The Last Friday

The Last Friday is a poetry editing group. Once a month, we post a poem and then offer feedback to the other poems on the Forum. We're a friendly but honest group. We value each other deeply and desire for every poet to be published or become famous.

    Roofers: I need help. I have weeded and weeded. . . .


    Posts : 690
    Join date : 2011-09-12

    Roofers: I need help. I have weeded and weeded. . . .

    Post  Pat on Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:49 pm


    They are young,
    lean, tanned, no shirts.
    They pop out of an old truck
    loaded down with tools, ladders,
    dogs—one large, one small.
    The bearded man,
    face lifted skyward,
    points and guides
    keeping his feet firmly planted
    on solid ground.  Next,
    he turns on the radio.
    A country station.
    Later, he shouts something at the two
    who make being up high
    look like a place of delight,
    a step-up, a sanctuary of blue.
    The men overhead
    talk, dip, swivel and hold drills
    the way children
    play Cowboys on a ridge.
    One roofer waves off a wasp.

    What, No Indians?

    Post  dennis20 on Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:26 pm

    Pat,  Good poem for this time of year when rains may cause a leak. I am assuming this is an observation at your house.  Anyway, here are some things I see that I would suggest for your poem.  I probably wouldn't see them in it if I had written it, though.  What can I say?  Good beginning to set the scene for us.  Then "one large, one small"  What? Who? They? tools? ladder? dogs?  I think I would leave that out.  Just because you mentioned the dogs doesn't mean you have to talk about them since this is about the "roofers."  I would start a new para here since you introduce another character.  Something like "The leader, An older man, some way to separate him from the young, lean, tanned, ones since his feet are planted" I draw the conclusion he is older ... Omit "next" it makes it sound like a narrative. Omit "then" for the same reason.  I don't get the phrase "a step up, a sanctuary of blue."  I don't see anything with that. I think you wimped out here by not giving a more rugged picture. Something like "mountain goats" would have taken our breath more.  After the description of duck and bob and squat and slide or action words I would have used something more like " like kids playing cowboys and indians" even at the expense of the cliche.  I would omit "ridge"  we are with the older man looking up with instructions so we know where they are.  Last line "One waves off a wasp."  The title told us who he was.  Maybe some of this will be helpful....or not.
    Dewell H. Byrd

    Posts : 382
    Join date : 2012-01-05
    Age : 88
    Location : Central Point, OR

    Roofers seeking help

    Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:05 pm

    Pat, I like that last line!  Maybe he also wipes sweat.  Dennis really hit the key points.  The way this shifts around stanzas would help guide the reader... might even replace some prose words... We just had some roofing done.  They have their own language and "talk" a lot without words... yes, delete the dogs unless they are guarding the sandwich...Hah!.
    Roofers are noisey in their work... are they in your poem?  The Super on the ground could be a poem of his own.... I especially like the ridge dance idea... Dewell

    Posts : 626
    Join date : 2011-05-21

    Competing focus?

    Post  tsukany on Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:07 am

    Pat...I am not sure if the poem is about the old or the young?  I think that will make a revision impact of note.  The energy starts for me in line three.  I wonder how many of the details are necessary for the reader (the dogs have no bearing on the poem, do they?)

    Posts : 690
    Join date : 2011-09-12

    I may run a revision by you guys

    Post  Pat on Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:59 pm

    this week.  I struggled about the dogs myself.  They will get dumped, of course. 

    Lucidity last week, grandchildren on the weekend, church and Book Launch Party today with storms dancing all around us.  12 showed up!  Couldn't believe anyone would come to hear poetry in this weather.  Maybe this was a practice-run.  Anyway, I enjoyed the intimate group sharings afterwards about loved ones in nursing homes. 

    I am whipped down right now.  Thank you sooo much for your thoughts and insights.  Always, helpful.  My brain is pretty muddled right now.  I will read and respond to your poems tomorrow. 

    Thank you for your critiques. 


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