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carolinex Profile
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They Met on a Telephone Line


(question: I've been noticing most of my stanza's breaks are at periods. So I tried breaking that up a little and wonder if that works. I also have two possible endings.)

They Met on a Telephone Line

He was mouse grey but she let him.

Consumed by a manic need,
she chose a round kitchen vent,
the second floor behind
a redwood's regal arms.

He helped pick one blade
of dried grass, a broken leaf,
one tiny twig after another:

both of them ruthless
about the downy blue feathers.
Metal rattled a frantic pace
allayed when the eggs

dropped in a royal blanket
owning her delicate warmth.
The flies were divided equally
in six open mouths. As the nest
grew too small, she waited

on a branch with worms.
They flew to her, blended into branches,
erased by sky;

wings aching,
  
in a barren land without insects,
and a voiceless wind.

alternate ending:

the wind blew so quietly
in a barren land
without insects.

Last edited by carolinex, Nov/25/2008, 5:52 pm
Nov/15/2008, 11:29 pm Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: They Met on a Telephone Line


This is working for me, Caroline. I got a chuckle when, after reading the poem, I went back to the title and got it.

Line breaks do not pose problems. Rhythm carries the poem. To me, at least, the alternate ending is the right ending. It comes across with more control, more certainty. Poem's opening line is particularly inviting...and suggestive.

I think what I particularly like about the poem is that it touches a chord similar to what Dragonman's recent poem does. It forces me to look at things through non-human perceptions.

I am curious about something. It seems like I may have asked this question before. Does working in the medium of collages influence how you work in poetry?

Tere
Nov/16/2008, 1:23 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
ChrisD1 Profile
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Re: They Met on a Telephone Line


hi Caroline,

I'm with Tere re: the excellent first line and clever title.

One nit:

"a redwood's shady arms"

just seems too telly? too obvious? I think the word 'shady' could be improved.

I'm with Tere again, re: the alternate ending.

Chris
Nov/17/2008, 11:19 am Link to this post Send Email to ChrisD1   Send PM to ChrisD1
 
Patricia Jones Profile
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Re: They Met on a Telephone Line


A birdwatcher, I loved the title immediately and wasn't disappointed by what followed. I like this poem very much, too, Caroline...agree with those who like the alternative ending. "Shady", to me, requires a stronger word when speaking of the redwoods... "regal" comes to mind, especially since you use "royal" later on in the poem....and indeed they are regal...large and impressive in size, scope, or extent.
  
"Mouse gray" to me suggests a female, a house finch perhaps, living in the shadows of redwoods...but the blue downy feathers don't fit for me...barn swallows maybe but neither of them are mousey gray. I may be being waaay too picky about that...just would love more clues to the birds you are speaking to. : )

Thanks...love the poem.

Pat

Last edited by Patricia Jones, Nov/18/2008, 12:58 am


---
"Don't you worry--I ain't evil, I'm just bad".
~Chris Smither~
Nov/18/2008, 12:27 am Link to this post Send Email to Patricia Jones   Send PM to Patricia Jones
 
carolinex Profile
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Re: They Met on a Telephone Line


Thanks for all the positive feedback and helpful nits!

Tere,
I really like that I can depend on you for a thumbs up or thumbs down. When I have more chat time, I might answer your question. There are so many ways working in two mediums influence each other I think.

Chris, Good point about shady. I thought , "the wind blew so quietly" might be telly, but sometimes I think there is something to be said for more casual since everyone seems to like that better.

Pat,
This was my kitchen vent, I got to observe the whole thing. The title was The Swallow Song, but I didn't really like that so I took the first line. The swallows here are grey or grey/brown. You may be right about needing that reference. Regal is a good word to consider.

They really did appear with blue feathers for their nest. I did some research and read that they might even kill for their nest. That was what I meant by "ruthless". Perhaps I need to make that clearer....

  
Nov/20/2008, 5:30 pm Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 
Patricia Jones Profile
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Re: They Met on a Telephone Line


Caroline, I've read that swallows sometimes fly as much as 600 miles a day to feed their young. Isn't that amazing?

Pat

---
"Don't you worry--I ain't evil, I'm just bad".
~Chris Smither~
Nov/20/2008, 5:59 pm Link to this post Send Email to Patricia Jones   Send PM to Patricia Jones
 
carolinex Profile
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Re: They Met on a Telephone Line


Didn't know that. That is wild.

I was watching them flying the other day. It was music. How they move together, seem to disappear, swoop around, reappear. I like to watch them congregate on this one leafless tree, then drop off like leaves, them land again. It's like a movie.
Nov/21/2008, 2:40 pm Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: They Met on a Telephone Line


Caroline,

I like the eveness of the poem. Not a lot of ego on display. This is one of those poems that deals with with things without turning them into issues. Not that good poems can't be written about issues.

Like the plain language, the beauty in the plain. You've gotten some good comments. At first I thought it was going to be about a mouse, but that was quickly dispelled. Thanks for posting. Zak
Nov/22/2008, 4:40 pm Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
carolinex Profile
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Re: They Met on a Telephone Line


Thank you Zak. I have received good comments. emoticon Have missed you and your poems. Hoping you will post...
Nov/25/2008, 5:53 pm Link to this post Send PM to carolinex
 


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