Finally, I have a poem for you guys. . . .

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Finally, I have a poem for you guys. . . .

Post  Pat on Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:55 am

Two Years After Committing Suicide



your rooted family

planted a birch

in loving memory of you

down the lane by my mailbox.

I see the tree every day,

but other brothers and sisters

may let it dim down

until they come to visit

and are greeted by

a red kerchief

blazing like a red sun

hanging on a barren branch.

None flinch, but none outrun

the memory

of the long night of weeping,

of our trying hard to understand,

of you filling yourself

with bullets—

first, from a medicine bottle

then, from an innocent gun.

You meant no harm to us,

but now I fear

a child’s child

may one day startle us

yet again

with dying leaves,

shriveling everything.

Pat

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Sensitive Subject

Post  tsukany on Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:13 pm

Pat...I would like to see this after two things:

1. I would return the lines to paragraph form and read until the line felt full

2. I would then read each of those lines for "poetic" content.

One of the visiting poets believed that every line should be its own world.
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tsukany

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It is a sensitive topic, I agree.

Post  Pat on Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:39 pm

Here is another attempt after following your advice. And a question came to me: do we need to hold the long skinny poems for happy and playful events? I thought I heard what you were saying about each line being full and having its own world until I did this. No, I did not quite get it until I actually did it. This may change every poem I write. Thank you!!! Pat

Two Years After You

Committed Suicide



Your rooted family

came together and planted a river birch

down the lane by my mailbox shaped

like a monument. When the wind blows,

branches tremble. As time ticks on,

dimness must have set in

for brothers and sisters. But then,

when they reappear, they are greeted

by a red kerchief blazing like a red sun

hanging on a barren branch.



None flinch, but none outrun the years

with you: we unreel those hippie days,

your hearty laugh, how you’d drink sunlight,

and we remember the way you could ripple

a conversation. And yet, we also recall

the long night of weeping

after you’d filled yourself with bullets—

first, from a medicine bottle and then,

from an innocent gun. None of us

are strangers to storms, but now

some carry fear that a child’s child

may one day startle us yet again

by leaving as you did,

shriveling everything.

Pat

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As usual... <grin>

Post  tsukany on Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:24 pm

Pat, I like things from both poems. Smile I like the tree image from the first version. This version seems to stray from it a bit. I am still stuck at "rooted family." What is the significance of the adjective? I got stuck by two reds in the same line as well.

I think skinny poems are better at communicating a single subject. This topic feels better in a fuller expression.
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Pat's poem about suicide

Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:08 pm

Pat... I like the second title better... rooted really threw me as did brothers and sisters... how about delete routed and use siblings...innicent gun?... now, now, is there a guilty gun somewhere?...let what dim down?...I lose sight of the "tree" in the poem's middle... can you sharpen that image? For this subject I prefer an economy of words and images stacked, gently tied... The ending is much more powerful in the do-over... I like that.

A very difficult subject and this poem handles it with respect... cudos to the author. Dewell

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