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Toumai
Shore Fishing

Fingers stroke wind-roughened bark;
stooped oak tree clinging to the shore
shaped by storms from off the sea;
tempests sprawling through agonising days
till leaves flee battered fractal sticks
to simmer, sinking, in tide pool sky’s reflection.

Rooted here in quiet reflection
unconscious of distant sounds – dog’s bark
as shrieking children throw him sticks;
gulls keen, patrolling littoral shore,
food plentiful in summer’s dog days;
tuna sandwiches simpler than the sea.

Gannets greedy speeding into sea –
dark, deep, feathered darts scintering reflection;
spear attention, floating in a daze,
helpless bobbing, like this driftwood bark;
flotsam of life’s wreckage drifts off shore;
tangled, tarred yet bleached in mocking nest of sticks.

Swiftly slither down life’s slope and hope that nothing sticks
fast yet even slow past overtakes though we can’t see
if our deeds be good or bad – can we be sure?
Need we torture ourselves examining ripples of reflections?
Ghosts of painful recollections bark
savage whispers that haunt us all our days.

Are we numbered by our actions as in days?
Is life for gentle caring love or wielding vicious sticks?
Are we herded sheep-like with each bark
from those who claim only they can truly see?
What is it that glimmers in reflection?
Seeking something washed up on a distant shore.

And when we find it can we be sure?
Life’s tides have swept us thus far in a daze;
whirlpools allow no stillness nor reflection;
suck us in and snap our souls like sticks
as swirling currents impossible to see
obliterate one place where we might embark.

In ancient days I would expect to cross the darkness of the Styx
dazzled by myriad reflections only gods and spirits see;
but I am sure I shall reach my own peace without need of any barque.


© Toumai, 2005




Nina
Hi Fran

Well done for attempting this difficult and rigid form. Most impressive and very brave. I especially like the way you have used different meaning and spellings of the words.  Did you start by selecting the six end words and piecing the poem around it.

A few thoughts for you.  I'm hoping there is no meter or syllable count on this (I am hopeless at telling).  If there is just ignore my suggestions.

[+] {-} comment

Fishing

Fingers stroke wind-roughened bark;
stooped oak tree cling{ing}[s] to the shore
shaped by storms from {off} the sea;
tempests sprawl{ing} through agonising days
till leaves flee battered fractal sticks   good to see fractal being used  :grinning:
to simmer, sinking, in tide pool sky’s reflection.

Rooted here in quiet reflection
unconscious of distant sounds – dog’s bark
as shrieking children throw him sticks;
gulls keen, patrolling littoral shore,
food plentiful in summer’s dog days;   dogs aplenty in this verse
tuna sandwiches simpler than the sea.

Gannets greedy speed{ing} into sea –  I was wondering why you said gannets greedy instead of greedy gannets
dark, deep, feathered darts scintering reflection; you've lost me on this line, what do you mean by scintering reflection.  I tried looking it up on dictionary.com but am none the wiser.
spear attention, floating in a daze,  I like the play on days
helpless bobbing, like this driftwood bark;
flotsam of life’s wreckage drifts off shore;
tangled, tarred yet bleached in mocking nest of sticks. I really like the images conjured up in these last three lines.

Swiftly slither down life’s slope and hope that nothing sticks
fast yet even slow past overtakes though we can’t see  I don't get "yet even slow past overtakes"  I think my brain's gone AWOL tonight
if our deeds be good or bad – can we be sure? clever use of shore/sure
Need we torture ourselves examining ripples of reflections?  very true.  A pointless exercise that I do too often
Ghosts of painful recollections bark
savage whispers that haunt us all our days.  again all too true

Are we numbered by our actions as in days?
Is life for gentle caring love or wielding vicious sticks?
Are we herded sheep-like with each bark
from those who claim only they can truly see?
What is it that glimmers in reflection?
Seeking something washed up on a distant shore.

And when we find it[,?] can we be sure?
Life’s tides have swept us thus far in a daze;
whirlpools allow no stillness nor reflection;
suck us in[,] {and} snap our souls like sticks[,]
as swirling currents impossible to see
obliterate one place where we might embark.

In ancient days I would expect to cross the darkness of the Styx
dazzled by myriad reflections only gods and spirits see;
but I am sure I shall reach my own peace without need of any barque.


