Mick Fraser's E-Mail Address: mickfraser@aol.com
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Mick Fraser's Profile:
Mick is a man that likes simple poems with meaningful messages, but has recently learned further to lessons from the prolific poets here that he too can spin abstract pieces into legible, meaningul works. I have learned so much about poetry here and have made some good friends along the way. My first love in writing is my series of murder mysteries which I hope to publish in the near future. Please don't hesitate to contact me for any writing question. Local writing or poetry groups and workshops are recommended for all..but for me, I mostly need help finding my glasses to write.

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Below you will see ALL of the Critiques that Mick Fraser has given on The Poetic Link.
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Displaying Critiques 1 to 50 out of 60 Total Critiques.
Click one of the following to display the: Next 10 ... Last 50 Critiques.

Poem TitlePoet NameCritique Given by Mick FraserCritique Date
Letting the Me OutLatorial D. FaisonLatorial.... My first reading of this I said out loud "WOW." My second reading of this I said out loud "WOW." I have heard some of my closest friends (mostly female) describe how they feel about maintaining their privacy and how they keep many out except the most trusted confidants. You have explained this state in a short, sweet, yet forceful poem that rationizes the why you won't let someone know your most intimate thoughts, while at the same time giving the reader in the end, hope that maybe they can find that hidden key to unlock your cage. Loved the "it's no mystery, just history." If someone can't accept that, then they will never accept you....or if they can't understand that, then they'll never understand you. This is truly an amazing poem that speaks to me better than most because you have found a way to explain something so difficult to comprehend by others in a few words. This is at the top of my list for this month and is one of my favs this year. Mick2004-12-21 11:59:29
Renovating ThoughtsJames Edward SchanneHi again James; You have a talent for explaining one thing using analogies....or at least hammering a point as you'd say. I think that I am going to love critiquing your works because they are a challenge, I mean trying to determine if I can visualize what you were when you wrote them. Thank you for the title...that solidified my suspicions. In my mind, all work of art, carpentry, sports, business, family matters, requires logical and predetermined thoughtful planning. I see this as your process of trying to figure out everything in a finished job that you have visualized, how you see certain things easily, others are not as apparent, some other mini-visions are quickly tossed...and I'll add my own from my experience beyond the "fermentation", I can relate to soaked, drunk both figuratively and literally, tho I assume you meant the former. I am also assuming that you may be a bit of a perfectionist if your words ring true. Your ending again, as in your last piece sum it all up brilliantly. Contemplation is well guaged here, but I wonder if you do what I do with all those thoughts....nothing. Thanks for the fun. Mick 2004-12-21 11:44:55
Sanity ClausJames Edward SchanneHi James; I am back to TPL for another season, but hopefully longer than the silly season of which you write. You weave a mysterious view of Christmas for me. I had some trouble comprehending it all, but it is very melodic and witty at points like "all undertakings deserve interment." I'm not sure whether it should be "activity-eyed" with the hyphen. Gee, I really hating guessing your meaning, not wanting to misconstrue, but I will. Forgive me if I have it wrong. Christmas is a seaon of juxtaposition in which some (most) tend to do things they might not rather do, but they are swarmed with the hype, others (or their own) learned behaviours or expectations of what should be done. Reacting to the frantic impulses and manifested by the seduction of being lost in an imaginery state of contentment if all is accomplished. I love how you intertwined the critical reasoning, or natural justice thoughts with the opposing laissez-faire follow the masses view. Also, your ending is perfect. It's an incidentally learned process passed on to our descendents like a drug that makes one question..."why the heck am I doing all this?" Of course, many marketers can answer the question, or possibly magically talented psychologists. But be certain, it isn't your doing and keep it in perspective, it'll pass soon. Thanks for the interesting and thought provoking words. Mick 2004-12-21 11:32:08
Because I'm a WomanLatorial D. FaisonO, to be a woman with her power over all children, men and even the mall I could take the pain that I face everyday and turn the sunshine into rain Woman are known to protect our world quietly, thoughfully with hardly a word Us big brutish men can never compete with sweet dispositions again and again As a man in my ignorance I will remain captured by the natural fragrance of women in pain. Sorry, I digress... It was a pleasure reading your well constructed poem that seemed to flow naturally as if written quickly with the moment's emotions as a catalyst, and also with such a strong message. I truly respect all cultures, races, sexes (though I used to be homophobic) and I can sincerely understand what you are writing about. I love the ending, but I may have been a bit stronger in my viewpoint by changing "seems to think" with "has given to us"...as a middle name....or something along those lines, but I relaize that would leave less to the imagination. By the way, you are right...I know many women whose middle name is pain. I don't stop by TPL often, but when I do it is wonderful to be greeted with a poem that has a point and is entertaining. mick2004-12-17 10:45:38
