Marcia McCaslin's E-Mail Address: idocountry@aol.com
Marcia's Favorite Song: Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys


Marcia McCaslin's Profile:
Hello all. It's March 2004--my how time flies! Time to update my profile. Well, I still think I'm a songwriter--some days I wonder why I think that! I continue to write country tunes and delight in great country titles. I like to rhyme things, but am not always sure it's poetry. Like to read the poetry of others and like to comment on their efforts. I got sick and was forced into retirement; then I got better and now have a part-time job I enjoy. Try to raise tomatoes and peppers in the 100 days of summer that we get here in Jackson Hole Wyoming. Look forward to our exchanges on The Link.

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Below you will see ALL of the Critiques that Marcia McCaslin has given on The Poetic Link.
By Clicking a Poem Title, you can view the poem that is associated with each Critique.


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Displaying Critiques 1 to 50 out of 94 Total Critiques.
Click one of the following to display the: Next 44 ... Last 50 Critiques.

Poem TitlePoet NameCritique Given by Marcia McCaslinCritique Date
The Scar the Wing LeavesG. Donald CribbsDonald--I am just so thankful that you won. I've read your 'autobiography'--and am just so 'taken' that you have devoted 100% of yourself to your craft. And this is no easy thing, but encompasses a lot of life--your marriage and family and hobbies and crafts and neighbors and your prayer life-- all the aspects that make you "you". I cannot speak--I am speechless--in the presence of this poem which is so deep and human at the same time--and I cannot help but wonder: what kind of mind can even think these things out to conclusion. It's past, now, the May contest. It doesn't matter that you like or dislike what I say--but just wanted you to know that I have to seek you out and read--even if sometimes I may not understand it all. I have to. Your mind is compelling. Be assured, my spirit understands much that my mind does not. Wonderful peek. Marcia2004-06-08 20:21:37
Enchanted StewEdwin John KrizekEdwin--you are so human--you have made a real fan out of me. I love the simplicity of language (which I said before) mixed the complexity of fresh originality that leads me down a path I've never been before. That, to me, is the sign of a true poet and a true honest-from-the-gut writer. (Which is what I love). I love new ideas and new ways of expressing the oldest of feelings--perhaps the most common of human feelings. This you have done--to the delight of this reader. You make me see my very flawed self in your writing--and YET--leave enough 'good stuff' to feel some honor as well. Very compelling, Edwin. Thanks. Marcia2004-06-06 19:11:04
This Leda and Her SwanThomas Edward WrightThomas--I read this at the beginning of the month--and now, again, at the beginning of the next month, I have the same feelings. Your compassion and your questions shout at us from betwen the lines. You separate bone from marrow in each of us (readers). We are probably all guilty--but yet from your viewpoint, I see it--the whole complex issue--in such a clear light. I am ashamed of the secret (untold) feelings I've always had, but you have exposed me and in my heart of hearts I am sorry. I see these people you describe going up and down my street all the time--walking to small jobs, riding their wheeled 'pedal' vehicles with the white flag waving at the rear. I have seen them come to the lunch counter (years ago)--alone, one month, and in love and with someone the next-- making blushy plans to get married. And marry they do. "The palm, so creased, redirects the dark storm." "offspring cry out from the simplest omelet--from the deep heart of man, that beast in each of us. There is just no suppressing nature. I look at the grass and pops up through rocks and black fabric and lives in spite of Round-up--and I know. Our Creator will not be suppressed-- in you, in me, nor in these you so lovingly shine on. Great work. Thanks. Marcia2004-06-06 19:03:49
Ocean City WeekendEdwin John KrizekEdwin--a wonderful 3-part film, complete with the Norman Rockwell paintings which capture every emotion known to man, and the colorful picture of red SUV and navy blue uniform. Everybody--high and low--staring at their tickets, planning what they'd do with all that 'won' money. And tomorrow, tomorrow...all of us share in the hope, the disappointment, the ensuing hope because there's always tomorrow's draw. I do, if I may say so again, liken your work to Norman Rockwell--and that's not bad company to be in! The emotion grips us--the universality says--"this is me too"--I'm this and I'm that. I've felt that way. Crisp--short--but packing a GREAT wallop! Thanks. Marcia2004-06-06 18:54:27
