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Old 05-15-2015, 10:07 AM   #176
Piscator
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Wow a tough crowd, but definitely an interesting exchange.

I'd appreciate your comments on this one. I wrote it last fall and thought I'd submit after following the link to Butters' Incomparable World http://forum.literotica.com/showpost...&postcount=131

______________________________________________________________

Whitewater time

Adrift in a current
I cannot control.
No time for excuses
but there's poetry here,
if only I can hold
in this backeddy
to jot it all down.

Already the end of October,
half the trees are bare
and most songbirds gone,
only crows and jays remain.
In the rivers,
spent salmon flounder,
their future deposited
in a gravel bank.
Ice on the deck this morning,
I almost slipped going down
to play fetch with the dogs
and plant next year's garlic.
Soon there will be snow.

Each day grows shorter
each night longer,
and the darkness
keeps me awake.
used to be
I worried
about others,
these days others
worry about me.
And I look to the future
with a jumble of
anticipation and dread
for the moment when
my hours and days
flow no more.
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Old 05-15-2015, 04:21 PM   #177
greenmountaineer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piscator View Post
Wow a tough crowd, but definitely an interesting exchange.

I'd appreciate your comments on this one. I wrote it last fall and thought I'd submit after following the link to Butters' Incomparable World http://forum.literotica.com/showpost...&postcount=131

______________________________________________________________

Whitewater time

Adrift in a current
I cannot control.
No time for excuses
but there's poetry here,
if only I can hold
in this backeddy
to jot it all down.

Already the end of October,
half the trees are bare
and most songbirds gone,
only crows and jays remain.
In the rivers,
spent salmon flounder,
their future deposited
in a gravel bank.
Ice on the deck this morning,
I almost slipped going down
to play fetch with the dogs
and plant next year's garlic.
Soon there will be snow.

Each day grows shorter
each night longer,
and the darkness
keeps me awake.
used to be
I worried
about others,
these days others
worry about me.
And I look to the future
with a jumble of
anticipation and dread
for the moment when
my hours and days
flow no more.
As an aging baby boomer, Piscator, I can relate to it. The title felt like life itself: running rapids, excitement, youth, but life in the process of aging or perhaps progressive disease. It's hard to keep up, maybe even harder to let go now that it's "the end of October."

I like the contrast with songbirds, crows, and jays, the latter two certainly not songbirds. I might have played a little with the sound one or both of the birds make, caw being the more familiar, or I might have employed a visual beyond just "remain," such as a cornfield with only a few cobs left on yellow stalks.

I liked the playing with the dogs and planting of garlic, loud and pungent; still some spring in the step and planning for the future.

The first four lines of the last stanza work well. After that until the conclusion, it felt too descriptive to me. Up to that point, you were giving me the reader some pretty effective images about how life (or maybe disease?) was moving towards its inevitable conclusion.

Personification came to mind. Don't take what follows as a better alternative. It's only an attempt to illustrate the point I'm trying to make about "showing, rather than telling:"

Each day grows shorter
each night longer,
and the darkness
keeps me awake.
Last night, for instance,
I thought of Hank,
ten acres down the road
I once split a maple tree for
after they split his chest.

His son just split some maple for me
that had no bark left, just its soul
I'll burn next April when my garlic
may be shoots
or maybe frozen
stiff under the snow.


In the end, don't change a thing if you're satisfied with the last stanza.

An enjoyable read; I'll be sure to read more of your work, hopefully here and in "New Poems."

Last edited by greenmountaineer : 05-15-2015 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 05-15-2015, 10:29 PM   #178
todski28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
This poem, tod, IMO, is publishable beyond Lit. Although I don't keep score, it may very well be the best I've seen from you. I'm going to follow up with a more detailed explanation in a separate comment.
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
One of the things 1201 wrote about was "the power of three." These are my words, not his, so if I'm off base and he's lurking, knowing the curmudgeon he is, maybe that'll draw him back to PF&D:

First "the grabber," then the twist which sets the reader up for "the aha," and then "the aha!"