American GothicEdwin John KrizekHi Edwin; I haven't critiqued any of your poetry previously, but I am happy to stumble upon this one. I read your Water Lillies earlier today and I thank you for inspiring me to look up the origin and form of a villanelle. I hope to try one in the future. American Gothic is a great title, with of course the twosome holding in front of the barn being in my head at first. I love the title because it seems to be a commentary (to me) on how we all take our time in relative protection in the garden or on a quiet sunday for granted, as we watch the world go by in peace. Quite a contrast from real world events. Many mornings I have sat out on my deck writing many tributes to the beauty that is close by, including the beauty of a seemingly happy couple or individual and how they relate to their world. In your poem, I could see the sunlight, green grass and could clearly hear the chickadees and cardinals in my yard. A peaceful moment that is eloquently expressed and shared. Thanks. Mick 2004-07-23 17:56:26
japanese verse 54 (Hammerhead Shark)Erzahl Leo M. EspinoHi Erzahl; This haiku got me immediately...Marine carpenter...very ingenious! Then to think of fixing something...a belly in need of fish, you are so creative and imaginative. I always love your work and this one is no exception. Yet, with the creativity you have shown here, it appears that the best is yet to come from you....thanks for making me smile with great imagery in a simple poem. Mick2004-07-22 15:17:54
lost at seaWayne R. LeachHi Wayne; Good to see this at the top of my list. This haiku format tells a typical hurricane tale that I remember from the Outer Banks. I was lost at sea upon reading your work and despite the small number of words, it provided great imagery for me. L3 is amazing, so close to shore but not able to get to safety...cool line. Another short and pithy critique. Mick2004-07-16 22:45:43
Goodbye, Ophelia, We PineThomas Edward WrightHi TEW TY for providing me the impetus to research Hamlet and Ophelia. I didn't know much before and probably know much more now...but your work does read like something out of 17th century...cool. Mick2004-06-30 17:10:04
INSIDE MY HEADMichael N. FallisHello Mike; Welcome to TPL. I am on a quest to write some short and pithy commentary on the wonderful works here this month. The summer time is a slow time on TPL, so I hope that you won't get too discouraged with the small number of critiques you might receive during this season. First...writing anything for fun is my passion, so I can relate to heavily rhymed poems like this that reek (in a positive way) of humor. Your story in a poem of realization sounds all too familiar, yet it is written in your unique fashion and therefore provides me with connecting imagery...form a personal standpoint, I thank you for bringing back the memories...good and bad damn you! The beats in your rhythm are excellent. The four line stanzas work well...and the painful truth of what you write is cleverly disguised as amusing. I hope to see many more of your offerings. Mick 2004-06-30 16:37:42
The Black WaltzLynda G SmithHi Lynda.... I had promised some short and pithy critiques given the summer silliness and related lack of time. Please don't be discouraged if you don't receive too many critiques in this slow and easy season. I am intrigued by the dance of the ravens. It kept me captivated after I got by the first line. The first line threw me "I would you were a raven". I was reading "I would wish"..or "I wish"...but being a soul sometimes searching for meanings of metaphors perhaps it has meaning to the more brilliant readers of poetry than me. The rest of your poem is wonferful. I read with rapid heart beating until the end-stop "of shared existence". Then you switch it up cleverly with three lines before another stop. Gotta be short here...the ending was perfection! We all hear music subconsciously in the construction drills, winds slapping clothes fluttering next door, and wherever we can find it, but you are speaking to me of the dance of free entities that require not even that. They make their own music, as does your poem. The only change I'd consider is your first line. Thanks. Mick2004-06-30 16:16:51
japanese verse 45 (Stream)Erzahl Leo M. EspinoHi Erzahl; I haven't had much time to critique lately. I do however have time for Stream as it quenches my thirst for images that provoke reminders of days I spent in the beautiful mountains of British Columbia, by the many brooks that were winding their ways through to their ultimate destiny. I loved the image "hidden rivulet" as it is aptly described. Many tiny streams are often not noticeable with the enormous mountain backdrop, or are covered by leaves of branches that overhang obscuring them. This verse is like all your wonderful work, simple, yet with so much detail to comprehend by your use of carefully chosen words. I am very happy that I did not miss this one before the end of the month. Take care Mick2004-05-05 14:49:38
CanticleJoanne M UppendahlHi Joanne; I just stumbled upon "Canticle". It is another perfect example of how you seize nature and seemingly shake it until it offers you words to please us all. A day in the life of a tulip bed is something usually mundane for this reader. Yet, now I am regretting that I didn't plant more bulbs last fall. The song is clearly heard whether morning, noon or night. I love the line "nodding as evening prayers arise from petals closing over tulip eyes"...especially given that I am not religious...however you somehow touch my spirituality with your writing. I may become like a swallow of Capistrano...but returning more frequently, to your Mission that provides comfort through the image provoking words of nature. The reason?...to again suggest everytime I read one of your gems of nature, to get your collection together to share with a greater audience who will certainly appreciate them as much as me. Another excellent poem. Take care Mick2004-05-05 14:36:17
