This Poem was Submitted By: Mark D. Kilburn On Date: 2005-01-25 13:00:01 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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Seasons and Flight

     Do you wish today was spring      and hummingbirds a song to sing?      I wonder what that song would be,      matching their sateen beauty.      I’d picnic in an aspen stand,      feeding hummingbirds by hand;      their wings as cool as melting snow      winter has no place to go.      Summer smiles on the Stellar Jay,      a blabber mouth with a lot to say,      he steals and lies and nags till fall,      his crested plume stands proud and tall.      Blue as water he’s such a sight,      get close enough and you’ll see white      it streaks across his face so faint,      airbrushed on with heaven’s paint.      When summer ends it’s hard to say      a rainy night or a windy day.      Autumn hawks are still around      they watch for movement on the ground;      and if you see a feather fall      from that hawk above it all      and somehow catch it in your grasp,      then God has talked to you at last.      Winter finds it’s cold way back      flocks of crows turn a cold sky black,      they seem to form a flying heart;      I guess to warn of winters start.      Hearts last only a short time;      I thought of all lost friends of mine,      the crows then scattered to the trees       somehow surviving winter’s freeze.      Springs alive when winter dies,      birds return to the warmer skies.      Singing summer songs so sweet;      seasons have their own heartbeat.      Fall sneaks in like a midnight thief      fresh and cool but all too brief,      surrendering to winter’s hand      when icy fingers choke the land.                                            

Copyright © January 2005 Mark D. Kilburn

This Poem was Critiqued By: Kelly Denise LaBeff On Date: 2005-02-04 13:27:19
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.92000
The transition of your words from season to season was smooth, easy, and made me anticipate what you had to say next! I love in the end where you describe winter's icy fingers choking the land....for that's just what happens, you knew exactly how to express it! The internal rhthym of each line and then as a whole as well were both impeccable in quality: easy, smooth-never stressed or straining- a good tongue exercise that allows the eyes to read from left to right with simplicity...this is NOT an implication that your verse was simple, however! Quite the contrary, your language was rich and rousy, creative and very descriptive making all things you wrote about come alive on paper with detail! I especially loved these lines: they seem to form a flying heart; I guess to warn of winters start. {awesome illustration of what actually appears} and this one, too: seasons have their own heartbeat.{This makes perfect sense as each season does have a life of its own} The humor and wit in these lines are remarkable and made me smile: the Stellar Jay, a blabber mouth with a lot to say, he steals and lies and nags till fall Right now, my mom's back yard is full of birds, a variety of them, too. There's one bird, a Robin, who has such a character. Mom calls the bird a "he" because of its actions! The Robin chases other birds away on the ground..running after them on foot, going around in circles until he's scared all the others up to flight - when he realizes that he is alone he seems to strutt (Imagine that! A Strutting Robin!), it's such a sight to behold! Mom says he is bossy! He sounds a lot like your Stellar Jay! To say I enjoyed your verse would be an understatement! I loved it! Thanks for sharing it, Kelly

This Poem was Critiqued By: Sandee L McMullan On Date: 2005-02-04 12:30:23
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.50000
Title: Seasons and Flight I was draw by the title. The first line asking this question doesn't perk me up to draw my interest. Perhaps a rephrasing could acentuate the song of spring. Second line is awkward, "hummingbirds a song to sing"? a verb would help project the action of singing. "I wonder what that song would be, matching their sateen beauty." I suggest to drop the wonder part, let the reader take up the wondering. Suggest what song, of classic note, or western tune etc. The reader then hears the song. The strength of this piece is in touching on the senses with the following, as they come alive for the reader: "wings cool as ... snow" - touch "a blabber mouth" - sound "blue as water" maybe a cliche, but appeals to sight "cold sky black" - sight, touch "form a flying heart" - sight and symbol -- heart "airbrushed on" - sight "choke the land" - touch I find there are many repetitious ideas within, saying the same thing only using different words. I feel it is an attempt to bring the rhymes to a flow, and add length. It becomes tedious and over-embellished, losing me to find the true focus of each unique season or flight, or of what the title is suggesting. for example: Autumn hawks