Your poem had that effect upon me. In the first instance, you were setting the stage as I already mentioned. The twist for me was you were projecting your self-hatred out on Shane. The running away was an attempt to run away from yourself, not just what you almost did to Shane. You went about as far as you could go, ie, "the abyss"(the ultimate running away?) Then came "the aha," "it's Sunday."

Sometimes that "aha" is resolution of a conflict; sometimes it's the accepting of the conflict. "it's Sunday" left me thinking of both. Even an agnostic, I think, would appreciate "the Lord's Day" as a metaphor suggesting pause, rest, reflection, and a determination to start anew. There may be more screw ups along the way, but there is also the determination "I don't want to live this way anymore." By the end of the poem, you had me rooting for you. That's skillful writing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by butters View Post
i agree with everything gm just said in those last 2 posts, and this part lifted the whole to another level:

the wind tastes mortal
it threatens to upend
my traveling feet

just crazily good!
Thank you both, this would be the most edited poem I have ever tinkered with, I have played with it for over a year, which surprised me when I dug up the first time I wrote it. 1201'1 help was invaluable to get it here and your own comments GM helped shape the final version so thank you for the time. it is truly appreciated.

As to you butters your continued support and encouragement is more than appreciated, thank you for all over the last couple of years.
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Old 05-15-2015, 11:07 PM   #179
todski28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piscator View Post
Wow a tough crowd, but definitely an interesting exchange.

I'd appreciate your comments on this one. I wrote it last fall and thought I'd submit after following the link to Butters' Incomparable World http://forum.literotica.com/showpost...&postcount=131

______________________________________________________________

Whitewater time

Adrift in a current
I cannot control.
No time for excuses
but there's poetry here,
if only I can hold
in this backeddy
to jot it all down.

Already the end of October,
half the trees are bare
and most songbirds gone,
only crows and jays remain.
In the rivers,
spent salmon flounder,
their future deposited
in a gravel bank.
Ice on the deck this morning,
I almost slipped going down
to play fetch with the dogs
and plant next year's garlic.
Soon there will be snow.

Each day grows shorter
each night longer,
and the darkness
keeps me awake.
used to be
I worried
about others,
these days others
worry about me.
And I look to the future
with a jumble of
anticipation and dread
for the moment when
my hours and days
flow no more.
Thanks for joining in the fray Piscator, I have read a few of your pieces and for some reason I don't often connect with them, I think a lot of it is preference for musicality in language, rhyme, near rhyme, slant rhyme, assonance, alliteration etc,


what Gm suggested about onomatopiea regarding the birds would help a lot, I have found we tend to subconsciously notice these sorts of things and they help lift a poem into something better. however these are my own preferences and not a reflection on your writing.

The few little images that GM suggested help to hammer your point home in a more subtle way.

"Already the end of October" maybe enjamb this line i.e.

Already the end
of October,

I know it creates a sentence fragment but as an end of line I feel it would exaggerate the effect on
"end".

used to be
I worried
about others,
these days others
worry about me.

could expand here, maybe a small hint at someone that had an accident, or someone you looked after. I understand the though process, but the pure reportage seems to come across a bit flat, with out an image or something more to make it more human and relatable.

eg.....

I remember when Suzy slipped
a small stutter step,
sitting beside the hospital bed
hand on hers

then maybe a time when someone recently had to worry about you,
to show the contrast and highlight the effect of time.

it's a solid write and human n context, but it seems to lack a bit of imagery, or something more.
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Old 05-16-2015, 07:00 AM   #180
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piscator View Post
Wow a tough crowd, but definitely an interesting exchange.

I'd appreciate your comments on this one. I wrote it last fall and thought I'd submit after following the link to Butters' Incomparable World http://forum.literotica.com/showpost...&postcount=131

______________________________________________________________

Whitewater time

Adrift in a current
I cannot control.
No time for excuses
but there's poetry here,
if only I can hold
in this back-eddy
to jot it all down.