Blue DragonflyJoanne M UppendahlHi Joanne; TY for another writing lesson. In this piece, you taught me that the creations we write don't have to be obscure to be appreciated. Rather, if one uses simple structures with well chosen words a beautiful work can emerge. I love this poem. I also love your passion for nature and the natural beauty that can be found in all creatures. I too sit in the bleachers far back from the action to allow me to admire the interplay of all species. Unfortunately I sometimes get too involved in the action and I can't recognize the exquisiteness that is offered...I guess that we are all gulity of taking things for granted at times. The images you portray were clearly visible for me. I spend much time in the presence of dragonflies on my golf course and I can easily imagine the flickering eyes, the quick head movements and this wonderful being bringing the splendor you desire. Joanne...please keep writing these types of poems. It may sound selfish to ask this, because I am sure that you enjoy writing your other wonderful works too, but your nature pieces are enlightening and are well suited for lifting the spirits of anyone. In my view, if you haven't compiled a chapbook or book of them, you should seriously consider doing so. Thanks again for once again opening my eyes and making me smile. Mick 2004-05-04 10:14:08
Talking About It with My DadThomas Edward WrightAll this reminds me of is how fathers' of the day were often distant relatives...especially true in my case with my dad being an international pilot. Bittersweet memories of the so-called lessons of life, that nature teaches, forget dads. Cool poem Tom. Mick 2004-05-02 11:58:24
Elena,her Ninja,and ChernobylMichael BirdHi Michael; TY for the interesting lesson. Unfortunately, it appears that Elena has removed her site for many reasons according to a note she left there. However, I was able to search and find her photo report and was amazed at the images she captures. bleak, stark, desolate...lifeless. I love the contrast of Elena her active pursuits and the speed of her bike with the inactive towns. You describe the picyures that I saw on the internet extremely well. My favorite aspect of this work is that it raises the consciousness of people like me who may have forgotten about the horrors of the incident and brings awareness to potential problems that we will almost certainly face again. Like Bhopal, Chernobyl should give us all reason to understand that we can easily destroy ourselves through our own actions. I truly was touched by this and TY for posting it. Mick 2004-05-01 12:41:42
TwistersSherri L SmithHi Serri; This poem is a great depiction of your midwest nightmares. I have many friends that live in or have lived in the midwest and have heard the sirens, cowered in their basements (rightly so) and have cleaned their yards and towns for two weeks after the storms that do so much destruction. "Winds, ravishing, whipping through the Midwest Rain blowing sideways" A fantastic opening couplet that descibes the general mayhem...I can clearly see the horizontal rains. "Spotters scouting the skies Watches, warnings issued" Are there people actually hired to do this? or is it generally everybody's responsibility to be on the lookout and warn fellow citizens? I assume that it is the latter. "Watching the weather channel, The radar, greens, yellows, reds" Hopefully with the advent of newer technology and more available media outlets the chances of taking shelter have increased. "Suddenly, sirens, dash to shelter Please God, I pray, protect my loved ones" I imagine running to avoid the fury. A scary situation that I hope I never have to face. "The sound of a freight train Magnified many times over" I've heard of this analogy. Given that I am adverse to noise, it would be even more frightening for me. "Trees uprooted, Tumbling onto houses and cars" A piece of straw driven through a tree trunk A wooden branch imbedded" "In the large fish’s mouth at the bait shop Still there to this day" I am not sure that I understand this line, possibly referring to fish blown out of a lake? "Houses gone, foundations all that remains Total devastation in the blink of an eye" Speaks of the power...I can see that happening. "Survivors picking through the rubble Looking for memories to salvage." A sad but wonderfully described ending. It seems that people are always searching for the sentimental pieces in their lives that will bring them some measure of comfort after such a disaster. Your poem is well-written. I cannt find any fault in the format or flow. It was a pleasure to read over and over, despite the devastation and grim subject that many of you midwesterners face. TY for your perspective and time in posting this. Keep safe and take care. Mick 2004-05-01 11:04:36
with a tranquil passion burningzen sutherlandHi Zen... It is dificult for me to find any fault with this offering. I have read it 5 times over the past week and have hesitated commenting on it because of it's simple style, yet image provoking language. You appear to be an artist of many different talents and I could see this poem as part of a book with one of your photos. Insofar as poetics, I am happy to see the freestyle miniscule throughout...the poem flowed well and the stanzas' endings were followed up appropriately with new thoughts on the same theme. This was exquisitely done and I cannot offer any suggestions on how I would change this...I like it as it is and I hope to see it in the top ten for the month. Mick 2004-05-01 09:59:30
Run Mommy RunDeniMari Z.Hi Dear and overworked poet... First things first...I do think that women do have to work harder than men in most cases, especially the ones that must work outside the home while being a mother. Yet, as a man, I could relatthe harried hectic pace that you so aptly describe. On to your poem.... I think that your repetition in S1 and S4 is great "Run Mommy run". It is almost acts in the same burning brain way that the story I read when I was young "See Spot Run" did. I won't soon forget that line either the next time I am at a grocery store and see a mommy dressed in work clothes struggling with her toddlers that she just picked up from daycare. Your commentary about the corporate life is unfortunate but true. Although men also suffer from many injustices at work, you are well deserving of praise for expressing the more difficult job mothers have, especially since most are less paid than their male counterparts. The timeline is great. You cover the activities of the day in order making the poem a story and very enjoyable and logical, yet lyrical too! The only thing I'd correct is the typo..equation... Thanks for the face-paced fury of a poem...I gotta be running. Mick2004-04-28 19:55:36