You turn fishing into a very philosophical activity.  Still not much else to do while sitting with pole in hand waiting for a fish to bite.

Nina
Jox
Hi Fran,

OK, here's the deal: I won't check up on, nor comment on the form. As for R&M - well, you know… So I'll just view it as a poem and apologies for any comments / suggestions which affect the form / R&M / donkeys on Blackpool's Golden Mile. (No1 UK tourist town)

Fishing (Simple title for complex poem!)

Fingers stroke wind-roughened bark; (Isn't bark rough anyway?)
stooped oak {tree} clinging to {the} shore (Go on, tell me you need that "the" for R&M - grr)
shaped by [sea-]storms from {off the sea};
tempests sprawling through agonising days (I actually found this line too long to say easily)
till leaves flee battered fractal sticks (sorry, don't understand metaphor)
to simmer, sinking{,} in tide pool sky’s reflection.

Rooted here in quiet reflection (Is repeating "reflection part of the form?)
unconscious of distant sounds – dog’s bark (Now that's better!)
as shrieking children throw {him} sticks; (Didn't last long)
[keen] gulls {keen}{,} patrolling littoral shore{,}[;]
food plentiful in {s}[S]ummer’s dog days; (Groan!)
tuna sandwiches simpler than the sea. (Mayo?) (Don't understand, sorry)

Gannets greedy speeding into sea{ –}[:]
dark, deep, feathered darts scintering reflection; (even now I have word, sorry don't understand)
spear attention, floating in a daze,
helpless bobbing, like this driftwood bark{;}[:]
flotsam of life’s wreckage drift{s}[ing] off shore;
tangled, tarred yet bleached in mocking nest of sticks. (Sorry, don't understand)

(Scintering - sorry Fran - I can't find the word in any dictionary and Google has only 138 references for it on the entire web. Seems to be some scientific process associated with lasers? OK found it but by omitting the "c" - sintering - power-coating or geological sedimentary deposits. The COD does not have it in under Sc either.)

OK, I'm going to stop here - though I did make a few comments below this previously. I don't think I'm doing you any good service here - I am certain I must be messing-up the R&M or form. If I'm not I will happily continue but no point unless it is useful - please let me know.

Overall, despite not understanding some lines, I feel there is a very good poem in here battling to be released from its prison.

Please let me know. All the best, J.

Swiftly slither down life’s slope and hope that nothing sticks
fast yet even slow past overtakes though we can’t see
if our deeds be good or bad – can we be sure?
Need we torture ourselves examining ripples of reflections?
Ghosts of painful recollections bark
savage whispers that haunt us all our days.

Are we numbered by our actions[,] as in days?
Is life for gentle caring love [-] or wielding vicious sticks?
Are we herded sheep-like with each bark[?] (clever)
from those who claim only they can truly see?
What is it that glimmers in reflection?
Seeking something washed up on a distant shore.

And when we find it can we be sure?
Life’s tides have swept us thus far in a daze;
whirlpools allow no stillness nor reflection; (great line)
suck us in and snap our souls like sticks (too many small words methinks)
as swirling currents impossible to see
obliterate one place where we might embark.

In ancient days I would expect to cross the darkness of the Styx
dazzled by myriad reflections only gods and spirits see;
but I am sure I shall reach my own peace without need of any barque.
Jox
Reginald Molehusband Parking No2:

OK, Fran tells me no need to rhyme nor R&M in these poems. As I don't understand the rules, (which I have read about ten times now) I'm simply going to try to suggest something which may well break them but might offer ideas. I am not going to comment much but this is simply my final suggestion - all the editing unshown to save further confusion. As I say, Fran, hope something helps…

As I say, I'm sure this breaks the form so it is simply by way of trying to understand what you are saying and simply offer a few ideas, rather than concrete suggestions - as I know you could not use these.

I hope this is ok? Forgive me if not, please. But I have just finished it and I think I understand it. It is your poem - just a few words changed - but mostly structure. I hope you don't think it a cheek but it has helped me to see the excellent poem I knew was entombed in there somewhere.

Thank you so much for the read, Fran - I am very impressed by the underlying poem and its philosophical take.

PS If you were going to do a freeverse version, this would need working on - just a quick effort by me to see what was in there.

J.

Fishing

Stooped oak clinging to sea-shore,
its wind-roughened bark
shaped by Atlantic storms,
stroked by your fingers.

