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> August 2010
Guest_bombadil1247_*
post Sep 5 10, 05:55
Post #1





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August 2010

The chestnuts dropped early this year
scattered like tiny mines beneath the trees
catching kids walking barefoot unawares.
Retribution was swift; hundreds of shells
were smashed open and the treasures inside
threaded on string - war trophies for display
and final destruction in an orgy of ‘Conkers’.

Summer passed, unnoticed, with no obituary;
the art of reading nature long forgotten
in this pushbutton age that programs time
to suit the schedules of industry and Sky TV.
Automatons and zombies vie for recognition
as archetype of this Brave New World
where technology rules and men obey.

‘Computer Error’ hides a multitude of sins
though computers are only as fallible
as their data clerks – are the seasons out of sync
because of human error? Some would say so
and I won’t argue overmuch; a sin of omission
is still a sin no matter what excuse is offered
nor what tribunals may say in expiation.

Mary died last week and I didn’t know
until her hearse paused outside my door
allowing a silent, last farewell – I had no tears,
just shock and deep regret for all the wasted years
since last we talked of silly things like bus schedules
and dogs’ mess in her garden. Her garden where
white carnations thrived on the love she shared so freely.

They went with her to the crematorium and mourned
when I could not. I lost that right through indifference.
 
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Eisa
post Sep 5 10, 18:34
Post #2


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From: Birmingham, England
Member No.: 12
Real Name: Eira Needham
Writer of: Poetry
Referred By:Lori



Hi Jim

This is a strong poem, which I enjoyed immensely. I like the way each stanza takes the reader through a different aspect of life each one leading to the finale, which was a surprise.

The first stanza brought back memories of when my boys were young - playing conkers. Nice bit of nostalgia.

The second & third made me think of the changes technology has brought - and how impersonal life can be at times.

The last stanza hit me hard. It was unexpected, even though I see now how each stanza led to it. I feel stunned after reading it!

I'm sure there is a lot more to this poem than on first read and I'll come back and read it many times. It's deep.

Very good work, Jim! On first read I see nothing to change - I'll return. WEll done!

Snow Snowflake.gif



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AMETHYST
post Sep 9 10, 23:01
Post #3


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Posts: 3,822
Joined: 3-August 03
From: Florida
Member No.: 10
Real Name: Elizabeth
Writer of: Poetry
Referred By:Lori Kanter



Wow Jim,

Another one I would put up on the list of near masterpiece. Like Snow, I hadn't expected the turnabout, and yet - it is that sudden, unexpected hit, especially the ending couplet that allows this poem to stand off to the side as "mastery' poetry.

Some things that jump out that are pleasing to me at first is the lovely sound techniques used through out. Also loved the build up, and how the narrator foretells of technological takeover - Some thoughts to follow in stanza, but there was little for me to nit pick at. As Snow mentions, this one is for sure and several read to get deeper and deeper into the truth of the poem. Remarkable writing, Jim ... Remarkable.

Best Wishes as always, Liz

QUOTE
August 2010


A good choice of title. Simple enough, and yet adds so much to the understanding of the poem.


QUOTE
The chestnuts dropped early this year
scattered like tiny mines beneath the trees
catching kids walking barefoot unawares.
Retribution was swift; hundreds of shells
were smashed open and the treasures inside
threaded on string - war trophies for display
and final destruction in an orgy of ‘Conkers’.


The first few lines here are lovely and in L2, the image of '...tiny mines...' is a wonderfully fresh compareson. Some personal thoughts though ... only for consideration (I don't want to make suggestions that will break up your form, even though you are offering it as free verse) ...

In L2, I would suggest omitting 'beneath the trees (unnecessary)
In L3, I kept wanting to say 'kids walking barefoot, caught unaware- (I think it is just personal preference though)
L4, perhaps omitting 'was' after retribution



QUOTE
Summer passed, unnoticed, with no obituary;
the art of reading nature long forgotten
in this pushbutton age that programs time
to suit the schedules of industry and Sky TV.
Automatons and zombies vie for recognition
as archetype of this Brave New World
where technology rules and men obey.


To highlight some of the more precise details and images that you have painted for us, I would like to offer up a brief example of some thoughts that came to mind. Of course, it is not suggesting to make the change, just to give an idea of where I am going with it. Just some weeding out suggestions.

Summer passed, unnoticed
no obituary; the art of reading nature
long forgotten -
in this pushbutton age that programs time
to suit schedules of industry
and sky tv.
(StANZA BREAK)
Automations and zombies vie for recognition
as archetype of this Brave New World
where technology rules and men obey.


QUOTE
‘Computer Error’ hides a multitude of sins
though computers are only as fallible
as their data clerks – are the seasons out of sync
because of human error? Some would say so
and I won’t argue overmuch; a sin of omission
is still a sin no matter what excuse is offered
nor what tribunals may say in expiation.