Summer RainEdwin John KrizekEdwin--you not only have given us a very descript physical jungle--but also a spiritual jungle--where we are but do not belong--where we have to accept responsibility for things our brother did but for which we too by our very existance are responsible. The jungle's sweetness--and a curious spider hold me spellbown throughout this extremely good read. Sensual, sexual--outside your front door. I do not live in a jungle, but I too experience the sensual sexual world of creatures outside MY front doors--the birds and bees, as it were--the cats and dogs and earthworms and ladybugs--b ut I hadn't realized all this until you made me look at it through your poem. An excellent poem--ending rain washes me clean--something every person I think longs to feel. Makes me think about the creatures too--cats, dog, horses, cows, who all "wash" their babies, head to toe clean with their tongues--and how the young love it, cherish it, want to recapture it all their lives. A very universal theme in most creative, fresh language. Best. Marcia 2004-06-06 18:44:19
PhotographEdwin John KrizekEdwin--an excellent commentary on a photograph which I can relate to with every fiber of my being. I like the simple language that presents the complex thinking process--and I can put myself in your place on each and every line. I like the 'simplicity'--that really isn't simple, because even at the end, there are unanswered questions to which you allude no answers exist. What a paradox--huh? But life/love is like that. The idea is really 'new' and creative--if anything under the sun can be considered new. I think your next-to-last S. is really a 'universal' quest--we look at the 'last photo' of someone, something to see if we can sense the foreshadowing. But rarely is it there. "Faded film' 'unknown actors'--interest only to archivists (& those of us who search those answerless answers. Good job. I enjoyed! Best--Marcia2004-06-06 18:24:50
there was another treezen sutherlandzen---bravo! Wonderful fresh, insightful piece--a really orignal tour of that garden--and able. Love the fact that everything is in lower case--yet, the whole thought process is definitely upper case. There is color here, and story and remembrances, and originality--all the components of a fabulous piece. I think IMHO, this is real literature/poetry, and I loved it. Good luck! Marcia2004-06-04 19:49:10
Sisyphus' Epistle or The Humanist's PunishmentEdwin John KrizekHi Edwin. I haven't seen your name before--but that doesn't mean such since I'm here and gone again. This is wonderful--deep, terribly creative, and not hard to understand at all--just gives us a tour through your imagination and poetic reference. I love this, its tremendous movement--up and back and up again--you and this stone, sort of hooked together for all eternity--for better or worse. Your last line--zenith of despair--just sums it up wonderfully, and all the tumblings in between keep us in a suspenseful mode. Good work. I enjoyed this immensely. Best. Marcia2004-06-04 19:45:53
DawningNancy Anne KorbHi Desire of the morning's rose-- Nancy Anne Korb---how fresh this is to my ear. I'm beginning to learn that poetry (from the heart and not terrib ly contrived) is like a fingerprint---like no one else's and this is what this work reminds me of--a fresh touch, a fresh perspective. Nice rhymes too, and cadence. Being a songwriter, I always look/listen for cadence and this one has wheels--just moves us nicely along. In my humble opinion, let's don't be embarrassed about anything--a pseudonym, or a vanity publishing like poetry.com (I've only heard)--hey just express yourself and let the free thoughts flow. You have them pretty well channeled into nice rhymes and pictures--I just say: more power to you. Keep 'em comin'-- I'll look for you (under any name) again! Best, Marcia2004-06-04 19:31:40
Upon Making the Acquaintance of DeathEdwin John KrizekEdwin--(starting over because what I just wrote left the screen and is nowhere to be found now.) I like the vantage point you have given us here concerning death and I like your ending REJOICE! (And yes, I will). I am the naked musician playing eternal chords absolutely love these 2 beginning lines, Edwin. You give us an absolute yearning for the rest of the poem. "no responsibility save to end everything you know" okay-least we know where we stand! A fine poetic description of everything we always wanted to know about death---but were afraid to ask! Marcia2004-06-03 22:29:51
SeedlingsNancy Anne KorbNancy Anne--In my humble opinion, you definitely have the talent. It's easy to discern you have the desire. Having a passion for something is 9/10ths of it, you know. You display the passion and the love for words. You use interesting metaphors, poetic language, and good alliteration (Crade/chaos/create/children), good sense of rhythm and rhyme. AND, you are definitely among friends on The Poetic Link. You keep writing--I'll keep reading. Marcia2004-06-03 22:22:48
