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Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:38 pm

This is a "soft" poem caught between winter and spring.  All thoughts and suggestions will be appreciated.  Maybe the poem should start with Old Tom???  We are on the road so our response to your poems may be delayed until early next week.  Dewell


Sun eases down the mountains
Over the hills and canyons to the
Belly of the valley.

A coverlet of white silence holds
Everything in subdued surprise.
Late winter, early spring

Flush juncos and finches
To breakfast beneath my pink
Dogwood tree.

Spent blossoms spiral down-ward,
Carpet fresh flakes like bubbles
Of vin rose'.

Tiny footprints mark each hop,
Strut and flutter like ancient
Cave art.

Old Tom inches along the top rail,
Stubby tail flicking powder from
Ivy leaves.

Crouched, poised, he lunges at the birds
In a flurry of feathers and frozen flakes;
A cold miss.

Tom rolls and wallows in frustration;
Erases modern history.

Dewell H. Byrd

Dewell H. Byrd

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Stanza order

Post  tsukany on Sat Feb 27, 2016 7:25 am


It took a while for the pieces to click.  I think it's stanza chronology.

I am not sure you need the first stanza.  I like the third stanza as the opening.

When you move to describe the dogwood, the poem jumps back to snow, but the reference is so far away.  I kept trying to have the bird making marks on pink pedals.

I wonder if "Ol Tom" can be more "Egyptian" to make a subtle connection between the past and present. 

After I found the puzzle, I really enjoyed the ending of the poem.  Strong . .  again!

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Post  Karen on Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:23 pm

Dewell, I like this poem immensely!

Two housekeeping notes: e after i in Hieroglyphics, and I would omit the hyphen in downward.

I agree with Todd on renaming the cat.  In my book, “Old Tom” dates the poem in a way it doesn’t deserve. 

Belly of the valley, Cave art – good stuff.   Strong, strong ending.

I was unclear of the meaning at the beginning of the third stanza.  Do late winter and early spring flush the juncos?  If so, a comma after spring would help me.

I love the comparison you’ve drawn.


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Jump in quick

Post  Dennis 20 on Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:09 pm

Dewell,  I think you missed an opportunity to make your title stronger with the first line.  I want that sun to do more than ease. Make it scrawl, or scribble,or scratch or some word that makes me see the hieroglyphics from the get go. 

I think I could make a good argument for two poems here.  There is material for the winter/spring scene and also the cat being a cat picture.

What you have is good with some good catchy lines-- belly of the valley is tops. I also like the picture of the Dogwood and ancient cave art.  Good poem

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Good work.

Post  Pat on Mon Feb 29, 2016 5:25 pm

It just took me a while to put hiroglyphics together with what you were offering at the beginning.  I like the suggestions others had, esp. on renaming cat with ancient name.  Perfect ending.


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