L1, perhaps "masks' instead of hides -
L2, perhaps omitting 'only'

I have to admit. This stanza, though for another poem doesn't offer much between the foundation of the beginning and that killer ending - It appeared to veer off topic a little, into what comes a cross as an agenda, but doesn't really connect with this reader - Personally it could omit it and allow the strengths of S1,2 and the final stanza to ease into each other with the power as they do.

QUOTE
Mary died last week and I didn’t know
until her hearse paused outside my door
allowing a silent, last farewell – I had no tears,
just shock and deep regret for all the wasted years
since last we talked of silly things like bus schedules
and dogs’ mess in her garden. Her garden where
white carnations thrived on the love she shared so freely.

They went with her to the crematorium and mourned
when I could not. I lost that right through indifference.


I love the presence here. The finality, the motion - The harsh realism of something that would normally go unnoticed like summer's passed - The only suggestion I would have here is for L3, perhaps -

her silent, last farewell - I had no tears,

Please use what is helpful, and discard what isn't. I know my suggestions are a bit much, but as always, they are just personal thoughts for consideration. This poem is a gem and deserves it's place in the world of poetry.

Blessings, Liz


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Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more details, click here!

MM Award Winner
 
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Guest_bombadil1247_*
post Sep 10 10, 07:06
Post #4





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Hi, Eisa,

thanks for stopping by, always appreciated. This wasn't meant to be deep, maybe I need to rework s.3 - the 'mea culpa' lines - to make this more accessible, more in my reply to Liz below. It is a personal piece though and Mary was a real friend once.
Jim.

Hi Liz,

thanks for that very full cririque. I know that this will need a good overhaul eventually but not up to that at the moment, still a bit fragile with the subject. S.3 is the exception, I need to be clearer in that one because that's the heart of this piece. Perhaps there is a subconscious obfuscation of meaning there, certainly enough for you to doubt its relevance. The 'computer error' referenced is mine, spending too long at the screen playing games, hence the 'data clerk'. This is also the human error that put the seasons out of sync - I just lost touch with my neighbours and time flew past, lost forever - the sin of omission was mine. The 'tribunal' is Christine and the kids; their 'defence' is that I was ill and just wasn't able to walk the avenue the way I used to in years gone by. I used to be secretary of our local community council and found that going out chatting was a better way to keep on top of concerns than waiting for a letter of complaint - Mary was one of those who were always out in their garden when I passed and we talked often and became good friends. When her cortege stopped outside my gate I hadn't even known she was ill. That last goodbye should be seen as mine by the way, hadn't thought of the reading that she might be the valedictorian. Maybe with that additional information readers will be able to offer crits to help me show that sense of, if not guilt, certainly contributory negligence I'm trying to bring out in that strophe. On form, I've posted in FV because I didn't want to let 'mechanics' get in the way - there is no conscious effort to maintain structure, just a desire to express my feelings on this.
Jim
 
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AMETHYST
post Sep 10 10, 07:27
Post #5


Ornate Oracle
******

Group: Gold Member
Posts: 3,822
Joined: 3-August 03
From: Florida
Member No.: 10
Real Name: Elizabeth
Writer of: Poetry
Referred By:Lori Kanter



Hey Jim,

Actually yes. For the past few years I have been 'guilty' of the identical thing and have found out that people right under my nose have passed on, or have been away ill and might have needed a friend but I wasn't there - I was too busy burying myself in my own solitude if you want to call it that. Or perhaps putting distance between others because my energy to share their lives wasn't enough for my own highs and lows. I think it is something many can relate to and even confess to being a part of that problem.

I can also see the relationship with S3 clearly. I will return with some solid feedback with all this in mind that might be helpful to you. Sometimes we write in a code, so to protect our true feeling, and sometimes, we read blinded so as not to admit we fit the profile.

Will return soon enough and hopefully with something worth the posting!

Big Hugs,

PS Grieve ... and then forgive yourself, this plague of indifference and distance is truely an epidemic of a new social disease.... It's not just you ... believe me. I have done it with close friends and family.... and have lost some family in the process, leaving me feeling so ashame remembering all those times a fleeting thought of I should call ... this one, that one ... and allowed the day steal me into itself. The time to call and say hi, I was thinking of you today - had come and gone and there wasn't any replacing it. So although I missed a strong point of how the computer age fit in, I surely can say I have been there, and probably still find myself clawing my way out.

Liz


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Nominate a poem for the InterBoard Poetry Competition by taking into careful consideration those poems you feel would best represent Mosaic Musings. For details, click into the IBPC nomination forum. Did that poem just captivate you? Nominate it for the Faery award today! If perfection of form allured your muse, propose the Crown Jewels award. For more details, click here!

MM Award Winner
 
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