Tempests agonising days -
leaves flee battered branches
simmering, sinking,
in rock-pool sky’s reflection.

Rooted in quiet reflection,
unconscious of distant sounds –
dog’s bark - as shrieking children
throw him sticks.
Keen gulls patrol littoral shore:
food plentiful in Summer’s dog days;
discarded tuna sandwiches,
simpler than fishing for live prey.

Greedy Gannets speeding into sea –
dark, deep, feathered darts spear attention,
reflection floating in a haze - helpless bobbing,
like driftwood bark; flotsam of life’s wreckage,
drifts off shore - tangled, tarred,
yet bleached - mocking nest of sticks.

Swiftly slither down life’s slope:
hope that nothing sticks fast,
yet even slow past overtakes -
though we can’t see
if our deeds are good or bad.
Need we torture ourselves
examining ripples of reflections?
Ghosts of painful recollections bark
savage whispers which haunt us all our days.

Are we numbered by our actions?
Is life for gentle caring love?
or wielding vicious sticks?
Are we flocked with each bark of those
who claim only they can see?
What is it that glimmers in reflection?
Seeking something washed onto distant shore…

And when we find it can we be sure?
Life’s tides have swept us thus far in a daze;
whirlpools allow no stillness, nor reflection;
suck us in and snap our souls like sticks
as swirling currents, impossible to see,
obliterate the place we might embark.

In ancient days I would expect
to cross the darkness of the Styx,
dazzled by myriad reflections,
which only gods and spirits see…

Today, I am sure I shall reach
my own peace without need
of any passing ship in the dark.
Merlin
Hi Toumai,
Congrats on attempting this form, and bringing it to conclusion.  According to some, it is the most difficult form to tackle.

My personal preference is for clearer grammar and using the articles where required.  However, it's a free internet we live in and our styles ought to differ - lest there is boredom.  The fragments used in V1, leave me somewhat confused as to the meaning there.

I liked your use of descriptives, wind-roughened bark tells an entire picture, rather than simply bark.  As well, playing on the word spellings (bark / barque) is a grand stroke.

Merlin
Toumai
Hi Nina

Well done for attempting this difficult and rigid form. Most impressive and very brave. I especially like the way you have used different meaning and spellings of the words.  Did you start by selecting the six end words and piecing the poem around it.

Gosh, thanks. And thank you very much for diving in to crit - it is far longer than many poems and rather opaque, I fear.

I am not sure if the different word meanings are allowed, but I'd have gone bonkers writing it if there was no scope to play with them a bit.

I was walking through woodland by a lake when I began to think of the poem; I think that the germ of the idea came at the same time as some of the words during that stroll. I then sat down on a bench in the last of the afternoon sun and started scribbling.

A few thoughts for you.  I'm hoping there is no meter or syllable count on this (I am hopeless at telling).  If there is just ignore my suggestions.

No, it is possible (I read while looking at the form requirements) to use meter and even rhyme, but it's quite daunting enough without that. However, I have used some rhythm, or else the whole would be extremely "heavy" and awkward to read - I've tried to make it more speech-like and less minimalist than much that I write. Thus there are many very good suggestions to simplify that just for once I may decline ... at least while I keep the form

till leaves flee battered fractal sticks   good to see fractal being used  :grinning:

I used "fractal" in my first ever poem (*sips cuppa in nostalgic reverie*), and I remember discussing with James and Perry (our first meeting, on BBC GW) as to it's validity (I was uncertain if it was too confusing; they said nonsense, it's fine).

Gannets greedy speed{ing} into sea –  I was wondering why you said gannets greedy instead of greedy gannets

erm ... good Q ... mostly for the sound, I think

dark, deep, feathered darts scintering reflection; you've lost me on this line, what do you mean by scintering reflection.  I tried looking it up on dictionary.com but am none the wiser.

My mistake ... I was thinking of scintillation (science) and assumed a word which I gather is not real: I'll have to make an alternative

spear attention, floating in a daze,  I like the play on days

Thanks

helpless bobbing, like this driftwood bark;
flotsam of life’s wreckage drifts off shore;
tangled, tarred yet bleached in mocking nest of sticks. I really like the images conjured up in these last three lines.

