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Toumai
Revision 1 (and new title) - many thanks James, Nina, Liz and Lori  :pharoah2

Life's essence

There is less
space
under my bed –
time’s decline.

Debris collects:
discarded dreams;
illusive beliefs;
empty promises.

Loneliness seeps
through silent springs;
sagging, suffocating
memories of lovers
trysts; trust in decay.

Flakes of skin – peeled
layers of relationships –
dust desiccated boards.

Death watch
beetles click their rhythmic lust,
eating my sanctuary,
oblivious.



Original: ~

Under The Bed

There is less
space
under my bed –
time’s reduction.
Debris collects:
discarded dreams,
forsaken beliefs,
empty promises.

Loneliness seeps
through silent springs,
sagging, suffocating
memories of lovers;
trysts, trust in decay.
Flakes of skin – peeled
layers of relationships –
line the cracks
of desiccated joists.

Mice, mites, lice
forage, feast, gorge
on sloughed, spent cells.
Frass floats; motes
feed frenzied microbes.

Deathwatch
beetles click rhythmic lust,
eating sanctuary,
oblivious.

© Toumai

phrase used: trust in

note: frass is an entamological term for insect faeces

Please crit this hard  alien.gif




Jox
Hi Fran,

Under The Bed (Weak title for a strong poem)

There is less
space  (I like the idea of leaving space on this line - clever)
under my bed –
time’s reduction. (ageing)

(verse split, maybe)

Debris collects:
discarded dreams{,}[;]       (Good allit)
forsaken beliefs{,}[;]
empty promises.

Loneliness seeps
through silent springs, (nice quite line for this)
sagging, suffocating (more good allit)
memories of lovers;
trysts, trust in decay.

(Verse split, maybe)

Flakes of skin – peeled
layers of relationships –  (excellent)
line the cracks
of desiccated joists. (ouch! all dried-up. - might "joints" be better?)

Mice, mites, lice
forage, feast, gorge
on sloughed, spent cells.
Frass floats; motes
feed frenzied microbes.

(The above is the least good verse for me - you've returned to listing, which I don't think works, sorry. I'm not sure how to suggest an improvement, sorry. On the "plus" side it does sound fantastic - very clever word-play - but the problem (for me) is that it looks like that, rather than part of the poem).

Deathwatch (ouch MKII - very nasty - the death bed indeed! and watching death.)
beetles click [their] rhythmic lust,
eating [my] sanctuary,
oblivious.

(I think you might to well to return the above verse to the personal (as was the first verse). Hence the suggestion of "my" and "their." This use of "their" and "my" also reinforces how the decline of the one assists the growth of t'other. A type of hand-over; a pushing-up-the beetles idea - who needs daises? ).

(Fran, this is very good indeed - bordering excellent (the clever-sounding list-verse mars it just a little for me). The whole has various depths but celebrates (commiserates) one life declining and being translated into others. The springs are now still; the wood dry - the person both, too but the insects are a bouncin' and a clickin' away. This is the way of the Lord!)

Thanks very much for the reading of this very effectivly sad poem.

J.




Nina
Hi Fran

I think the first two verses of this poem are excellent.  I really like the idea of our discarded emotions gathering under the bed, building up as we get older.  It is probably just me but I feel that verse three takes me away from that image, sending me in a different direction.

Under The Bed

There is less
space
under my bed –
time’s reduction.
Debris collects:
discarded dreams,
forsaken beliefs,
empty promises. <.....I really like the last four lines, wonderful concept.

Loneliness seeps
through silent springs,
sagging, suffocating  <.....do you need sagging?  I read it as the loneliness suffocates the memories, in which case sagging gets in the way, the loneliness seeps anyway so the image is already there.  If  however you read it as the memories are sagging and suffocating then it is probably fine left.  Personally I prefer the idea of loneliness doing the suffocating.
memories of lovers;
trysts{,}[;] trust in decay.  <....you could of course have lovers' trysts;
Flakes of skin – peeled
layers of relationships –
line the cracks
of desiccated joists.

Mice, mites, lice
forage, feast, gorge <......feast and gorge are tautological
on sloughed, spent cells.
Frass floats; motes
feed frenzied microbes.

Deathwatch
beetles click rhythmic lust,  <........wonderful line, had to be mentioned somewhere in a poem about beds.
eating sanctuary,  <.....not quite sure what you mean here
oblivious.

