticed I received a lot of mail. That one still puzzles me to this day. LOL

Anyway, what a great Hub! I truly enjoyed this.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey Crafty,

It's comments like this that inspire one to write even more. Glad this hub touched a chord with you, but sorry to hear that your neighbors are even worse.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

I have some neighbors like that who have lived next to me for almost 12 years. They bought their house, as we did, when our development was built. At the time a large oak tree stood on our side of the property line and obviously dropped leaves and acorns on their deck, as they purchased in the Fall. They purchased anyway. They waited 7 years for it to become a huge issue, showing up at my breakfast nook window before 7 a.m. in the back yard and tapping on my window wanting to discuss the matter. I had just raised the blinds and was in my nightgown. Scared the bejesus out of me. They called the Neighborhood Association on us, threatened legal action -- all empty threats because honestly it's a tree, poses no danger, and they purchased knowing full well that the acorns would drop on their deck. Finally, when they stopped complaining and started being nice recently, I paid to have the limbs trimmed back. The deciding factor was that they got a sweet rescue dog whom I enjoy talking to over the fence, and I did not want him to be pelted with acorns when he's out in his yard. They are overjoyed.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

FlourishAnyway,

I love hearing stories of how people can relate to something I've written. I think many people have had neighbors like this at some stage, but you've had to endure them for 12 years. I'm glad they've finally started being nicer, and having the rescue dog that you've befriended is a plus.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Well done, John! Prose and poetry and great memories. I think we all have had neighbors like yours. I enjoyed the read.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Bill,

This was easy to write as everything actually happened. Glad you enjoyed the read.


JPSO138 profile image

JPSO138 2 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

I am very happy indeed not to have neighbors like that. If I have such kind of neighbors, perhaps I will not be there long. What a great way to express and describe them... Up for this hub!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi JPSO138, I stayed next door to those neighbors for about four years before I had to move. I wasn't going to give them the satisfaction of driving me away. Thanks for the vote up.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 18 months ago from Nashville Tn.

Love this poem Jodah! Sitting here giggling out loud. :) This should be published with a few dollars to spare. You're magnificent! Thanks and sharing.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 18 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading this poem Audrey and for your wonderful comment. This hub has been rather stagnant (no views for 16 months). It's one of many that I have to try to increase traffic to so that it will be featured once again.


mary615 profile image

mary615 18 months ago from Florida

I've always been lucky to have great neighbors except for the people who live in our back. They have a little dog that gets out every day and runs the streets barking the whole time (weekends included). That dog causes my dog to bark back. We have a leash law but they just don't care!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 18 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

You are lucky to have always had good neighbours Mary. However there can still be problems as you found with the dog from the house in back. I guess if enough people complain something will be done. Thanks for reading.


paxwill profile image

paxwill 18 months ago from France

Good one! I wonder what sort of poem they'd write about you.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 18 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Haha, paxwill. I wonder that too. Perhaps they already have.

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    Jodah profile image

    John Hansen (Jodah)685 Followers
    266 Articles

    John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded "Poet of the Year 2014" Hubby Awards and has had two poems become songs.



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