Thanks - I'm glad those worked

Swiftly slither down life’s slope and hope that nothing sticks
fast yet even slow past overtakes though we can’t see  I don't get "yet even slow past overtakes"  I think my brain's gone AWOL tonight

Nope, just me being far too complicated - needs reworking  :speechless:

if our deeds be good or bad – can we be sure? clever use of shore/sure
Need we torture ourselves examining ripples of reflections?  very true.  A pointless exercise that I do too often
Ghosts of painful recollections bark
savage whispers that haunt us all our days.  again all too true

Thank you

You turn fishing into a very philosophical activity.  Still not much else to do while sitting with pole in hand waiting for a fish to bite.

No, I really cannot see any appeal in that "sport" whatsoever, but it tied in with some of the ideas within and with the setting.

Thank you so much for all the suggestions and comments, Nina

Fran
Jox
Hi Fran,

To Nina:

>F> I used "fractal" in my first ever poem (*sips cuppa in nostalgic reverie*), and I remember discussing with James and Perry (our first meeting, on BBC GW) as to it's validity (I was uncertain if it was too confusing; they said nonsense, it's fine).

Absolutly fine; my only objection here was I didn't quite think it fitted. But the word itself is fine. And, if you're happy no probs :)

Hi Nina:

>N> You turn fishing into a very philosophical activity.  Still not much else to do while sitting with pole in hand waiting for a fish to bite.

I fell about when reading this comment. Tch Tch! :)

J.




Nina
Hi Fran

>F>No, I really cannot see any appeal in that "sport" whatsoever, but it tied in with some of the ideas within and with the setting.

I did wonder if fishing was used as the antithesis to another work.

I do feel that perhaps you are being forced to compromise the message a little by trying to fit it into a very rigid form.

James -

>N> You turn fishing into a very philosophical activity.  Still not much else to do while sitting with pole in hand waiting for a fish to bite.

I fell about when reading this comment. Tch Tch! :)

ROFL, no wonder men like fishing.  Glad I made you laugh even if it was accidentally

Nina
Toumai
Hi James,

Firstly, I must apologise - I hadn't read your comment re fractal regarding THIS poem at that stage; I didn't mean to sound grumpy  :blush21:

I am going to deal with both your replies together. I am so glad that you did come back to this and managed to make sense of it despite the obesity of the language.

OK, here's the deal: I won't check up on, nor comment on the form. As for R&M - well, you know… So I'll just view it as a poem and apologies for any comments / suggestions which affect the form / R&M / donkeys on Blackpool's Golden Mile. (No1 UK tourist town)

LOL, thanks. There is no requirement for R&M as you now know  :)

Fishing (Simple title for complex poem!)

Yes ... perhaps a bit too much so. I have ammended but would be grateful for suggestions for a really good title.

Fingers stroke wind-roughened bark; (Isn't bark rough anyway?) --- quite often - but not necessarily
stooped oak {tree} clinging to {the} shore (Go on, tell me you need that "the" for R&M - grr)  --- yep  :reindeer:
shaped by [sea-]storms from {off the sea}; --- can't do that: HAVE to finish on "sea" (one of my 6 repeating words) - sorry
tempests sprawling through agonising days (I actually found this line too long to say easily) --- erm ... that's not the length, but the lousy scansion (*runs away quickly before he throws something at her*)
till leaves flee battered fractal sticks (sorry, don't understand metaphor) --- leaves get knocked off by the wind
to simmer, sinking{,} in tide pool sky’s reflection.

Rooted here in quiet reflection (Is repeating "reflection part of the form?) --- yes; all of the final line-end words are repeated throughout the poem
unconscious of distant sounds – dog’s bark (Now that's better!) --- specially for you
as shrieking children throw {him} sticks;(Didn't last long) --- ditto (*ducks again*)
[keen] gulls {keen}{,} patrolling littoral shore{,}[;] --- "keen" is a noise, too?
food plentiful in {s}[S]ummer’s dog days; (Groan!) --- tuna sarnies do that to me, too
tuna sandwiches simpler than the sea. (Mayo?) (Don't understand, sorry)  --- easier to scrounge than get one's own food (or think things thru instead of accepting what we are told is "truth")

Gannets greedy speeding into sea{ –}[:]
dark, deep, feathered darts scintering reflection; (even now I have word, sorry don't understand)  --- my fault: I will ammend that word (sorry)
spear attention, floating in a daze,
helpless bobbing, like this driftwood bark{;}[:]
flotsam of life’s wreckage drift{s}[ing] off shore;
tangled, tarred yet bleached in mocking nest of sticks. (Sorry, don't understand)  --- no need to apologise (amazed anyone made it this far, lol); we all float aimlessly around and get mucky/damaged as the world bobs us about - even when we think we're safely nesting we may still be in reality adrift; are we really clinging to anything solid (could be some pathetic fallacy in a mocking nest, though, I guess? c'est la vie).

