poetry critical

online poetry workshop



For Love of Home
PaulS

I sip coffee on the back steps
 1
watching October’s sun
 2
crest the tops of trees, as
 3
 
 
chickadees dart here and there,
 4
playing hide-and-seek
 5
among the benevolent leaves.
 6
 
 
I was born here
 7
 
 
Red squirrel runs helter-skelter
 8
along the stonewall,
 9
bushy tail twitching—ever on alert,
 10
 
 
while a phoebe performs
 11
high-wire acts
 12
on a tattered clothesline.
 13
 
 
I have lived here forever
 14
 
 
Two crows—keen-eyed watchers
 15
in conifer towers,
 16
carry on a conversation, while
 17
 
 
asters stand tall, with their thin,
 18
purple petals puffed out
 19
against a chilling breeze.
 20
 
 
I will die here
 21
 
 
A downy wings to the dark
 22
recesses of a forest filled  
 23
with mystery and myth,
 24
 
 
and here on weathered steps,
 25
sipping coffee beneath October skies,
 26
I find peace of mind.
 27
 
 
Scatter my ashes in these winds
 28

2 Mar 09

Rated 9 (7.4) by 4 users.
Active (4): 9, 9, 10
Inactive (6): 1, 1, 5, 5, 10, 10, 10

(define the words in this poem)
(39 more poems by this author)



Add A Comment:
Enter the following text to post as unknown: captcha

Comments:

ONE thing to correct, otherwise absolutely perfect.

Line 16 - conifer has an i.  
 — Isabelle5

Thanks for finding that typo Isabelle.
 — PaulS

rustic , peaceful , full of wit "Two crows-keen-eyed watchers" to make my black lab bark, this yarn "filled with mystery and myth", an eight spoked wheel "on weathered steps" eight stanzas,  each spoked from the hub to the rim,  perfectly... j.g.smiles
 — goeszon

the wheel of dhamma!, nice write paul, elegantly placed and use of words, light and with nice aroma. good work
 — syrossoul

"hot coffee—preferably hazelnut."

Nice.
(:
 — faith

Thanks goeszon, syrossoul and faith; for reading and for the commentts.
 — PaulS

very well done, the alternating rhythms with birdflightct
, life, death, eternity.  very well written with a keen eye for a natural scape.  enjoyed this.  i might delete "with a cup of hot coffee-preferably hazelnut" strictly for sonic purposes and go directly into line 28.  otherwise, perfect.  thanks.  
 — Azzizz

Thanks for the comment Azzizz, I think I'll leave it as is for the time being.  Welcome to PC.
 — PaulS

Thanks for the 1, asshole--at least have the guts to leave a comment.
 — PaulS

Small change in last stanza.
 — PaulS

This is so beautiful. I'm obsessed with birds myself and am in the middle of writing something about that obsession. What is it about birds? I'm not a bird-watcher type or anything, they just make me very happy to look at.

Only tiny quibble in a poem that flows perfectly. Line 6 might read better without the "the".
 — smugzy

Thakns smugzy, this is still a work in progress--especially the last stanza.
 — PaulS

Hi Paul.  Nice, nice.  :-)  I'm not a big fan of definite articles, as they tend to be the 'fat" of the poem, thus getting in the way of the "meat" of the poem.  Read this w/o the "the's" in L's 9, 22 & 23.  Also, "their" in L18 would be an added possessive pronoun you could probably do without.  I would leave New Hampshire out of it, insert that somewhere in a footnote and just end with "winds." My opinion of course.  A masterpiece in the making indeed.  :-)  
 — starr

Thanks starr, I made some significant changes.
 — PaulS

Hi Paul:  I think you may have misunderstood what I was saying.  What I'm saying is that the words "the," "a" and "an" can be the "fat" of the language.  Read this again w/o using these words and see if you note the difference in the recitation.  This is something I learned here in the past 3 years from some of my favorite teachers/coaches.  If you don't like the way it sounds this way, then by all means, go with what your muse tells you.  I think you may agree with me.  Do this out loud and I'll up you from an 8 to a 9 for effort alone, my friend.  Keep on keepin' on with this.  Writing is most definitely a discipline (and a pain in the ass sometimes.)  Take care.  :-)
 — starr

borrowed... writing is a craft and skill... working itself into art... art is when... you can make the reader... see things as you see them... not just hearing... what you say... about them. Scatter my ashes in these winds... j.g.smiles
 — goeszon