Without the foraging feasting mice etc, the contrast between the discarded emotions and the oblivious deathwatch beetle (especially with the line about rhythmic lust) becomes more powerful.  It also brings to mind the idea of death waiting under the bed

It's time I wasn't here.  I'm off to creep cautiously into bed, not looking on the underside.

Nina




AMETHYST
Hey Fran,


I think this has absolute tremendous potential and could reach that potential with little tweaks and changes. First, the title. you might want to do one of two things here...

1. Keep the title, and omit the mention of under the bed within the body of the poem. Allowing the title to hold that key for the reader.

2. Find another title that blends the accumulation of life under the bed and the dying process above the bed then offer it up for the reader as a title.

I agree with some of what both Nina and James has already mentioned. I agree that your first two stanzas are stronger than those that follow, but I also see a lot of images and/or phrases that are keepers. I also agree that the listing isn't working here. With some themes or forms, listing works great-but the depth that this subject can be taken too, becomes weakened by the listing effect.

QUOTE
Under The Bed

There is less
space
under my bed –
time’s reduction.

Another word other than reduction. Perhaps, decline ~ 'time's decline'
Debris collects:
discarded dreams,
forsaken beliefs,
empty promises.

Perhaps...
Debris collects
of discarded dreams,
illusive beliefs
and empty promises.


Loneliness seeps
through silent springs,
sagging, suffocating
memories of lovers;

Love these lines. These are a poem in themselves.

trysts, trust in decay.
Flakes of skin – peeled
layers of relationships –
line the cracks
of desiccated joists.

I would suggest omitting the final two lines of this stanza.


Mice, mites, lice
forage, feast, gorge
on sloughed, spent cells.
Frass floats; motes
feed frenzied microbes.
The poem can do without this stanza, or perhaps rework this to introduce the insect world into the poem briefly and ending on microbes...to then brings the reader toward the deathwatch.


Deathwatch
beetles click rhythmic lust,
eating sanctuary,
oblivious.

Good ending.

© Toumai



Hugs, Liz
Toumai
Hi James

Under The Bed (Weak title for a strong poem)

Agreed; that was the Pandora theme, so I will have to adress that if I am to consider this as a stand-alone poem, ta.

There is less
space
(I like the idea of leaving space on this line - clever) --- thank you
under my bed –
time’s reduction.
(ageing) --- yes, that line doesn't work yet, ta

(verse split, maybe)  --- good idea, thanks

Debris collects:
discarded dreams{,}[;]
      (Good allit)  --- thanks
forsaken beliefs{,}[;]
empty promises.


I'm wondering abou re-structuring that verse as something like

Ephemera collect -
discarded dreams;
foresaken beliefs;
empty promises:
there is less
space.

Loneliness seeps
through silent springs,
(nice quite line for this)  --- Silent Spring was also a famous book from the 60s(?) on man's destructive abilities - DDT etc
sagging, suffocating (more good allit) --- thanks
memories of lovers;
trysts, trust in decay.


(Verse split, maybe) --- ok, will consider, ta

Flakes of skin – peeled
layers of relationships –
 (excellent)  --- yep, yucky
line the cracks
of desiccated joists
. (ouch! all dried-up. - might "joints" be better?)  --- possibly ... thinking on't.

How about

Flakes of skin - peeled
layers of relationships -
fester in crevices

Mice, mites, lice
forage, feast, gorge
on sloughed, spent cells.
Frass floats; motes
feed frenzied microbes.


(The above is the least good verse for me - you've returned to listing, which I don't think works, sorry. I'm not sure how to suggest an improvement, sorry. On the "plus" side it does sound fantastic - very clever word-play - but the problem (for me) is that it looks like that, rather than part of the poem).

LOL, you might well be right Hide.gif

Would it help if I pruned it severely?

Mice, mites, lice
gorge on sloughed cells;
frass floats: motes
feed frenzied microbes.

Deathwatch (ouch MKII - very nasty - the death bed indeed! and watching death.)  --- thanks  cloud9.gif
beetles click [their] rhythmic lust,
eating [my] sanctuary,
oblivious.


(I think you might to well to return the above verse to the personal (as was the first verse). Hence the suggestion of "my" and "their." This use of "their" and "my" also reinforces how the decline of the one assists the growth of t'other. A type of hand-over; a pushing-up-the beetles idea - who needs daises? ).

