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.



    Posts : 310
    Join date : 2014-10-25
    Age : 65
    Location : North Little Rock


    Post  Karen on Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:06 am

    This poem is like my cell phone pictures. They aren't always wonderful, but I want to remember that creek, that sign, that patch of wildflowers.  It may be the same with this poem.

    I liked the line lengths when I worked with them aloud, but they were jagged and unsatifactory on the page. Centering helped.

    You probably know a group of crows is called a murder.  If you don't, the reference would seem odd.  A murder.  I love that.


    Northwest nowhere,
    one more dirt road.
    one more road,
    then green.
    next three miles.
    Brake check.
    Wake check,
    Second gear.

    Road kill possum.
    Walking crow
    calls a murder.
    Three show up.
    Gravel turnout.
    Snaky hill.
    Not much company
    for miles.

    Needle edging
    down to E.
    Still must be on 21.
    Look for man-made,
    God-made, sign.
    unfamiliar, wrong.
    by Ozone Baptist Church.
    Make it
    to the Chat-N-Scat.

    Dennis 20

    Home is where the heart is

    Post  Dennis 20 on Sat Aug 01, 2015 3:02 pm

    Karen,  Love what you have done with home. That won't mean as much to the others as me since I grew up near there--just west of 21.  I like the winding element--crooked, steep--and the brake, wake sounds as well.  Can visulize the road kill possum and snaky hill. Oh, love the murder of crows with the double meaning. Even if the reader didn't know about the herd (flock) being called a murder, there is meaning there.  And then saved by the Baptist Church--wow, great.  I think the chat-n-scat is back near Clarksville, though, not up on Ozone.

    Posts : 310
    Join date : 2014-10-25
    Age : 65
    Location : North Little Rock


    Post  Karen on Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:37 pm

    I knew I was on the right road when I saw Ozone Baptist Church.  On my way to Eureka, I had seen a roadrunner running to the church (hmm...another poem).  I didn't know how far I was from the Chat-n-Scat, but I knew I was going the right way.  You're right, it's near Clarksville.  My car kept counting down my "range".  I had 22 miles left in me when I got to the gas station.

    I'm glad you were satisfied with my picture of a place you know so well.  I was a stranger in a strange land.  They were good to me all the same.  Ed didn't make me give a credit card before I pumped.

    So ... if you don't know the scene ... is this more than a snapshot?

    Dennis 20

    Old memories resurrected

    Post  Dennis 20 on Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:16 pm

    Karen,  I graduated and played football with Ed. It was Eddie (Fudd) back then. My brother told me he owned/ran the Chat-N-Scat, but I've not been by there. Things have changed over the years. 
    They tore down our High School 
    closed down the local swimming hole
    shut down the mom and pop store
    let Wal/Mart move in
    moved out of downtown area
    our summer jobs at the peach
    orchards have died out
    The roads still run out of town
    the mountain is still green
    Spadra still runs passed my house
    also through town and to the river
    mist lays across the valley in fall
    and the leaves are the most brilliant
    after the muscadines sweeten
    for the foragers in the forest.

    You have inspired me--home

    Posts : 310
    Join date : 2014-10-25
    Age : 65
    Location : North Little Rock


    Post  Karen on Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:55 pm

    What an odd little life this poem is living.  I wrote it on my phone as I drove, recording a few lines at a time as I got them the way I wanted them. 

    I was relieved I didn't run out of gas.  I told Ed my gas needle was between E and Oh s#*t.  After I filled up, I pulled under a little shade tree in the parking lot of the Chat-n-Scat and transcribed what I had written. 

    I'll go that way to Eureka again this fall.  I'll tell Ed I know you.


    Posts : 671
    Join date : 2011-09-12

    You two are travel buddies.. . .

    Post  Pat on Sun Aug 02, 2015 5:41 pm

    Well, I know nothing about the road or area, so I come to the poem very cold.  But it's almost like a reunion when you know somebody who knows your home/town. 

    And I'm impressed with anyone who can copy and paste my poem and make it work.   I'll try again someday.  Also impressed that you can write and drive??? Dangerous sounding, but look what you have created.  

    I like the long skinny poem.  You are forever climbing or falling.   : )   The only thing I was familiar with is murder of crows, probably because I read poetry.

    Thoughts:  I never know whether to say roadkill or road kill, comma between them and possum?  Remember I'm looking for tweets.   Overall, it looks very good.   I wondered if the word green might hold it together if you use it in each stanza or first and last verse.  I like how your thoughts and facts intersperse.  Not sure you even need stanzas.  How you run on. . . . nicely.  I know you and Dennis have all this historical memory, but, as a poem, you may not need the last two lines.  ????  Title is excellent.  I have been lost or thought I was, and ah ha!  there's the river or tower or something that says, "I know where I am!"

    The poem is universal.   Easy to read too.  Lost and found.  Written on more than one level, and of that, I'm greatly appreciative. 

    Thank you.  I like it very much.

    Posts : 619
    Join date : 2011-05-21


    Post  tsukany on Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:44 am

    Hi Karen,

    What if you put the title before or after each line (as an exercise) to see if it has anything to do with the line?  It seems that the title is lost immediately after the first line.

    What I think is hiding in the poem is the ominous tone set off by the title.  You hint to death over and over but it feels undeveloped:  murder, wrong, "wake" as in funeral, church.

    I, also, (because I am familiar with the author) had trouble placing the mode of transportation:  running, then biking, then driving.  It wouldn't distract another reader I'm sure.  Just a thought for revision.

    I was distracted by the "green" of the first stanza.  I know what you are doing, but if I heard this poem only once, the "road" would be green rather than the trees.

    Thanks for sharing and listening.


    Posts : 310
    Join date : 2014-10-25
    Age : 65
    Location : North Little Rock


    Post  Karen on Sat Aug 08, 2015 2:55 pm

    If I lose this poem and never see it again, I will still have enjoyed its life far past what few expectations I had for it.

    I agree with Dennis that this small group has much to give.  When I look at a poem of mine through your eyes, I see what I forgot to say, as well as what I've beat with a stick past the point of tolerance. 

    Sometimes, I get a different gift altogether, as when I unwittingly wrote of a place Dennis knows so well.

    Thank you all for reading with care and giving straight answers.  Your feedback is invaluable.

    Dewell H. Byrd

    Posts : 374
    Join date : 2012-01-05
    Age : 87
    Location : Central Point, OR

    Wrong Way Home

    Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Tue Aug 11, 2015 5:40 pm

    LONG WAY HOME might be a better title.  Current title misleads me.  I'm looking for a word in each stanza to carry me along in the poem.  I like the form... powerful, short statements well handled.  And the church image is a good ending.  I love those small churches with graveyards or cemeteries... a feeling of place.  My Dad would say, "Kill one crow and 30 will come to the funeral."  Dewell, Baptist.

    Posts : 310
    Join date : 2014-10-25
    Age : 65
    Location : North Little Rock


    Post  Karen on Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:18 pm

    I like LONG WAY HOME.  A lot!  Thank you, Dewell.

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