poetry critical

online poetry workshop


All around the city blackbirds fell;
fish washed about like litter in the streams.
That's what it took to make us stop,
look up and wonder
if this might be the end.
Is this how it begins? No searing
white light but a series of flutterings
that tickle and caress, comfort and
make us drowsy as they seek
a space to rest?
It wasn't 'til I came across the
vulture stretched across the north
fork trail, one wing pointing
northeast,its neck a crazed kind of ess
doubled back on itself.
And those pale sockets, looking back the
other way (as though he regretted,
after all,the choice he'd made).
His withered claw still pointed south,
insistent, and for the first time,
I wondered how long
do we have.
The  clouds hung low
like dirty cotton in the sky
and the air tasted like metal.
I spat but the taste was a stain.
I ignored the nagging ache behind
my brow and squinted into
the glare.  Is it too bright?
Or is it darker now
than ever?
I listened for the wind in
the trees. A susurrus to save us.
Only silence.
If God's eye
is on the sparrow, then
where is his ear?
A thousand thousand
feathers fall like prayers
from the sky.

25 Jan 11

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

(1 user considers this poem a favorite)

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


I really loved the lines 38-40
 — psychofemale

Thank you, psychofemale.  I rather like those, myself.  :)
 — elodious

Resurrecting the dead elodious?  A second chance to bring this life?  I wonder how far you might be willing to take it.  I wonder if you might be willing to push the moment to its crisis?
 — OldShoe

Yeah, it's a rewrite of an old one, OldShoe.  the bird die-off got me thinking about it again and I'd hoped I could improve on it.  Hope you don't mind.
 — elodious

I don't mind.  I'd like to see you push it further though.  My opinion is that most is living within first four stanzas and into line 19.  I don't necessarily  mind the rest, but it does sorta disconnect a bit.  The rhythm that was running in the beginning portions might be best drawn out through the rest, if at all possible.  The play of language and cadence there I find appealing.  

Think on it.  
 — OldShoe

Recently I've been corresponding with a friend I haven't spoken to in a long while.  Among recent correspondence we were discussing the idea of disaster and horror and I was reminded of a poem by Williams, which had me digging it out that same evening to send to this friend.  The poem is entitled The Sparrow, and though perhaps not the most marveling poem of Williams, it carries in and out of these moments, one being a scene that has this sense of horror or terror in some ten thousand sparrows come in from the desert and people running from them with ears ringing.  It goes on and touches on urgency, tragedy, the beauty of the momentary, the bleak, and the fleeting. Really, as far as I've read most, a dialogue into the life of poems.

I am not sure why this is relevant beyond the content here, birds perhaps.  Perhaps because there is some sense of disaster, some bleak discourse in these passing lines.  

A good thing worth working still.  
 — OldShoe

Thanks, Old Shoe.  I will definitely look at it a bit more and with your comments in mind.  I do think it's a poem worth working on.  Thank you very much.  I may ask you for yet another comment once I'm done.  Wishing you well.
 — elodious