The BrewJessica InmanHi Jessica; This is a wonderful poem that you might want to submit to Owl Magazine or the likes for their Halloween edition. The rhythym is perfect, for as I read it, it sounds like a song. Upon first reading it, I thought that it was quite simple which most poems like this are, but you found a way to include an abstract line "the stench of it shakes the ground". That conjured up all kinds of images in my mind as I imagined how smells might have such an affect on the something inanimate as the ground. You have a wonderful start here for your first poem and I really enjoyed reading this because it is written so clearly. Writing is a hobby that you can do anytime, anywhere and I wish I would have discovered my interest in it at your age. Keep writing and best of luck with your future poems and stories. Mick2004-04-27 04:59:43
japanese verse 21 to 40 - Second CollectionErzahl Leo M. EspinoHi Erzahl I already commented on this submission yesterday, but it appears that TPL went down and my comments are now lost. Suffice it to say that I completely love your haiku and I again believe that your collection is worthy of recognition in a chapbook. This offering is on my list for the month....ty for sharing. Mick2004-03-06 19:25:30
About Love and Deathstephen g skipperHi Stephen I commented on this two days ago...but TPL went down and it appears that my comments got lost. I said a few things, but the most important in my mind was...I hope that Paula will be forever your muse. Thanks for sharing and please write, write, write...it is very therapeutic. Mick2004-03-06 19:19:13
Silent SCREAM!Robert L TremblayExcellent Robert. I appreciate your tribute to the ones that cudda been. I too am freedom of choice, but your words makes one stop and ponder. This is on my list simply because it made me think...and not often does any writing provoke me in that way. Mick2004-03-06 19:03:07
saturdayErin E RolandHi Erin... This is wonderful. My interp is that you are spending the time trying to overcome the loss, but the bittersweet memories haunt, please and provoke you to think of the inspiring love that is to come. Some of my aother fav lines... buying thoughts to replace my own your smell touching me...poking at my memory As for now, I'll wear it as mine Whew...great ride. It is one of my favs this month. Mick2004-03-06 18:59:01
What Gives?Michael J. CluffMilitary uniform? I dunno...you got me. Blue pinstripe...hmmm. Interesting read. Mick2004-02-29 21:56:33
a glimpse, a viewErin E RolandHi Erin... This poem is full of imagery that reminded me of my hiking weekends in Beautiful British Columbia. I particularly liked "strap existence on my back". I had often thought that I didn't need much more than what I had in my pack. I have experienced similar vistas of gaping vastness, yet I have never been so keenly aware of a discovery in unison and it was aptly and eloquently described as the matching breath....sounds like a love story to me...in many diferrent ways, certainly for nature, partner and self. TY for the entertaining piece. Mick 2004-02-29 21:03:21
Growing a RoseRebecca LeeHi Rebecca Interesting and apt description of love. Aside for the typo "positive", the poem is wonderful. This offering has encouarged me to continue to write the love poems that I like to write. Mick 2004-02-29 14:07:23
I am a lighthousemarilyn terwillegerHi Marilyn; Now this testament would grab any retired peg-legged, pipe smoking, barnacle bearded boy and slam him back in his dory amongst his cod just to be saved by you. I can't say enough about the images you constructed in my otherwise empty head. Excellent. I love lighthouses and have spent many afternoons enjoying the sound of the water lapping at their feet, with the fresh sea air provoking my own thoughts of their utility as the fog and wind creates havoc. Forget the critique..I am in a local bay watching the water splash over my bow...I can't concentrate on your words now! But...I'll try. Thanks for the added vocab...I don't know when I'll use pelagic rock again, but it set this scene immediately. Perfect. "Welters at my root"...such a sensually sweet sound and no doubt the root is factually an important part of your lighthouse. "When your way is astray"....whether by dinghy or tallship...these words and the following offerings with their subtle rhymes transport us along...I was kidnapped by your pirate poetry. "sea birds sob"...wow...love it! sssssssssscintillating! The gentle ending for the challenged ship landing it's tired stucture on land is so fitting. "rest your weary prow"...I needed to after that wonderfully dangerous but extremely exhilerating voyage. Thanks for writing this Marilyn...it is one of my favs so far this month...a poem that can be enjoyed by all. Mick 2004-02-18 13:21:40
RainRegis L ChapmanHi Reeg.. Before I move on to my French studies (I am being forced to learn the language in my paying job, though I do like it) I have the pleasure of giving you my views and ideas on this wet piece. I lived on the "wet coast" for many years and spent many days in the wetest town on the west coast of Vancouver Island, so I can relate to and have something to say about this. I was immersed so to speak, drenched by the downpour in the first stanza. The faces were clear, but probably not as clear as you may have seen them, but the washing away of stains through time and the soaked feelings of my wool socks squishing in my shoes were pesent. I also lived in a desert and could easily recognize the contrasts of which you imply exist. A pack of dogs is a simile that surprised me for a description of loose threads...yet I enjoyed the unkempt unruliness the imagery provided. "metallic taste" ...yuck...but provided an intstant sensory delight. I wasn't certain whether the ending "in crimson blood filling us up" was referring to the atrocities in this world, but I read it that way and I regret if I have misinterpreted your meaning. I wondered whether the red wine inspired that line. Thanks for posting this poem that brought back many memories and interesting images. Take care Mick2004-02-15 16:20:31