I appreciate what you are suggesting, but the beetles are eating their own home, too; destroying the bed (and floor, perhaps) so their world will fall.

(Fran, this is very good indeed - bordering excellent (the clever-sounding list-verse mars it just a little for me). The whole has various depths but celebrates (commiserates) one life declining and being translated into others. The springs are now still; the wood dry - the person both, too but the insects are a bouncin' and a clickin' away. This is the way of the Lord!)

Thanks so much for the comments and help James

Thanks very much for the reading of this very effectivly sad poem.

Not one of my more cheerful efforts, I have to admit.  sun.gif

Fran
Toumai
Hi Nina

I think the first two verses of this poem are excellent.  I really like the idea of our discarded emotions gathering under the bed, building up as we get older.  It is probably just me but I feel that verse three takes me away from that image, sending me in a different direction.

Thanks Nina. I'm glad the first part works. The creepy-crawly stanza is not right yet, so I shall have to work at that.

There is less
space
under my bed –
time’s reduction.
Debris collects:
discarded dreams,
forsaken beliefs,
empty promises.
<.....I really like the last four lines, wonderful concept. --- Thanks

Loneliness seeps
through silent springs,
sagging, suffocating
 <.....do you need sagging?  I read it as the loneliness suffocates the memories, in which case sagging gets in the way, the loneliness seeps anyway so the image is already there.  If  however you read it as the memories are sagging and suffocating then it is probably fine left.  Personally I prefer the idea of loneliness doing the suffocating. --- hmm ... I shall have to think on that - thanks
memories of lovers;
trysts{,}[;] trust in decay.
<....you could of course have lovers' trysts; --- darn! so I could - excellent idea (why the heck did I miss that!  :blush21: )
Flakes of skin – peeled
layers of relationships –
line the cracks
of desiccated joists
.

Mice, mites, lice
forage, feast, gorge
<......feast and gorge are tautological  --- yes, and this needs re-working (I've suggested a change in my reply to James in the post just before this one)
on sloughed, spent cells.
Frass floats; motes
feed frenzied microbes.


Deathwatch
beetles click rhythmic lust,
 <........wonderful line, had to be mentioned somewhere in a poem about beds.  --- thank you  cloud9.gif
eating sanctuary, <.....not quite sure what you mean here  --- they are destroying their own home
oblivious.

Without the foraging feasting mice etc, the contrast between the discarded emotions and the oblivious deathwatch beetle (especially with the line about rhythmic lust) becomes more powerful.  It also brings to mind the idea of death waiting under the bed

I think I introduced them to focus on the other lives that continue unseen around the narator.

It's time I wasn't here.  I'm off to creep cautiously into bed, not looking on the underside.

"Poetry helps us see the world in a new way" ... not always a pleasant one.  ghostface.gif

Thanks Nina,

Fran
Jox
Hi Fran,

I'll take a look at your suggestions for revised verses and get back to you.

In the meantime,

"time’s reduction.(ageing) --- yes, that line doesn't work yet, ta"

I was actually saying that it did work for me. I should have mentioned, soory my comments in round brackets are just that...

{-}[+](comments) - suggestions. Sorry.

I rather like that line - the reduction aspect is good.

As regards the beetles eating their own home - no prob; they'll just go elsewhere (as they do) but the soul in the bed is on the way out of everything.

Cheers, J.
Nina
Hi Fran

I'm wondering abou re-structuring that verse as something like

Ephemera collect -
discarded dreams;
foresaken beliefs;
empty promises:
there is less
space.

Please stick with your original it is much more powerful.  Ephemera is a weaker image to debris and less space works better coming at the beginning.  Again moving to the end weakens the verse especially when you read it with the following one (imho).  If you are not happy with time's reduction how about time's decline

How about

Flakes of skin - peeled
layers of relationships -
fester in crevices.

again I much prefer what you wrote originally, though James does make a good suggestion with joints.  It is a great play on words, reflecting both the wood and the people.

I think I introduced them to focus on the other lives that continue unseen around the narator.

you do that anyway and much better with the deathwatch beetle verse.

Would it help if I pruned it severely?

Mice, mites, lice
gorge on sloughed cells;
frass floats: motes
feed frenzied microbes.

