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.

    Thoughts During a Trip to the Trash Can



    Posts : 635
    Join date : 2011-09-12

    Thoughts During a Trip to the Trash Can

    Post  Pat on Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:30 pm

    Need help with title?  The noun Can.  I am struggling to make it readable and understandable with the word "Can"    This is double-spacing on me.....again. Todd, if you can fix it, I'd so appreciate it.   Trying to go beyond an image.  Trying couplets with free verse like Donald Hall. Thanks, guys.  Any feedback would be helpful. 

    Thoughts During a Trip to the Trash Can

    I maneuver around pockets of mud puddles,
    carrying a bulging white bag to a green can. 

    Inside the bag, clinking and clattering,
    something stinks to the highest heaven. 

    What grabs my eyes at the open-mouthed can
    is litter:  wadded foil, wet papers, worn wrappers.

    Trash, everywhere—clawed and scattered
    from other bags.  A coon, always a coon. 

    This trash can takes what we no longer want
    and lets the coon take whatever he needs. 

    One day, the trash trip will stop for you and me. 
    Not sure if I will quit before you or if you

    will leave me behind to do it alone, but the can
    will go on, holding onto her job.  Then,

    I wonder who will value the can for embracing
    the bags with the gentleness of a mother.

    Posts : 291
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    Age : 64
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    Re: Thoughts During a Trip to the Trash Can

    Post  Karen on Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:35 pm

    Home for lunch, so just a quick post for now  ...

    Pat, what about leaving off "can" in the title?  The first couplet makes the subject clear. 

    I like the thoughts on this one.


    Can of Refuge

    Post  dennis20 on Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:49 pm

    Pat,  Looks like two poems here.  If you said, "Taking out the trash" for a title and end with "let the coon take whatever he wants,"  that would be a picture and complete thought.  Then develope the rest into a poem of its own.  That last part seems to have a life of its own.  It seems to stray from the initial thought when you get down to the last few lines. I was expecting more, maybe a battle with the coon or something like that. Good possibilites here.

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    Join date : 2011-05-21


    Post  tsukany on Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:39 pm


    I wrote a poem this week and gave birth to a preemie.  I believe you have too.  I think that preemies need time in ICU.  We don't throw them away.

    I think that you are trying to take two images and create a third.  You have two strong images: trash and coons.  However, those two go together so one of them needs to serve the other.  That brings us to the real contrast:  trash and eternity/death (stanza 6).  If those are your two contrasting images, your title can be their hint/marriage.

    One place of editing/expansion is stanzas two and three.  You end with smell and begin with eyes.

    Stanza five is the theme you want the reader to understand from the poem itself (don't tell us).

    Hope something in all that is helpful.  If not, take it to the can for the coons.  


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    Join date : 2011-09-12

    Not taking it to the coons. . . .

    Post  Pat on Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:43 pm

    Will read and reread this.   Not dumping it either.  Incubating is a good word.   Maybe there'll be more on this later. 

    Thank you, Todd.

    Dewell H. Byrd

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    Location : Central Point, OR

    Thoughts During Trip To The Trash Can

    Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Sat Jan 31, 2015 3:11 pm

    Consider S 5 as S 1 or S 2... Drama is in coon and litter... Those end lines are a huge jump for me... perhaps a different poem.  Pat, the poem as is feels like you and I are having a conversation while walking out to the trash can... I enjoy that.  Interesting how your stinky white bag and the can become the coon's feast table and playground.  Great contrast.  Keep honing... lots of potential in this poem.  Lets walk and talk again soon.  Dewell


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    Join date : 2011-09-12

    Practically a new poem. Comment if you have time.

    Post  Pat on Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:59 am

    When 3 of you tell me I have two poems.  Then, I have two poems.  This is where I am at this point.  I'm doing no copy and pasting to see if I can just type it here and have it look right.  Unknown right now.  Should be couplets.

    Raccoons Robbed Us Again

    Wildness everywhere:
    wadded foil, wet papers, worn wrappers,

    and something smelled to the highest heaven.
    The masked bandits with ears at attention,

    rings on bushy tails, smart flinty noses
    up in the air had sniffed out

    chicken bones and old cake in the trash.
    A sneak attack followed.

    Easy to imagine--
    each coon at the raid

    used clever paws to eat alongside siblings,
    ignored the mess to be left behind, and then

    plodded off into the woods to the steam
    where they'd wash up.


    Brash trash rash

    Post  dennis20 on Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:20 am

    Pat, Looks good!  I would say "high heaven" rather than "highest" May just be me.  And omit "to be"  and "then"  and "into the woods"  in the lines below.  A great poem that is tight and the picture is there.  

    used clever paws to eat alongside siblings,
    ignored the mess to be left behind, and then

    plodded off into the woods to the steam
    where they'd wash up.


    Posts : 635
    Join date : 2011-09-12

    Those rascal raccoons

    Post  Pat on Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:44 am

    Thanks, Dennis.  Very helpful.  When 2 or more say I need to do something, I do not question it.  We have a new dog, anniversary celebration, snow, obligations to fulfill, but THIS is important to me too.  Thank you for helping me continue to look at the poem. 

    If you guys struggle to make the leap to follow me, I know others will too.  Not something I want. 
    So, I thank you. 

    Interesting too how I'm typing this directly into this space and it is not double-spacing.  I'll do that from now on when I send a poem.  Just retype it.  (My copy/paste method does not make me happy.) 

    I'm in a new group:  Get-Published Group.  Our first question last week:  Why publish?  I need to type those up.  We had some good answers.  There are only 4 of us at this time.  I'm hopeful I'll get more active about publishing as a result of this group talk.  I need to walk the walk, not just talk it.   : )


    Posts : 23
    Join date : 2011-05-21

    Love it

    Post  Admin on Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:30 pm

    Sorry. Pat.  I've been rambling with that bug and my nose is winning.  I like the poem and the new group.  WEll donE!

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    Re: Thoughts During a Trip to the Trash Can

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