Living a LossRobin Ann CrandellHi Robin; You are wise, brave, and very unselfish in sharing with all of us. Not to mimimize what you have written here, but your expression of how you feel is similar to some others I have seen recently insofar as telling of a personal hurt, so I just want you to know that you are not alone and many TPL members can empathize. Many people would not be so generous as to share themselves like you have and that is what is so beautiful about writing in general and poetry to a greater extent. It is best to write when you are emotionally charged; to get out the words as you feel first. Way to go. Regarding your poem itself, you may want to change some stanzas, but I wouldn't be in a hurry to do it. It flowed for me and is filled with the angst and emotion of the moment of writing which I loved. I particularly like the beginning. One line sums it up...that confusing, being lost, hopeless, "crazy" for sure. Each verse is a chunk of what you have to get out, individual and valid, but my favorite line was "I am chasing ghosts of me and you, if only you could feel like this too". Your ending shows that you're naturally clever, as I am sure that these words just oozed from you...again wrapping up exactly how you are still feeling. I sincerely wish you the best Robin and I truly loved your poem. Mick 2004-02-10 10:46:24
FallingJordan Brendez BandojoHi again Jordan; You posted your revisions quickly...and apart from the typo, I thought your first version was great. I hate to do this now...lol...but I think a grammatical error exists..."trees are unconscious that its wilted leaves fall to the mud". I am not an English major, but I always thought that its is the possessive for singular and plural would be "their". Alternatively, you could write "A tree is..." Again...forgive me if my advice is incorrect (I am unsure if "its" can be used for plural subjects) Regardless of the minor adjustments, the cadence, imagery and wonderful love story you have created here make this poem a winner. Mick 2004-02-10 10:21:25
The OakRobert L TremblayHi Robert; Alas, one of your creative designs that I can read! Not to say that your others were of poor quality (They are extremely creative) but rather that being easily distracted I found that they were too busy for me. I can see the representation of the oak though honestly I also saw a mushroom cloud or a phallic statue I previously saw in a National Geographic. You do a great job taking us through the life and tragic death of the Oak. From the beginning "From tiny Acorn, it began; Nourished so blindly By the Gardner Grand" until the finish I was easily led and happy to have been. The imagery of the sprouting, the squirrels, broken arm of a young climber, were clear...but that bolt of electricity was particularly image provoking for me given that I once had a tree fall near me after being struck by lightening and your poem brought me right back to that moment. I loved the ending....basically in the end we are all "dust in the wind". Nature's recycling. Thanks for posting your older works. Mick 2004-02-09 20:56:46
These delicious aromas like foreign countrieshj elliotOK Heather; I hope that you get BIG recognition in February for this piece. It is on my voting list for sure. Bear with me as I try to give you a critique that does justice...very tough given the excellence I am reading from you. The blends of imagery...more sensory...I could taste, smell and even feel the scents and imagerery that you described in the first stanza. I was in bed with you experiencing it all. OK..you challenged me with what you said...foreign countries (turkish came to mind)I was lost in the simile and happy with how your words exhilarted my senses. "As windows open to rooftops".....I am happy that you followed that with the arms and cobblestone....empty morning...wow. The sheets devasted...God who wouldn't want to know? But then, the agnst...the struggle of your love like foreign countries fight...I love it all. This is truly moving and written better than most I have seen here. I cannot offer any suggestions for improvement. I am pleased that you chosen to share this on TPL. Mick 2004-02-08 00:50:45
untitledRachel F. SpinozaHi Rachel; This is a wonderful moment in time haiku; how they are supposed to be written I believe. Coming from the orchard dotted west coast (apples, pears, cherries), your writing took me back to many similar moments that I shared with my children, pointing out the beauty of nature easily seen from our back windows or porch. I loved the contrast in color (green oranges). Bubble-wrapped in mist is also a very clever way to express the image and helped transport me and my thoughts to the calm pleasant moments I experienced. You have provoked me to wonder whether I should return to an area where I can again enjoy some different scenery. I do appreciate the snow-topped roofs on the houses I see after a fresh snow, but it just isn't the same. Thanks for sharing you simple yet complete story on the beauty that surrounds us. Mick2004-02-04 13:55:53