(Scintering - sorry Fran - I can't find the word in any dictionary and Google has only 138 references for it on the entire web. Seems to be some scientific process associated with lasers? OK found it but by omitting the "c" - sintering - power-coating or geological sedimentary deposits. The COD does not have it in under Sc either.)

yes, so I realise (sorry) Wall.gif

OK, I'm going to stop here - though I did make a few comments below this previously. I don't think I'm doing you any good service here - I am certain I must be messing-up the R&M or form. If I'm not I will happily continue but no point unless it is useful - please let me know.

I am sorry to have given you such a headache - and delighted that you came back to help me more  :sun:

Overall, despite not understanding some lines, I feel there is a very good poem in here battling to be released from its prison.

Pretty much the gist of the poem, in fact  :)

==========================================

Reginald Molehusband Parking No2:

eh?

OK, Fran tells me no need to rhyme nor R&M in these poems. As I don't understand the rules, (which I have read about ten times now) I'm simply going to try to suggest something which may well break them but might offer ideas. I am not going to comment much but this is simply my final suggestion - all the editing unshown to save further confusion. As I say, Fran, hope something helps…

I looked at a couple of sites for "form" requirements and it seems to be somewhat variable - especially regarding the envoi. As I'm always tempted to break rules that seem "set for the sake of it" I used them for guidance only.

As I say, I'm sure this breaks the form so it is simply by way of trying to understand what you are saying and simply offer a few ideas, rather than concrete suggestions - as I know you could not use these.

James, I always appraciate ANY comments and suggestions from you regarding my writing. You have been a kind and generous mentor over the last year and without your encouragement I would not have written as much or as adventurously.

I hope this is ok? Forgive me if not, please. But I have just finished it and I think I understand it. It is your poem - just a few words changed - but mostly structure. I hope you don't think it a cheek but it has helped me to see the excellent poem I knew was entombed in there somewhere.

Thank you so much for the read, Fran - I am very impressed by the underlying poem and its philosophical take.


Thanks. I take your efforts to hone this as a tremendous compliment. (And I knew if you could hack your way through the verbiage you'd enjoy the idea within.)

PS If you were going to do a freeverse version, this would need working on - just a quick effort by me to see what was in there.

Of course. But many thanks for exploring the possibilities.

I shall have a very careful read and think about your suggestions.

Thanks, James

Fran




Toumai
Hi Merlin,

Congrats on attempting this form, and bringing it to conclusion.  According to some, it is the most difficult form to tackle.

Thank you very much (LOL, had I seen that comment before starting, I would have been tempted to run away and save on the paper).

I enjoy experimenting with form, although it does feel more intellectual and less "immediate" than free verse. This "felt" no harder than the villanelle I wrote a few months ago and was considerably less aggravating than the rondeau which I have had several goes at producing but which remains in scattered fragments in my notebook.

My personal preference is for clearer grammar and using the articles where required.  However, it's a free internet we live in and our styles ought to differ - lest there is boredom.  The fragments used in V1, leave me somewhat confused as to the meaning there.

Yes, you are right - it would be a boring net and world if we all agreed on everything - and yes, V1 does need some work, I think. Thanks.

I liked your use of descriptives, wind-roughened bark tells an entire picture, rather than simply bark.  As well, playing on the word spellings (bark / barque) is a grand stroke.

Thank you. I am glad that you enjoyed my dalliance with the requirements. I decided that as a novice to the form I needed as much leeway as possible.

Fran
Cleo_Serapis
HI Fran.

A warm congrats on writing in this form (I haven't been brave enough yet to attempt one). claps.gif

I'll copy this to notepad and then come back again once I've read through. Read.gif

HUGS
Lori Snowman.gif




Toumai
Thanks, Lori

It is a tricky form to try, but I was reet chuffed it worked reasonably well in the end.

Fran
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