CaprioDeniMari Z.DeniMari---there you go again, you Old Soul you! This is excellent--understandable for me and opening the door to YOU wide open. Accept the fact that we're here. It is simple in presentation--has a kind of "take me or leave me" attitude. We blow into the world, like old gypsy souls in the winds of March. Love this opening sentence--very poetic, yet matter of fact at the same time. "old gypsy souls"--yes, that's the way I see you. Wise way beyond your years--always in a little pain, but dealing with it and writing it out of your body and soul. "courage to retrace our past" yes, ma'am, that's exactly what it takes--and that's what you apparently have plenty of. "step by step in our own direction"--what a mind you display for us. Great writing--keep it up--I'll keep reading. Marcia2004-06-03 22:18:48
The WatcherRegis L ChapmanWell, Regis, I guess it is "out there" but it had a flow of consciousness--I could discern the Planner of the Poem behind it all and that's why I'm commenting. I liked it in its "out there-ness". Enjoyed the pointers at some physics and high-math. I don't have to understand things exactly, to enjoy them. (There I am in a nutshell). Thanks for posting this complex piece. Marcia2004-06-03 22:13:41
What I Wish For In A FriendCathy Hill CookCathy--I know I'm a 'late-comer' on critiqueing this month, but I am stunned by the simplicity and originality of this sentiment--and how universal it is--but it's almost like "no one" actually SAYS it--but you are undressing your deepest sentiments for us--and saying I have always wished for a special friend like you--that cares how I am feeling. It's almost like asking: Will you be my best friend.--except in 'lover's language' that is so from-the-heart. It almost has the innocence of childhood interwoven. I'm guessing that most of us readers are wishing with all our hearts that you are indeed speaking to US. Lovely sentiment--the kind that I expect to find in Heaven! Thanks for sharing. Thanks so much. Marcia2004-06-03 21:36:16
I Wish I Could Write A Sonnetmarilyn terwillegerHi Marilyn--well, I'm the wrong person to tell you if this is a sonnet or not--I can just barely understand the rules myself. It would be the blind leading the blind. Before I start, though (leading you I know not where--teehee) What's a "nit"---is it perchance the front half of picking? If so, here I go--if not, clue me in! This is just beautiful writing and the passion really stirs me. I can feel you just wanting to turn those winsome grasses into something we can feel with our bare feet and smell with our noses. If you ask me, a passion for something is 9/10ths of it. Your misty cloven glen is an example of your wanting us to see through your eyes. And I do see it, and I feel it, and more important, I can almost hear the breathing of the poet. Moonlight romps and sips of nectared wine--wandering glints of sunshine (that's beautiful) Lolling aside a silver stream--we can hear the water "bathing our lips" never heard anything like that before. That inspiration is welling and overflowing in this poem. Sheer waters? whiffs of cowslips--that's where part of the fragrance comes from. You know what, Marilyn--I think I would leave out "Why can I not pen of these things?" because you just did pen of them wonderfully, and you go on to "pen" them after that--I truly love your quill and ink set--it brings in the Shakespeareaneankl;hkl; (however you spell him) era, and I love it esp. since we ALL use computers--and there you are with your quill! Have you checked your inkwell lately? No, just kidding. Yearns to be limned with shades of violet--you see what I mean? Yearns tells us more about the passions that strive. You've really put that across in this poem. Now, it would my suggestion to keep your last line--it ties front to back, as it were. And is held together by your sincere yearning. (was that a nit?--was it even close?) I'm not going to rest until I find out. Lovely, lovely piece! Marcia2004-05-10 19:08:19
My Mom's MotherhoodThomas Edward WrightO Thomas--I can see and feel where you are. On the 6th of May, as I sat critique-ing and trying to drum-up a great song title, I remembered my own Mom's passing. I sat there holding her hand and telling her of all the old times that were so special. But she was "reading" something" with her eyes or watching Jesus explain to her that she HAD to come with Him now, that she couldhn't stay and further nurture and guide her little Marcia that she had seen as a 16 year old for the last several years. I don't cry, and neither must you--since your Mom is in a great place, (maybe bragging to my Mom ab out you--and My Mom is bragging to her about me). (that's probably it.) But you "do her proud through your poetic grieving, and I do my Mom proud through the re-telling. Someday, Tom, we'll be the ones that our children will "make up" stories about. We do become greater post mortem, do we not? Just laffing. And thanks for posting. Marcia2004-05-09 01:54:51