Already the end of October,
half the trees are bare
and most songbirds gone,
only crows and jays remain.
In the rivers,
spent salmon flounder,
their future deposited
in a gravel bank.
Ice on the deck this morning,
I almost slipped going down
to play fetch with the dogs
and plant next year's garlic.
Soon there will be snow.
hello

love the title, and really pretty much all that follows though i'd experiment a little more with line length/punctuation just to see if longer, less balanced lines work any better for this. i don't know if they would, but i'd play around to see. not the wording, though. i'd leave it as is, with two exceptions:

In the rivers,
spent salmon flounder,
their future deposited
in a gravel bank.

1] i don't believe you need 'spent'. the link to deposits and bank are there, and i'm generally a fan of some alliteration, sure, but - given the time of year and the remainder of those 4 lines - it feels superfluous. i can read those same lines without that word and lose none of their imagery/coherence/cohesion.


2] for me, the poem ends with Soon there will be snow. i honestly don't think the lines that come after say anything the reader can't infer from parts one and two. using that as a last line gives a clean, uncluttered, unfussy ending that still allows the reader's thoughts to continue following tangents of thought you've sent them on.

i like this piece a lot, for all it shows, for all it invites the reader to recognise and empathise with.

p.s thanks for looking at that old piece of mine!
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Old 05-16-2015, 09:15 AM   #181
greenmountaineer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butters View Post
hello

......

2] for me, the poem ends with Soon there will be snow. i honestly don't think the lines that come after say anything the reader can't infer from parts one and two. using that as a last line gives a clean, uncluttered, unfussy ending that still allows the reader's thoughts to continue following tangents of thought you've sent them on.

i like this piece a lot, for all it shows, for all it invites the reader to recognise and empathise with.

p.s thanks for looking at that old piece of mine!
Thinking about it more, I agree. In the third stanza I thought Piscator was attempting to say something about reciprocity in human relations, but it seems like a seguay to the poem's ending and secondary to the poet's relationship with nature. "Snow" is not only more fitting as an ending; it's more dramatic.
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Old 05-16-2015, 02:23 PM   #182
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmountaineer View Post
Thinking about it more, I agree. In the third stanza I thought Piscator was attempting to say something about reciprocity in human relations, but it seems like a seguay to the poem's ending and secondary to the poet's relationship with nature. "Snow" is not only more fitting as an ending; it's more dramatic.
i'm too often guilty of writing on beyond the poem's natural ending - wish it were as easy to spot in my own as i find it reading other people. that's why this place works for me - opinions!

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Old 05-17-2015, 02:49 AM   #183
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Well I think butters nailed the issue, odd how both gm and I thought it needed addition as opposed to subtraction. Ending on there will be snow looks so simple and perfect and yet I completely missed it
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Old 05-17-2015, 05:44 AM   #184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by todski28 View Post
Well I think butters nailed the issue, odd how both gm and I thought it needed addition as opposed to subtraction. Ending on there will be snow looks so simple and perfect and yet I completely missed it
i'm not saying i was right, T, just that was is how i saw it - opinions

cutting back is a trick i've had to employ so often with my own stuff but it can be very hard - can sometimes take me months or even years to see cuts suggested to me by others work better for my poem, simply because i'm too attached to certain phrases or images to cut them free for the sake of a better poem overall!
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Old 05-17-2015, 08:44 AM   #185
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Thanks to all for your insightful comments suggestions. And yes it hurts but I agree with Butter's suggestion to stop at snow. I can still feel the phantom limb twitching and may work it into something else using the first four lines, which I still am fond of.

I also played with line lengths and took gm's idea of working a bit more on the birds. I added an alliterative line here, although I also took out the spent salmon line (another cliche and as as a fishiologist I must plead guilty). Let me know if birds are now too cute, as tod noted, that is not my style. The revised work follows
_____________________________________________________

Whitewater time

Adrift in a current I cannot control.
No time for excuses
but there's poetry here,
if only I can hold this backeddy
and jot it all down.

