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.

    critique please


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    Post  Dennis20 on Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:26 pm



    Birds on the Wire

    Birds on the wire

    mingled, gray beaks

    to gray tails, toes

    clinging tightly 

    against winter wind,

    sit serene in the silence.

    Like a silent sentinel 

    sitting silhouette

    on a leaning fence post,

    a red-tail hawk ruffled

    in biting wind, 

    eyed movements

    of field mice inching 

    across soy bean stubble 

    as they gleaned chaff for morsels

    of wasted grain.  The eyes,

    sliced toward slight creature

    habits under grey overcast

    skies of blustery January,

    and darted in moments

     of survival instinct. 

    A scream divided the air

    between sky and earth

    sparking denizen to scurry,

    but not quick enough,

    as wings thrashed into cold

    and talons unsheathed

    leaving red on stalk 

    and spire and weed refuse 

    where scuffs of fur unfurls

    in fine bits when  murderous eyes

    drove a razor beak deep.

    And birds on the wire ruffle

    feathers as winds rail silent

    again, under grey skies.



    Dewell H. Byrd

    Posts : 385
    Join date : 2012-01-05
    Age : 88
    Location : Central Point, OR

    critique please Empty Birds On The Wire

    Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:18 pm

    I can see these images clearly, Dennis, and find them real.

    Two suggestions, maybe three:

    Poem starts with present tense then shifts to past tense... I suggest

    present tense throughout.

    At the start of sentence #2 the hawk could be noted earlier thus

    helping the reader. Also, before striking does a redtail hawk ruffle or does

    it "bat"? My son is a Master Falconer here in the west and he prompts this last question.

    I think this is a super poem and think "Birds In Bloom" or a similar publisher

    would welcome it. Good luck.


    Posts : 730
    Join date : 2011-09-12

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    Post  Pat on Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:47 pm

    Glad you were able to post, Dennis. . . . yea!!!

    I like the skinny long look of the form. : ) Like a line from above.

    Sit was your present tense verb. Looks like most of it is in past. I agree with Dewell: present tense would make it more intense too.

    Wow! on the alliterative: silent sentinel sitting silhouette (almost a tongue twister. . . : )

    Not sure you need for morsels after chaff. I stopped when I read that and went hmmmm to myself.

    Next thought: I am not sure how to read it. Commas? Try reading it aloud. What darted? bird or slight creature? I can guess, but I’m trying to read it as punctuated.

    Wow! on a scream divided the air. . . . then, I come to scuffs of fur (like the back of the neck?) Unfurl or unfurls?

    I wondered about dropping refuse. I stopped when I read it. This entire sentence might have more intensity if you turned it into short short sentences and made it staccato sentences like a drum beat. Just playing with it in my mind.

    Last line: I’d drop the word again. It is again, of course, but the reader needs to discover it for himself, I think.

    I especially like the particulars, the images, the strong verbs in this poem. Rail silent: I had to smile at this oxymoron.


    Posts : 646
    Join date : 2011-05-21

    critique please Empty The title

    Post  tsukany on Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:14 pm

    My point of distraction began with the title. As a repeated first line, I was thrown off by the entrance of a bird on the fence post. I think a more expansive title might direct the reader to your other meaning, another point of emphasis, unless you are simply referring to nature in the poem. I like the ultimate return to the birds on the wire, but the title made the hawk an intruder rather than a commentary. Nice voice, Dennis, and glad to have more poems to read. Smile Todd

    I was not alerted by email that you'd posted a poem. Sad. I am sorry my feedback was slow in coming.

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