Prima materiaMark Andrew HislopWell, Mark, your poetry always exposes the bone--for us to look at, no matter which way it was cut! I'm trying to get "in sync" with your feelings, so I can relate somehow. Sometimes, I can, and sometimes it's harder. Please...bear with me while I sprout my wings! You are the model, You naughty elastic clay. Well, I'm not sure I understand your ending-- Wham Take this gist In a circle To your thera- pist. But I certainly do like the effect--the breaking of thera--from pist--tells us a lot. Your inner rhyme did not escape my "quote careful unquote" eye--just laughing here. There's cynacism and sone anger here. I don't know you well enough to know why. But it piques my interest. But enough about me. Marcia2004-05-09 01:31:20
The Language of the AngelsValene L JohnsonValene--This is a beautiful poem with all the right, sparkling, "purely spun" words that it needs-- but the one line: flutter, flutter; ten-thousand tongues ruffle the spirit. in the midst of flight, cellophane heavens soar out the mouth. kissed of anguish the blue sky cries, "why do you not look upon me with lust anymore?" the lips ignite songs triumphant, and the wind stirs, and the sails glide. "why do you not look upon me with lust anymore?" would be so much better served to be two lines: "why do you not look upon me with lust anymore?" Don't you think? I halfway think this was an oversight because of the way it obviously sticks out. Everything else is brilliant--grand, fluid poetry that sings its way into my imagination. You have so much going for you here--but the one line needs to be shortened to fit the rest of the format. "time trickles time"--excellent, and of course it does, if you just think aBOUT IT. "the tongue of angels" is alos an excellent line. purely spun words birthed from the womb of naked light. This last verse could not be any better. It is poetic, "pure" "true" and "engaging" all at the same time. A Wonderful read. Marcia2004-05-09 01:24:15
My teacherMark Andrew HislopHi Mark--well, what we all live for on this site is feedback, feedback, feedback. This really speaks to me, and the best part is your ending "Watching me watching her go." Remember the song: I'll Be Lookin' Back To See If You'll Be Lookin' Back To See..if I'm lookin' back to see if you'll be lookin' back at me? I can still hum the tune and it's been a hundred years--maybe more. Laff. You've touched on my experience here and that's why I'm responding enthusiasticly. "watching her go, Watching me watching her go. How much clearer could it be. How much more nostalgic could it happen for me? You'll be a melted ice cream--pretty good, detailed description there! ng that she would see me, She stands out, orchid in bloom Against a concrete empire. Excellent S--and my favorite. The "orchid in bloom" and the "concrete empire" just say it all, in very poetic terms. My hair, too long and greasy Rattles like a squeaky door Your hair, too long and greasy--but rattles? Isn't there another word for long, greasy hair. Well, it's your poem--if that's what you want, I'll try to wrap my poetic imagination around it--laff laff. Getting wrong the attention I am desperate to compel. Yes, this sounds like a kid--"getting wrong"--a good line here to portray what a kid might think. No longer with will or way To congeal into some great Adonis for her senses Or radio she’ll tune to I sense the "young" desperation here--or the compulsion. Well, Mark, we've all been there--done that. Nothing unusual, except your bringing it back to our attention. (Thanks) I've already commented on your ending which, again, takes me back to the song I first cited. A cute, nostalgic trip into the insecurities of high school. My Best, Marcia2004-05-09 01:08:37
The deep divideMark Andrew HislopHi Mark--Well, here you're calling a spade a spade, and after a few readings through, I'm starting to "get it". It’s potentially amusing, the breakdown you find you share with millions of others who submerge their banal dysfunctions in their grocery shopping standing and waiting. Is that a bandage you’re wearing too? Actually, I don't wear my bandage anymore because I've had time to heal, but I certainly remember what it was like and I, too, like you, recognize the wound. This is like having what used to be called "second sight"--seeing the concerns of people you are standing in line with at the store. Your wife took 62% of your memories and still she wails with your wound she doesn’t notice she carries in to bathe her children, yours. Gosh, this is such a commonality--it's like every wife took 62%. I hear it all the