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Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:52 pm

This started out to be a nice, simple poem but somewhere I seem to have lost it.  Can you rescue it and me?  Dewell


They call a gathering of the murder
___as ravens often do___
about roadkill scavenger etiquette

and appropriate bib and tuck
for blacktop red-plate special
while dodging eighteen wheelers.

They prance, hop and strut
about, heads tipped sideways
as if mystery lay in the pecking order.

Once the queue is complete, where
to begin becomes the issue.
Eyes first, of course, always the eyes.

Soft underbelly, napkined just so,
is the filet mignon with gulps
and gurgles.  Fur and bones

are left as appetizers for cousins
crow who flock as if the kill
were a boardinghouse buffet.

     -Dewell H. Byrd

Dewell H. Byrd

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Post  tsukany on Thu Dec 29, 2016 11:05 am


It seems to me that you have complicated the story at the beginning.  Rather than begin the poem a pronoun, why not start with the noun, ravens.  I had to read the first few lines five or six times to discern the sense.

May be other lines are the same.  Then end with the introduction of the crows.

I would like to see another version before going into the rest of the lines.


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Post  Pat on Thu Dec 29, 2016 5:25 pm

Dewell, I wonder if you start with S 3.  Just let the first word be Ravens. (Maybe the first 2 stanzas are really you getting ready to write the poem.  How often I do this!)   
The first two stanzas seem like editorializing.  What if you just report what you see from s 3 on to the end of the poem.
Maybe invert crow and cousins.
I'd consider changing who flock in last stanza to flocking.
Title makes a lot of things clear.


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Post  Karen on Thu Dec 29, 2016 6:59 pm

The first stanza threw me off, too.  I'm CRAZY about almost everything else.  Here’s my ha’penny.

New title: Ravens.

New first stanza

Roadkill etiquette:
appropriate bib and tuck
for blacktop red-plate special.
(cut while dodging eighteen wheelers)

Also, like Pat, I wanted a word swap

are left as appetizers for crows,

cousins who flock as if the kill

I love blacktop red-plate special, the eyes, and napkined just so.

Yeah.  I'm crazy about this poem, Dewell.


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Something to crow about

Post  Dennis2012 on Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:54 pm

Dewell,  Your southern country boy really shines on this one.  I've seen this and it makes me wonder if you are a bird watcher with binoculars to get this kind of detail with such accruacy. I'm not sure if you intended to use the word "murder" as reference to a flock of crows, but they are called a "Murder." I do think you need to listen to the other suggestions and I would like to see the rewrite.  Mundane events of life just that to everyone but poets.


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Just some thoughts

Post  renee.barger on Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:19 pm

I personally liked the title "Roadkill Etiquette" because it definitely grabbed my attention and curiosity. If you changed the title to Raven as some suggested, my mind would go to Edgar Allen Poe.

As others have said, the first stanza felt like deadweight to me. I liked the second stanza, especially the line, "while dodging eighteen wheelers." It made me grin, because I knew exactly what you were talking about.

The poem was a little gross (since it's about roadkill), but I liked it. Creatively done! I'm excited to see an updated version.

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