are still around... ... ... from that hawk above it all. for example: "Winter finds it’s cold way back flocks of crows turn a cold sky black," Much of this could be reduced to state more simply and give a more direct delivery to the action and the images. Allow the images to work rather than depend on the rhyme. I like to be held in the image, to feel the sense of it, not to be wisked away to quickly by rhyme. I think the rhyme tends to dance around much of what the poem is trying to bring to the reader. Maybe, its just my sensibilities here also. There is a dreamy illusive quality to this piece, it oozes with enchantment of seasons add the rhyme quality and the reader is lulled to a serene mood, somewhat. Therein the rhyme does its job, leaving content amiss in some places. "Hearts last only a short time; I thought of all lost friends of mine," The line thought of all lost friends of mine -- seems misplaced for the content here; unless the crows are the friends, which I seem to think ppl are... it is not clear. This line could be dropped and not be missed, imo. I see the layout of birds to seasons within each stanza. However, I did look to see how the title hits the body, I found that it did successfully. The last stanza with similie: "Fall sneaks in like a midnight thief fresh and cool but all too brief," I am not sure if the thief is fresh and cool, or the Fall is. Perhaps misplaced here, I suggest to move the fresh and cool closer to the Fall sneaks; if that is the intent. "Fall sneaks in fresh and cool like a midnight thief -- all too brief." The ending sums up the season of winter, but not so much the flight. The poem ends for me at "to the warmer skies." Perhaps a shift in first two lines of this stanza to the bottom, may bring the ending to hit the title. Just a suggestion. . . . . regards
This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne Duval Morgan On Date: 2005-02-01 09:34:53
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Hi Mark, rhyme and rhythm, can't be beat when you speak the language of birds, which holds strong suit over the different seasons, like a puzzle it fits together so well, and is truly a poem that holds no second place to any other. It's marvelous to see the poetry penned here, I just critiqued Arnie's poem and that was most enjoyable. Tou poem filled with detail and characteristics can't be beat, I felt the seasons in your verbiage, and could see the birds in their glory, doing there things. No you didn't miss the meter is great, the theme carried the intent, and you just didn't miss. Best of Luck (trying to be brief and concise, ha ha).....Jo Morgan
This Poem was Critiqued By: arnie s WACHMAN On Date: 2005-01-29 17:19:02
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.66667
a really good description of the birds you see. As far as the crows areound here...boy are they ever noisy. Sometimes, for some reason, they pick out one particular tree...hundreds at a time, and boy are they noisy.'s like turning on at full volume a radio with static! The Stellar Jay...the robber...first time I ever met one was on a cross country tour. I sat down to eat my peanut butter sandwich, and from out of nowhere the Jay plucked it out of my grasp! The nerve. Thanks for posting. Pretty soon most of the birds will be back here.
This Poem was Critiqued By: charles r pitts On Date: 2005-01-26 11:55:26
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.50000
how refreshing to see a poem that rhymes! sometimes i feel like i'm the only one. i really like this mark. lots of imagery and your wording is descriptive; painting the pictures for the readers in splendid color. i could almost sing this, and it's subtlety is calming. i have included a few suggestions for you, though this poem stands strong on its on. there's just a few lines that would seem to flow better if you dropped a few words, but this poem dances to the beat of your rhythm, so if these put the piece out of step, just disregard. thanks... charlie wings as cool as melting snow-drop the "their" "lots" to say blue as water-such a sight-drop the "he's" crows turn cold sky black-drop the "a" spring's alive-contraction birds return to warmer skies-drop the "the" sneaks in like midnight thief- drop the "a"
This Poem was Critiqued By: Claire H. Currier On Date: 2005-01-26 04:46:19
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.83871