Thanks starr.  I think I'll let this sit as is for now; maybe work on the title.
goeszon, thanks for the revisit.
 — PaulS

Here's what I'm trying to say, Paul-
Let's take a closer look at L's 15-17, 18-20 and 22-24 for example:

Two crows-keen-eyed watchers
in conifer towers,
carry on conversation, while

asters stand tall with thin,
purple petals puffed out
against chilling breeze.

I willl die here

A downy wings to dark recesses
of forest filled with
mystery, mirth.

Just so you can the difference in sonics w/o the usuage of all those definite articles you're employing throught the strophes.

Nice weekend.  :-)
 — starr

p.s.  I'm just waking up, so please 4give the poor syntax.  Need coffee.  :-O
 — starr

Shortend title, switched some stanzas around and changed ending.
 — PaulS

again, i find myself touched by the creatures of fur and feather, and the natural breeze that lifts this poem above the cans of rubbish piled upon these walls so often.  you write of nice things, and in this piece i am introduced to something spiritual, and peaceful.  

i am to say, however, that the coffee really irks me.  as if this overused, trendy beverage has any meaning to me, and that it is made such an important part of the poem, disappoints me.  meaning, the title and first line make me think the poem is going to be about friggin coffee; and a reason why i would normally not even bother reading the poem. (sorry, it's a personal opinion only).

so, might i add that although the poem is lovely, it's a little heavy on the moderators.  namely "benevolent" leaves; "weathered" steps; "conifer" towers.  there are more in the poem, which i feel are useful in creating imagery, but some of it gets tiring, for lack of a better word.  lines 15-17 roll the roughest for me-- perhaps it would improve if it were a little less tongue tying.  also, looking again, i think "deciduous" sounds nicer than "conifer".

my last annoying pick is that line 21 and 28 are separated.  what a nice ending if they were joined.

nice poem, paul. =-)
 — jenakajoffer

Thanks jen; still a work in progress.  I do love coffee though; three to four cups a day :)
 — PaulS

Also, jen, I'm thinking about dropping coffee from the title :)
 — PaulS

Took coffee out of title, still working on L 20.
 — PaulS

Much, much better!  :-)  Upped this to a 10.  You've worked so diligently on this in getting it to "sound" right and I believe you've succeeded.  Good job!  
 — starr

Thanks starr, I'll probably still tweak it here and there.
 — PaulS

Where did your pronouns go?  Did you have them or did I remember wrong?  

It's still good!  
 — Isabelle5

I did some trimming, Isabelle, with help from starr and jen.
 — PaulS

Changes made--I think for the better.
 — PaulS

I changed this back to the original version--for my peace of mind :)
 — PaulS

Wow...you've put so much effort into this one, Paul.  Looks, sounds, reads nicely still.  :-)
 — starr

Yay!  Happy to see the pronouns back!  
 — Isabelle5

Thanks for the revisit starr, and yes,Isabelle, it's much better with the pronouns.  thanks.
 — PaulS

I read this, and was impressed. I love the juxtapositioning of the second voice .The language is realy well chosen, for sound and for rhythm, 'two crows - keen eyed watchers' is gorgeous. I sometimes include crows in my dog walking poetry, because they amuse me, and provoke me into watchfulness. I have read some of your others, and thoroughtly enjoyed. I like writing which feels easy, but is actually substantial, and thought provoking. thanks ani
 — crimsonkiss

Thanks crimsonkiss, I really appreciate your comments :)
 — PaulS

i now see many more spokes in the wheel, and my labs still bark at those "keen-eye" watchers... the crows...j.g.smiles
 — goeszon

Thanks for revisiting goeszon :)
 — PaulS

Oh this is lovely!  Tranquility goes nicely with my morning coffee.  Thanks-nice work.
 — sybarite

Thanks for the lovely comment sybarite :)
 — PaulS

0.411s