time, but the "real" story is more tragic than that, whether she took it or he took it. Smile about it and troll the dating queues you’ll never find her again, all you ever wanted, wanted, had and lost in a half-generation snap. Smile about it? Might as well--both sides. Troll the dating queues? I've trolled the lake, but this must be similar. You just pass through an area and see what you hook. No he won't find her again. Maybe it's a good thing--maybe it's bad, it's just a fact of life. Everybody's got to face it, sooner or later. In a half-generation snap? Is that akin to a "cold snap"? Never mind. About 10 years, right? I know you're still there Rub the panel off this dull suburban lottery of love gold Come into my coma before I lose myself for once and for all. What? There's no come-back? But he's listening, right? You know he is--there's just no comeback. You're inviting him into your coma, before you lose yourself once and for all. Good insight into human nature--that always draws me. Good story telling. The lottery of love. Guess it is. Thanks for tickling me into my past. Marcia 2004-05-09 00:38:25
Almost Prose (leaning)Regis L ChapmanActually, Regis, I think it came from a strong truth--as strong as that North Dakota wind you remember. It reads easily and kept up my interest all the way. I couldn't help but think of John Wayne as you were lamenting your "leaning self"--you remember how distinctive his walk us--always like he was leaning into some prairie wind. Maybe just like you. You've managed some great internal rhymes and an easy-rolling feel to the whole piece: glad/sad/ mad--I like the "mad" the most because it makes that long-ago trip really believable--puts me there. "rounded mound"--you need another 't' is sitting. (s)ilent (s)ages (e)ndure (e)very (e)lements (e)vents----I see....who tolerate me. You seem to have included everything that's important in your life, a little of the past, a little of the present, a little philosophy and "thinking out loud"---and a real sense of self-acceptance at end--a sort of so-what--here I am. I'm wondering about your next to last line: seeking "then" flexibility and strength ...did you mean seeking "the". When I type, I have a heavy "k" finger so lots of words have a k somewhere in them. One little side-note about this piece, which I thoroughly enjoyed, is why not just call it Leaning. I remember someone mentioning about prose last month-- but they mention it to me too, and it doesn't seem to make much difference in the feeling that comes across. Let me know what you think. Best, Marcia2004-05-08 20:44:12
Rainbow BluesDeniMari Z.DeniMari I read your poems last month but just didn't have time to comment. It interests me about "the thread" that runs through a poet's fabric. Yours is sad with a little anger thrown in, but at the same time, I feel that you are expressing this WAY beyond your years. I have quite a bit on this one to comment on--but the following S. is the one that, I have to say, I like best because it reveals most: In the air the purest denial, a red flag that you salute as your rush by - as if it's existence is invisible to your eye. "the purest denial"--smacks of the current psychology of counselling where someone says YOU ARE! and if you say I'm NOT--then you're in denial. And it leaves you no place to go but deeper into your own truth. Which isn't bad, I guess. (I think that its existence is not possessive). S 1 - the ultimate misconception, done, to my mind, extremely well. (Also love your title!) No Life Courtesy Counter? But how can that be--everybody has a courtesy counter. This verse would be humorous under other circumstances. As it is, it is just the bare-bones truth-- and you've called everybody's bluff. Tricking your mind to accept Less is More. That is priceless and is a gem of wisdom you seem to have casually thrown in. We've all heard--maybe we've all bought it, but you aren't. And your star, lacking in dreams is held in the palm of your hand, while you quietly drift beyond another patch painting black and white rainbows in the sand. The last S. is sad. Imagine your star, lacking in dreams! that you hold in the palm of your hand. Your anger and frustration seem spent here "while you quietly drift beyond another patch--painting black and white rainbows in the sand. Black and white seems to represent all the hope that has vanished now. Black and white rainbows are worse than no rainbows at all. And even if they were tinted--they are in the sand, which shifts and washes away. You have done an excellent job here. But I wish life were better for you. Thanks for posting. Marcia2004-05-08 19:56:04