japanese verse 36 (Ku Klux Klan)Erzahl Leo M. EspinoHi Erzahl... Happy is me to find another one of your tiny tales of truth on the top of my list. The first line in four words tells more than one could dream. To me, it talks about how this group (or other similar ones) have a completely contrary, the point of irony view, that they are kin, yet that the spirit of kinship (love, peace, support etc.) are not possible with others in this world. You have set up the story with an image driven by an alliteration that the reader becomes addicted to and begs for more. and you don't diappoint!! "killer of kaleidoscope"...yes they want to see it all as black and white separated or possibly prefer to have a world whitewashed for only like-minded servants. It is sad to see them profess to be on God's side, just like all the other fundamenalist fanatics that have trouble accepting that the world is a better place with blended cultures. I loved this expression and it alone deserves special recognition. The ending is perfectly done. The poems ends with imagery that provikes the reader to conjure up past cross burnings and the pain and suffering many have felt. You truly captured the reader and told a whole story in 10 words...I am continually in awe of your heavenly haikus. This one definitely goes on my voting list. Thanks for sharing and never stop writing these!!! Mick 2004-02-03 13:07:46
beep-beepThomas Edward WrightHi; I immediately thought of Stephen Hawking and other less brilliant people hooked up to machines to function. Not being so knowledgable about beeping machines except this thing I am typing on (that can't be it) I could only visualize that you are living (or have lived) this reality or live close to someone that does. The bigger dictionary threw me a bit (I am a lightweight, what can I say) because when I hear of machine-aided existence I would think that might be the furthest thought from one's mind...but then again if all that is left is the capacity to think, then yes...I'd wanna show them in every possible manner that I can do as much or more with my pea-brain. Your ending was very entertaining...cause when we are at the mercy of a machine and the power goes ....we're done. I need to go find some food..... TY for an interesting story in a short and comprensible structure. Mick2004-01-30 15:45:34
Shadow of StillDeniMari Z.Hi DeniMari; I love the simple style shown in this and your past posting. That is not to say that you are any less sophisticated as a poet than others here ( I should know I am the simplest for sure) but rather that in reading your work, it is clear, easy to read, with a great message and therefore much easier to critique than some of the more obscure works. This message was timely for me given many of the little problems I face at this moment in my personal and professional life. What I got out of this wonderful reminder was..."move on Mick...you've done it many times before, you gotta just get moving and do it again". Now on to critique. First stanza opens with the precise understanding that were are glued to the moment...it lasts forever..the pain and possibly denial....stuck and still without a frigging idea how to react. Then the ? "hello??? what the hell are you doing? This isn't like you!" Then next the trying to recover by using past successes...this is good because this is what we teach to others who are suffering and it doesn't matter what level you are suffering at, this advice is perfect. "Keep growing, living and knowing what passed were blessings to hold"...love it. "No dream should die a permanent death, it's survival is at your will"...a very consistent a powerful message in the simplest yet most meaningful phrase. This is excellence. To conclude your direct demand....the one that again woke me up (I gotta get to the gym tonight! the physical activity my provoke the rest of me outta my doldrums) "find the spirit within you to move on, far away from the shadow of still". TY for sharing this work. Mick 2004-01-30 15:25:28
FreedomRobert L TremblayHello Robert L Tremblay; I do like your early collection. They seem more direct (some would say that your poetry has matured). I prefer direct, perhaps do I dare say...less sophisticated messages like this. Your more recent angst seems (again I say seems...who am I to know for sure) more desperate. Enough of that crap....on to this poem. I love the first two lines...was it you that created that phrase? I am sure that I have heard it before, but maybe with a few word changes. Those lines spaek volumes and are a shaking wake-up. Those unborn...sad. Not being much of a believer except in the woman I love and my own capacity to teach and care, I do have trouble with judgement day. Sure, we have pushed nature way beyond her limits and nuclear fallout could potentially kill us all, but so could many other ignored problems like reckless diplomacy and aviary flu. I am doing my part by sending chicken sushi to pennsylvania ave regularly. Stanza three does it for me. Each carefully chosen word makes me shiver. Like I said b4, your early stuff is simpler in it's need to rhyme, but more powerful than even Superman. crumble/rumble/grumble...perfect..like winnie-the-pooh gone bad. Finality....Bah...it's never too late as long as you are still trying. I am happy to hear that you don't hate...and just who's measure of sanity counts? I had a fun ride with your "blast from the past". Mick 2004-01-30 15:08:36
Love Me This WayDeniMari Z.Hi Dear Poet; This love that you describe sounds perfect. One might want to use this wonderful dream as mutual wedding vows whereby the couple read alternate lines. I think that the 3 line stanzas are perfect for this poem...it makes it flow very well and allows you to chance the theme of each stanza without missing a beat. The first two stanzas talk about the independence needed and from my read, that seems like the real message. Of course, the other topics, friendship, respect, differing hearts and ongoing happiness are as equally important, but the way the poem starts I read some fear on the writers part of being controlled....damn I loved my psych courses many years ago..lol...I hope I am right. I loved "take this heart - share my life"...very romantic and offsets the demands for respect, freedom of spirit etc. I can't give you any suggestions for improvement. You won my heart. Mick 2004-01-29 19:31:33
