critique please

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critique please

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.





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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.


Dewell H. Byrd

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Birds on the Wire

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.



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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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Re: critique please

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