To be honest no. It doesn't earn its keep. The verse is very manic compared to the rest of the poem.  My advice would be to save the verse for use in a different poem where it will work better.

This is how the original reads without the verse taken out.


Under The Bed

There is less
space
under my bed –
time’s reduction.
Debris collects:
discarded dreams,
forsaken beliefs,
empty promises.

Loneliness seeps
through silent springs,
sagging, suffocating
memories of lovers;
trysts, trust in decay.
Flakes of skin – peeled
layers of relationships –
line the cracks
of desiccated joists.

Deathwatch
beetles click rhythmic lust,
eating sanctuary,
oblivious.


*slips away quickly to hide*

Nina
Toumai
Hi Liz,

Lovely to see you. How are you?

I think this has absolute tremendous potential and could reach that potential with little tweaks and changes. First, the title. you might want to do one of two things here...

1. Keep the title, and omit the mention of under the bed within the body of the poem. Allowing the title to hold that key for the reader.

2. Find another title that blends the accumulation of life under the bed and the dying process above the bed then offer it up for the reader as a title.


Thanks very much. Yes, I think you are right. Something need a tweak there - may well be the title, I think.

I agree with some of what both Nina and James has already mentioned. I agree that your first two stanzas are stronger than those that follow, but I also see a lot of images and/or phrases that are keepers. I also agree that the listing isn't working here. With some themes or forms, listing works great-but the depth that this subject can be taken too, becomes weakened by the listing effect.

I wasn't happy with that verse when I posted and everyone agrees it is letting the poem down. Thanks - and thanks for helping clarify why.

There is less
space
under my bed –
time’s reduction.


Another word other than reduction. Perhaps, decline ~ 'time's decline' --- I am thinking hard about this verse; thanks, Liz.
Debris collects:
discarded dreams,
forsaken beliefs,
empty promises.


Perhaps...
Debris collects
of discarded dreams,
illusive beliefs
and empty promises.


Less minimal, but nicely descriptive ... I'll add it to the melting pot  :pharoah2

Loneliness seeps
through silent springs,
sagging, suffocating
memories of lovers;


Love these lines. These are a poem in themselves.

Thank you  cloud9.gif

trysts, trust in decay.
Flakes of skin – peeled
layers of relationships –
line the cracks
of desiccated joists.


I would suggest omitting the final two lines of this stanza.

certainly not quite there as it stands - thanks.

Mice, mites, lice
forage, feast, gorge
on sloughed, spent cells.
Frass floats; motes
feed frenzied microbes.

The poem can do without this stanza, or perhaps rework this to introduce the insect world into the poem briefly and ending on microbes...to then brings the reader toward the deathwatch.

AS someone (Steven King?) says "You have to kill your darlings" to write. Ok.

Deathwatch
beetles click rhythmic lust,
eating sanctuary,
oblivious
.

Good ending.

Liz, thanks so very much for this helpful crit. I'll be posting a revision soon I hope.

Fran
Toumai
Hi James

I'll take a look at your suggestions for revised verses and get back to you.

Thank you very much indeed - you are always a great help - but no need to rush as I will be away now for a couple of days (half term here so off to visit my parents).

In the meantime,

"time’s reduction.(ageing) --- yes, that line doesn't work yet, ta"

I was actually saying that it did work for me. I should have mentioned, soory my comments in round brackets are just that...

{-}[+](comments) - suggestions. Sorry.

I rather like that line - the reduction aspect is good.


Ooops. Thank you! I need to put me specs on to read ...  oops.gif

As regards the beetles eating their own home - no prob; they'll just go elsewhere (as they do) but the soul in the bed is on the way out of everything.

LOL, yes, that is true, I suppose.

Thanks

Fran
Toumai
Hi Nina

F>>I'm wondering abou re-structuring that verse as something like

N>>Please stick with your original it is much more powerful.  Ephemera is a weaker image to debris and less space works better coming at the beginning.  Again moving to the end weakens the verse especially when you read it with the following one (imho).  If you are not happy with time's reduction how about time's decline


Ok, thanks very much for that input; helps me see things thru someone else's eyes (and, as I just said to James, my own sight ain't wot it used to be)

F>>How about

Flakes of skin - peeled
layers of relationships -
fester in crevices.