NUCLEAR MADNESS (old acrostic)Robert L TremblayHello Robert, Bobby, Bob; Before you give me a zero, let me explain. I have lived in more smoke-filled bars than your town has. The hippie days were a phase for me (you wanna speak of formative), but I had more of anything (be creative now)than you can imagine because they were there. Having said that, I had to comment on your work. Your sculputured stuff is way to sophistcated for this balding neurotic crybaby to comprehend. You are truly a great poet....I think. But what really touches me, is this stuff. The clear, precise, concise message. I have been a peacenik (it is amazing how they tied the commie term and lovers of peace together) for a fuck of a long time. I was expelled from school for wearing my hair too long...and now all these litle bastards shave their big melons....as they would say, what's up with that? though they might not spell it correctly. Your poem is nostalgic to me, so back to my point, that is why I am critiquing this beaut. ah.."willed extinction"...maybe the reason I drink too much beer, but the reality of nukes and the fear they manifest is understood. The expression is as relevant today as it was in your "salad days"...what a stupid idiom. "Greed" is the operative phrase. Humans are generally compassionate, but greed causes blindness to the untold suffering that can result and only after inflicting pain can the ignorant learn of their misguided ways. The veiled references to spirituality are lost on me. Fuck, it is only about respect, love and integrity that count...the very meek hide behind their almightys. I thank someone, I am not sure who yet, that 'W' decided only to push his personal greedy agenda by conventional (2003 conventional) weapons. If I were him (I must be stupider than him...I didn't go to Yale)I wouldn't have been so greedy and blown the whole mideast to smithereens. Oil is synonomous with many dollars, but it ain't gonna help him now. Man is God. Actually, maybe food is God having read far too much about what us Americans (North Americans) fear. We are so truly the masturbators of our own destiny. yawn...ty for posting a slice of your past. I hope to see more simple but meaningful posts. Mick 2004-01-28 19:32:11
japanese verse 38 (Seahorse)Erzahl Leo M. EspinoHi Erzahl!! That's it...you have to seriously think about putting together a chapbook or a full book or these treasures! I want an autographed copy and the address of the publisher so I can pass it on to all my friends and acquaintances. This verse is wonderful. Again, your forté is your penchant for putting so much imagery in tiny snipets that any reader can enjoy. I will try some of these soon too but I am certain that I will never reach your level of competency. "ocean stallion"...love this description...it took me as far as being able to see myself searching for one I could ride through the ocean with. TY TY TY....you are truly inspiring. Mick2004-01-28 12:00:16
japanese verse 37 (Top)Erzahl Leo M. EspinoHi Erzahl; I appreciate you additional note. I thought your haiku was about a real ballerina, and I am sure that it could be. I remember my sister had a pink jewelery box with a ballerina on it in a white ballerina dress. She played incessentaly with the ballerina and cared little about the contents of the box. She would stare at it hour after after playing that music box song that drove me mad. 40 years later I have been reminded of her happy days and you have brought a smile to my day with your well structured and wonderful poem. Thanks Mick 2004-01-27 14:48:31
Her Looking Glassmarilyn terwillegerHi Marilyn; Another striking and thought-provoking piece from your mind and pen. I love it. I hate to mention it, but there is one small typo that I am sure you have corrected by now. From the beginning, I am spellbound by the darkness of this writing. It made me shiver, so cold, so hopeless, so terrible. GREAT allit..."lack lustre soul" (I clearly saw it)...and then you don't stop and hit us over the head with other dank dreary descriptions...."dark eyes dull and doleful". I wondereded whether I dare read further without becoming one of your graveyard subjects. You continue on with the scary-sad story but I started to understand more (I think) as to why she is void of emotions and in this sombre shell with the references to her unshed tears. Very sad. The transitional stanza sheds more light....and then the next one I start to really see what is so troubling. She has lost her man. He obviously meant a lot to her and I have heard that in partnerships of true love, the connection is so strong that any break from it can mortally wound you. I hope that she can recover. Thank you for letting me comment. As always, imagery shines through in your work and moves the reader with ease. It is effortless reading your words as they simply sing to me and make me happy that I chose to critique this wonderful piece. Take care mick 2004-01-27 14:15:51
ACROSTICRegis L ChapmanHi Reeg; Congrats on your first. Unfortunately, I find these too addictive, once I wrote my first I couldn't stop for a few days. I hope that the acrostic drug doesn't addict you too. I may be trying double and triple acrostics next, kind of like a crossword puzzle. Your offering covers all the bases and is a pleasure to read. I loved the "calamity of letters" "state cleearly topics" "take the risk to disturb" (my favourite part of my acrostics) but of course the funny ones that make me laugh are always the ones that make me happy. I enjoyed this very much. Take care. Mick2004-01-26 21:10:19
Porcelain DollsDebbie L FischerHi Debbie; I am always happy to read work that appears to come from the personal experiences of the author. It is obvious that this would have had a real impact on you. However, it is also obvious to me that despite the hurt that you suffered, that you have overcome by far (I hope) the pain by finding some closure with the comfort of your porcelain dolls. You are truly brave for sharing this. The poem is wonderful. Mick2004-01-25 22:50:10