Already the end of October
and half the trees are bare,
The dickybirds are all gone,
sweet songs slipping south,
leaving only the harsh
screech and caws of jays and crows .
In the rivers,salmon flounder,
their future deposited in a gravel bank.
Ice on the deck this morning,
I almost slipped going down
to play fetch with the dogs
and plant next year's garlic.
Soon there will be snow.
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Old 05-17-2015, 11:32 AM   #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piscator View Post
Thanks to all for your insightful comments suggestions. And yes it hurts but I agree with Butter's suggestion to stop at snow. I can still feel the phantom limb twitching and may work it into something else using the first four lines, which I still am fond of.

I also played with line lengths and took gm's idea of working a bit more on the birds. I added an alliterative line here, although I also took out the spent salmon line (another cliche and as as a fishiologist I must plead guilty). Let me know if birds are now too cute, as tod noted, that is not my style. The revised work follows
_____________________________________________________

Whitewater time

Adrift in a current I cannot control.
No time for excuses
but there's poetry here,
if only I can hold this backeddy
and jot it all down.

Already the end of October
and half the trees are bare,
The dickybirds are all gone,
sweet songs slipping south,
leaving only the harsh
screech and caws of jays and crows .
In the rivers,salmon flounder,
their future deposited in a gravel bank.
Ice on the deck this morning,
I almost slipped going down
to play fetch with the dogs
and plant next year's garlic.
Soon there will be snow.
I like this, Piscator, including the dickybirds, a neat contrast between harmony and cacophony with the alliteration and the screeches and caws.

I still like the idea of wondering whether the garlic's going to sprout next spring, given the rest of the poem as I understood it. Nonetheless, it's a great revision and enjoyable to read. Thanks for posting it.
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Old 05-17-2015, 11:57 AM   #187
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piscator View Post
Thanks to all for your insightful comments suggestions. And yes it hurts but I agree with Butter's suggestion to stop at snow. I can still feel the phantom limb twitching and may work it into something else using the first four lines, which I still am fond of.

I also played with line lengths and took gm's idea of working a bit more on the birds. I added an alliterative line here, although I also took out the spent salmon line (another cliche and as as a fishiologist I must plead guilty). Let me know if birds are now too cute, as tod noted, that is not my style. The revised work follows
_____________________________________________________

Whitewater time

Adrift in a current I cannot control.
No time for excuses
but there's poetry here,
if only I can hold this backeddy
and jot it all down.

Already the end of October
and half the trees are bare,
The dickybirds are all gone,
sweet songs slipping south,
leaving only the harsh
screech and caws of jays and crows
.
In the rivers, salmon flounder,
their future deposited in a gravel bank.
Ice on the deck this morning,
I almost slipped going down
to play fetch with the dogs
and plant next year's garlic.
Soon there will be snow.
like the rearrangement of part 1 with one exception: the period end of line 1 - works against the sense of movement, puts too hard a brake on the momentum. a gentler semi-c pulls against the momentum, just as your words indicate the struggle to stay in the backeddy.

dickybirds? tbh, that grates on my sensitivities big time
can you use a single or double-syllable bird name instead? one that is a singer, i'd guess... i don't know the birds in your locale.

and here: harsh/screech and caws of jays and crows

how about substituting 'jeers' for 'screech and caws'? we already know how they sound; 'jeers' introduces a sense of mockery, derision, judgement but maintains an alliterative link with j's and r's - 'harsh jeers of jays and crows', maybe even 'jay and crow' as it can still imply plurality if necessary.

The (something) birds all/long(?) gone,
sweet songs slipped(slipp't?) south,
leaving only the harsh
jeers of jay and crow

is slipp't too southern-sounding?


i'm wondering if the whole still works better in 3 parts: (thinking on screen, just ideas, please dismiss anything that doesn't sit well with you)


Whitewater time

Adrift, in a current I cannot control;
no time for excuses
but there's poetry here,
if only I can hold this backeddy
and jot it all down.

Already the end of October
and half the trees are bare,
the (something) birds all/long gone,
sweet songs slipp't south,
leaving only the harsh
jeers of jay and crow.
In the rivers, salmon flounder,
their future deposited in a gravel bank.

