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.

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Dewell H. Byrd

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


Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:40 pm

Writing for the monthly newsletter for this enclave of senior citizens where I reside is VERY difficult.  They think it is not a poem unless it rhymes as in fourth grade lit class.  And they are reluctant to discuss death even as the ambulance pulls out.  However, they do pay attention when I offer something like this poem.  Please help me tighten it up some.  All suggestions appreciated.  Dewell


When all your questions 
about cremation are answered
and your head seems right
its time to sign a contract
and put your money down.

What do they do when a biggie
is in line ahead of you
requiring more than one fill
with some left over?
You want a mixture for all eternity?

Do they sweep out the overs,
pressure wash everything clean,
blow it out with a leaf thing,
use little whisk brooms?
You gotta know these things.

Momma wants her feet first
they being cold since the first issue.
Papa wants head first so as to see
he's going to the right place.
Not that it makes no never mind now.

You gotta get your head right first time
'cause there ain't no going back.
Once that hot lid slams
your kith and kin are heading
for the reading of the will.

-Dewell H. Byrd

Posts : 320
Join date : 2014-10-25
Age : 65
Location : North Little Rock


Post  Karen on Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:58 pm

Man-o-man.  This poem got it right for me.  The last stanza was (you should pardon the expression) killer.
The bits that bothered me were primarily housekeeping.
Line 4 needs it’s rather than its
Requiring more than one fill – I knew what you meant by fill, but the word felt awkward.
I would like a rearrangement of the last line in stanza 2.  Perhaps Do you want a mixture for all eternity? or Nobody wants a mixture for all eternity.
Sweep out the overs.  Again, I knew what you meant by overs, but the word felt wonky.
Momma feet first and Papa head first.  Oh yeah.

Posts : 630
Join date : 2011-05-21


Post  tsukany on Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:37 am


I really like the topic.  so creative.

The first stanza holds vital information and yet seems clunky.  I am not sure I need the "head" reference since it's in the title and is the focus of the energy stanza of the poem:  S4.

I wonder if the title helps you.  Maybe rethink it and S1 can remain clear.

S2 is quite a leap for me.  I didn't know exactly what a biggie was the first couple reads.

S3 is sweetness.


Posts : 695
Join date : 2011-09-12

Getting the head right

Post  Pat on Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:23 pm

Dewell, this is interesting as a topic.  I need to write more about it.  I have cremation stories.  : )   Glad to see this topic.
It's endearing when you call the one in front of the line is a biggie.  : )  
I agree with Karen on the title.  Something about ashes?  or a box?  or container?   
In life, what hits me:  Is this really all there is of this person?  Really? Did they keep some?  Whisk it away?  Your line about one fill:   needs to be said in a clearer way:   maybe  bigger container?  

S 3:  It is dear.
Sweep out the leftovers?

Mixture of you and someone else?

I think you'll get there.  It is just in process.  
Mama feet first, Papa, head first. 
Loved their reasons.  : )   
Thanks for sharing.

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