Tornadomarilyn terwillegerHi Marilyn; Congrats on your first acrostic attempt. I did my first recently and I loved the experience. Great alliteration to start...and there is no doubt that when we talk about a typhoon wind, we are talking powerful. The imagery grows with visions of water spraying, dust and dirt blowing. I was taken away with the uncontrollable rushing and swooping movements of the wind and although I have been fortunate to have never personally witnessed a tornado, I have heard about the deafening and frightening noise. Yes! Absolute destruction is an appropriate description. I have a friend in the midwest that told me how his neighborhood was demolished and how the rebuilding was just that...it was impossible to simply repair things. I loved how you describe what the beast does...it slaps everything in its path to ruin. There is no need to tinker with your work. It is a wonderfully crafted story of what one can expect when having to face a tornado and you used an acrostic form that works very well. Thanks for posting TORNADO. Take care. Mick 2004-01-25 17:47:31
The ReaderDebbie L FischerHi Deb; From the beginning of this poem I was taken in by the imagery you painted. The cool shade and the refuge provided while she intently reads...wonderful. I am guessing that it must be a poetry book, because I don't like to think of lost loves, only new found ones...like your poem. TY for writing this descriptive and interesting work. Mick:)2004-01-25 15:02:35
PerplexingSergio M chavezHi Sergio Given that you state that you are a bit confused by this poem yourself, I'll interpret it from my perspective. For me, it wasn't too obscure, just adequately obscure to allow me to be swept away by my own ideas. TV..the pervasive, hypnotic tool that is used for many reasons...as an escape, for avoidance of reality and definitely as a babysitting aid. I read your first stanza as a declaration of the recognition of the all-encompassing facilities provided by the idiot box. From what I read in the next stanza, my first interpretation is validated as reality and your wanted change towards being one of those perfect characters...beautiful, intellectual, wealthy and generally happy as purveyed by the unrealistic tv images. Next...you are almost traumatized, spellbound a complete hostage to the mesmerizing affects of the artificial world of perfection personified in TV's offerings. The next few stanzas make me pose the question....Why don't we get off our asses and attack our own realities? We can only improve the quality of our lives by recognizing the truth from false hopes and be the masters of our own destinies. I hate the past and failures that you mention. They are obstacles that are difficult to avoid. If we let them rule us, we can end up being subjected to the fears you next mention. We come full circle at the end of the writing. You admit what you are and maybe it isn't such a bad way to hide from the reality. I loved this piece cause it is forcing me to head out to the gym this afternoon...I gotta get away from my own traps. I would not change a word as I find the message to be clear and meaningful. Ty for sharing this. Mick 2004-01-24 13:35:54
FearSergio M chavezThis emotionally-charged rant about personal problems on display is not really disturbing to me, probably because of the self-debasing tone. The first two lines are so familiar to us all. We keep having those self-talks about what we are going to do and then either fall back into our lazy states or start questioning our potential success. The fear that you speak of in the following few lines is understandable. After that, you come across as a paranoid person. If this is truly how you feel, I hope that you work things out for you. Regarding the most disgusting (to some)elements....masturbation is natural...diapers are handy if you have defacation problems. It is obvious that you hate yourself...it could be worse; you could be a murderer or a child molester...which I don't think you are from reading this. The gym, healthy eating and alcohol in moderation would help...it works for me. Mick 2004-01-23 21:21:51
Greensiddharth GopalakrishnaHello Siddarth Wow! Powerful writing. I feel I am too green to write such a wonderful transitional poem that starts with one soft pleasing vision of a perfect spring day and gradually turns to the contrasting violent personal struggle. I loved "feeding the green goo"....quite descriptive. There is a message in your work too, that their is only one way to overcome the disease that takes us away with it's nastiness. I wouldn't change a word...I think that this is very well written....I am happy to see you write this and I am not green with envy. Mick2004-01-23 20:26:19
Can You (Still) Get That Over the Counter?Thomas Edward WrightHi Thomas... I have only recently started to re-appreciate poetry. I have written constantly in the past five years (mostly short stories and some work on a few novels) and during that time I have had moments where I have become frustrated with and entralled by poems of all types. My basic problem is my lack of skill in interpreting some pieces. I do not feel well qualified to critique on the poetics used in many poems. However, I do like to comment on my interpretations, so here goes. I always love stories in a poem. This seems to be the story of a long lost friendship that could have been more, from a time when the difference in sexes was discovered to today's stark reality of a mutually shared hidden connection and possibly a shared problem with alcohol later in life? Could it be that the drinking problems arose by having left business unfinished? I may be way off base....I don't know. The two of you are writing and in the intro she wrote, you discovered that your feelings and thoughts were shared. The ending is sad...the acceptance that it is too late to react to the issue and the heart-felt hope that she does well, is healthy and stays sober. This is a great story in a few words. A pleasing read for all with a meaningful message...don't hesitate if you want something, and if you just can't move on it, accept your fate. Thanks for sharing this work and letting me learn more by reading closely and commenting. Mick 2004-01-23 11:15:30
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