Ice on the deck this morning;
I almost slipped going down
to play fetch with the dogs
and plant next year's garlic.
Soon there will be snow.
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"Dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives."

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Old 05-21-2015, 10:33 AM   #188
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Thanks Butters, I do like the split. and agree that the period on line one should go back to a comma.

I changed songbirds to dickybirds to avoid repetition of" song" in the next line but warblers might be better ( and also factual). But I think I prefer to return songbirds and change the next lines to

Already the end of October
and half the trees are bare.
All the songbirds long gone,
sweet strains slipping south
leaving only the raucous jeers
of jays and crows.
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:52 AM   #189
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Gurney cuffed and covered
by two too green officers
you cant miss the smell of psychosis
it steeps in pants and reeks of sweaty ass crack

sinewed strained
spittle flecked
spitting curses that have the nurses
scared to test his heart rates beat
cheeks are chewed
eyes dark orbs absorb the light
beam it back in black pupil wide eyed hysteria
some kind of hyena man as laughs bark out

strains at the cuffs that save us
from having him hallucinate
us into a funhouse horror that gnaws
with twisted jaws
at his feet
he beats against the mattress
afraid to rest
lest his mind be hypnotised
by the cries that lie beneath our sight
blood pours from scores
of metal bite laceration
hands red run drips
splatter on the floor

one of the officers
undoes his cuffs
to get him off the gurney
before the doctor could administer
a medical dose of what the fuck
you're scaring us
you need to stop

freed a wounded beast
amongst a flock of chickens
he flew
at the cops with
demons playing tunes in his head
for glory or death knocked them down
with a wailing sound
ground though teeth and pursed lips

hissing like a snake
hands clawed like bear paws
painting a canvass of carnage
he turned his focus on me
his aura pulsed fears grip
adrenal surge

I wrestled with this demon thing
splattered in its blood-bile
its vile vitriol
until the doctors could finally
administer
the barbiturate blast

hazy vision dazed me
as it relentlessly gripped at my throat
I drift off to sleep
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Old 09-24-2015, 08:23 PM   #190
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unshod feet slap on the black
bitumen,
blood trails from wounded souls
he giggles, high pitched,
off kilter, head cocked
listening to what,
only he can hear

the flash of read and blue
announce their unwelcome concern
you cant miss the smell of psychosis
it steeps in pants and reeks of sweaty ass crack
ambulance officers drive along side

Police arrive in time to shackle the mad man down

sinewed strained
spittle flecked
spitting curses that have the nurses
scared to test his heart rates beat
cheeks are chewed
eyes dark orbs absorb the light
beam it back in black pupil wide eyed hysteria
some kind of hyena man as laughs bark out

strains at the cuffs that save us
from having him hallucinate
us into a funhouse horror that gnaws
with twisted jaws
at his feet
he beats against the mattress
afraid to rest
lest his mind be hypnotised
by the cries that lie beneath our sight
blood pours from scores
of metal bite laceration
hands red run drips
splatter on the floor

one of the officers
undoes his cuffs
to get him off the gurney
before the doctor could administer
a medical dose of what the fuck
you're scaring us
you need to stop

freed a wounded beast
amongst a flock of chickens
he flew
at the cops with
demons playing tunes in his head
for glory or death knocked them down
with a wailing sound
ground though teeth and pursed lips

hissing like a snake
hands clawed like bear paws
painting a canvass of carnage
he turned his focus on me
his aura pulsed fears grip
adrenal surge

I wrestled with this demon thing
splattered in its blood-bile
its vile vitriol
until the doctors could finally
administer
the barbiturate blast

hazy vision dazed me
as it relentlessly gripped at my throat
I drift off to sleep
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Last edited by todski28 : 09-24-2015 at 08:50 PM. Reason: to say this is only less than half way sorted, blah life etc, etc
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:26 PM   #191
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you're switching tenses halfway through, tods, from present to past. am i missing a purpose for that? as it stands, present tense works best for the pacing and build-up of tension imo
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