N>>again I much prefer what you wrote originally, though James does make a good suggestion with joints.  It is a great play on words, reflecting both the wood and the people.


Again, thanks for the feedback. I shall have to have a very thorough go at this revision next week when I get back home.

F>>I think I introduced them to focus on the other lives that continue unseen around the narator.

N>>you do that anyway and much better with the deathwatch beetle verse


Point taken

F>>Would it help if I pruned it severely?

N>>To be honest no. It doesn't earn its keep. The verse is very manic compared to the rest of the poem.  My advice would be to save the verse for use in a different poem where it will work better.


Oh well ... I'm sure my wafting insect poo will find a poetic home somewhere, sometime. (Thanks! )

This is how the original reads without the verse taken out.

Yup ... I can see what you mean ...  snail.gif  turtle.gif

*slips away quickly to hide*

Aw, please don't - you've been immensely helpful (as always). I appreciate the way you see things clearly. Thanks.

Fran
Toumai
Thank you very much for all the help so far. I have now posted a revision (including new title) and would be very grateful for any thoughts on what works now.
Fran
Nina
Hi Fran

Well done with the revision, it works much better and I like the new title.  Just a couple of comments:

Debris collects:
discarded dreams;
illusive beliefs;
empty promises.


I think I preferred forsaken beliefs to illusive.  It seems to describe better the abandonment of some of the naive beliefs of ones youth.

Death watch should this be one word?
Toumai
Hi Nina,

Thank you so much for returning with yet more help.  :pharoah2

I am glad the new title works.

I was very torn with regard to illusive vs foresaken. I see your point and I may well reinstate that.

I googled death watch (beetles) and it seems to either be two words (which works well for the double meaning) or at most hyphenated, which (since nowt definite) seemed a bit fussy and distracting.

Fran  :bat:
Cathy
Hi Fran,

I think your title change is much more fitting.  It still amazes me the
different tracks are minds can take when reading the same ten words
or stimulus!  Yours is really good.  

There is less
space
under my bed –
time’s decline. The change here makes the verse stronger.

Debris collects:
discarded dreams;
illusive beliefs;
empty promises.

Loneliness seeps
through silent springs;
sagging, suffocating
memories of lovers
trysts; trust in decay. Sad verse!

Flakes of skin – peeled
layers of relationships –
dust dessicated boards.

Death watch Some form of punctuation maybe?
beetles click their rhythmic lust,
eating my sanctuary,
oblivious.


Great revision ... the impact is so much greater!
Cathy arwen.gif
Toumai
Hi Cathy,

Thanks so much for your kind comments.

I think your title change is much more fitting.  It still amazes me the
different tracks are minds can take when reading the same ten words
or stimulus!  Yours is really good.
 

It is amazing how the ideas just appear, isn't it? And I'm sure if we looked at the same words a few weeks later we'd come up with something completely different.

There is less
space
under my bed –
time’s decline.
The change here makes the verse stronger.

Great. I'm glad you think that works.

Loneliness seeps
through silent springs;
sagging, suffocating
memories of lovers
trysts; trust in decay
. Sad verse!

I still couldn't resist the pun on springs, though  oops.gif

Death watch Some form of punctuation maybe?
beetles click their rhythmic lust,
eating my sanctuary,
oblivious.


Not quite sure what you mean by punctuation there, Cathy; death watch beetles are the wood boring bugs that cause old house roofs to collapse sometimes.

Great revision ... the impact is so much greater!

I'm delighted you find it so - thanks  cheer.gif

Fran




Cleo_Serapis
Hi Fran.  :viking:

As I mentioned in Pandora's, I love it when we read something unexpected and you've done that here!  :hsdance:

What awesome metaphors!  :cloud9:

Not sure if it's an English/American thing, here we spell desiccated this way. Is thsi a typo on your part?

This part:

Debris collects:
discarded dreams;
illusive beliefs;
empty promises.


however sad, is my favorite. It really tells the reader what is happening in the MC's mind and is conveyed cleverly.

Well done - no nits here.
Enjoyed!
~Cleo  :princess:
Toumai
Hi Lori   sun.gif

Thanks so much for those kind comments. Glad the ideas worked for you.  :pharoah2

Yes, desiccated is likely to be a typo, as it's from the revision and I need to spell check as my own spelling is terrible.  :upside:

Hugs,

Fran
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