You certainly do have a way with words Mark and this one proves it......good structure, great words flow, captures the sights, sounds of each season bringing forth the images projected......I so love and enjoy the outdoors and bird feeders are close enough to many of my windows that I can see the feathered friends as they come to perch, peck and enjoy.....the Red Cardinal is my most favorite to look for come fall and in the Spring I tend to lean to the American Hero.....not a read name but a bird that is red, white and black who has stopped by these past few years......the hummingbirds tend to be sparce at the beginning of the season but just relax upon the back deck, check not for what might be around and you will hear the flutter of the wings, flapping ever so fast causing a humming noise, thus most likely how he got his name......I try to make sure the flowers and water is always ready for they are wonderfully entertaining .......I used to fear the black crows.....silly me, they too are a part of the Lord's creation, special in their own way though I do think they tend to be bossy at times, like the Jays, beating on the little ones.......Snowball, my cat, loves to sit on the back deck watching them all......seldom does he go after any though, its like he knows they are a part of the family. Thanks for posting this one, your nature poems are the safe, God Bless, Claire
This Poem was Critiqued By: Dellena Rovito On Date: 2005-01-25 16:52:50
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.78947
Hi Again Mark, I like you bringing the seasons into play. And the other birds too. Hawks, crows, jays... I like reading rhyme,I like the go of the flow..... I like hummingbirds best.. I’d picnic in an aspen stand, feeding hummingbirds by hand; [I love this] Springs alive when winter dies, birds return to the warmer skies. Singing summer songs so sweet; seasons have their own heartbeat. [and this] Great going..... Dellena
This Poem was Critiqued By: Turner Lee Williams On Date: 2005-01-25 15:40:26
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.86364
Mell–Anyone assigned such a task as the title would be singled out due to a code of extreme merits and held in high esteem. This reader has read your offering several times and the very second I thought I had gleaned a bit of insight or small clarity, my feeble mind raced in another direction. Maybe this bit of libation and Wes Montgomery will help-smile. Well, here goes nothing. The piece is definitely saturated with inferences of protagonist link to a Native American Heritage: well known this people reverence for “mother earth/nature.” Also metaphoric references to effect of opals (various colors being responsible for separate functions) for their mystical/appeasing/protec- ting/prosperous powers through timely “sowing:” regardless of problems/trou- bles/situations, “Keeper...” by staying on the prescribed path inevitably “reaps” benefits which have been ordained. IMO the crux of theme born out by; “As the sun rises and sets, so I follow the rules given me by ancestral guide. The winds blow, I feel the weight of my diadem, my crown and its surround and I remember the responsibilities of my role. The jewels are symbol and sign a praise for the ways of the divine.” Reads like a resolve to live daily life according to the “good book” no matter what personal affronts or the environs bring. I hope I haven’t strayed too far from this heady post intentions. TLW
This Poem was Critiqued By: Mell W. Morris On Date: 2005-01-25 15:06:11
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Mark: There are no words to convey how happy I am to have your poem pop up on my list! Glad you are back and I hope this is an indication that you are doing well on/in all areas. I swear I read this poem published in the Denver mag that buys all your poetry; since you do not cite prior publication, it must have been similar. You hold the copyright, in any event. This a lovely end-rhymed piece in tetrameter but alas! I see you've forgotten the hours of punctuation. In Stanza 3, the it's is correct but in Stanza 4, I cannot believe I see it's cold way back. No apostrophe needed in the 4th. Picture Mell at her desk, all propped in place so she can sit up, hands bandaged and gloved, feet wrapped, face and body looks as if she held on one or two rounds. Her head is bowed, face in hands, and she's singing softly..."Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall..." I hope you find that funny because, you gotta admit, we had numerous discussions on same. I had another poet with the "it's syndrome" and I'm happy to report, he's still doing it like you!! Your poem is delightful. In stanza 1, your descrtion of the aspen trees and hummers makes me long to be there. I didn't think a hummingbird would allow a human that close; until this past year, I've always had a hummer feeder plus seed for our birds of the region. I adore the hawk-feather story and I love hawks in general but especially, the red-tailed hawk. He has a white breast...beauteous coloring. I hope Joanne Uppendahl will read this as she is a major bird lover. You use seasonal metaphors with your usual charm and grace. They are fairly predictable but as the planet continues to warm, less so. It seems winter is your least favorite season or am I inserting my own feelings? We can learn a great deal from nature...Mother Earth the best storyteller of all times. Now if we'd just work up a little trust and respect for her ways, she might survive us. You've lost nothing in your time away from the link and I am smiling, smiling to have you home. Bravo! Mell
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