I Am Fred (chapter two)marilyn terwillegerMarilyn--first of all, whatever you (& Claire) are drinking, I'll have the same! Here is Fred again in his most spritely-elk-y self-y. See? Now it's happening to me! So he admits he was twitterpated--til he discovered "his love" was mostly bow-legged. How cute is that! The last few poems I've critiqued have been mostly serious--and I am sure ready for this one! (addlepated is what my online dict. says) Maybe it was intentional. (Maybe it was what you drank). It's the acorn beer--it just occured to me--you went up there in your fur bikini--got sloshed--and wrote a sequel to Fred. Fred is really cute. Let Claire talk you into a whole series! Laffs--Marcia2004-05-08 19:38:54
MorningMark Andrew HislopMark--”to peck their imperatives” (?) How cute is that! Lots of fun stuff here--your Now! and your “Double”--yup, gives us “the full whack of it”, alright! No doubt about that. Without saying it in your first S., I see hair standing up straight and a dehydrated body trying to get it all together again--your mint leaves ‘freshen’ the whole verse--your espresso does what it does the best! Ah, now, “Resurrected”-- “folks”--that brings it down to include everybody--stagger/stage daylight/duties. Grey lumps and clump paint the perfect picture here for me. still only “dreaming” of “preening”--twitch, lurch, peck--yes, we’ve discussed that. In your third S., you are telling us that, by golly--or whatever expression YOU use, it’s not so bad--and you’re going to have another stab “every tomorrow”! Clean and narrow on the page. Title is “up-front” with the reader. Good job. Marcia2004-05-08 18:38:08
The world is wet.Jane A DayHi Jane--I first read this poem a week or so ago and it's been churning around in my mind ever since. The reason for it is, I believe, your poetic slant on human nature itself. Truth to tell, it's the startling white flowers that keep the scene enchanted from one day to the next, because white flowers DO startle on moonlit nights when nothing else even shows except in shadow. So that was a marvelous picture for me to hold whenever I see your name. "The rain heavy" is a mood-setting beginning, and like the "once upon a time" we settle in for a good read. I see this person naked and face-up among the grass--water, water everywhere--nothing is much wetter than wet grass and wet hair! They just don't "whoosh" dry out. It's the next S. that pricks at my imagination. Yes, I see the neighbors checking their windows "for the seep, for the glimmer of drops"---but neighbors being neighbors and people being people, there's the curiosity of it on their parts. Just checking the windows--uh-huh. But seeing you-- and perhaps the absurdity of it all, the "letting life soak you" part of it, the courage and downright audacity of it--could...just could...make the peeker out the window "wish" he/she had had the guts to do it. Perhaps it's something you've always wished to do--and perhaps it's something everyone wishes they could do. YOu haven't mentioned any color but white, but my mind sees alot of green and silver-heavy rain, some grey clouds, more silver raindrops--and perhaps a mirror image of the sky right there in your overspilling navel. Write on! Marcia2004-05-07 00:50:09
As Circles CloseC ArrownutHi C--(I know I'm running behind and in circles which brings me directly in front of your poem here). This reader feels as though she's been taken through a physics/history class in six well-formatted stanzas. Your first verse starts with the super-large end of things and the last seems to downsize to the tinier, immediate circle of where we/I live. You say each circle completes because a new one must begin. This reminds me of "teeth". Watch on the news last night that we are now able to "seed" a tooth so that a new tooth will grow--at least in mice and we assume...laugh. So then I thought, the reason baby teeth fall out is because the larger tooth is pushing it out---thus your circles that close because a new one MUST begin, even though each renewal DOES become lost in nature's law of repetition (recycling also???) I am quite caught in how tight this is. Lots of us could say it in 3 times the verses, but you have allowed us to "speed-read" all of these thoughts and notions in a short piece. Your temples of Apollo built on faults speaks volumes about so much of what mankind does--and sort of points me toward the biblical reference to build our houses on a rock, etc. etc. (Is "affaires" a typo, or is there a different word I don't know about?--) Without saying it per se, you have referenced a couple of times that water seeks its own level, thus the "poetic physics" that always draws me in. Jordan's Quantum poem is an example as well. This is short because time rushes on and I have miles to go before I sleep. Best to you, Marcia2004-05-06 09:00:45
Rock a Bide WomanLynda G SmithHi Lynda--I saw this poem some while ago, but had so many other things I was trying to do--we all know how that is. Last I looked, it was really doing well on the poem contest. I hope it continues. This is impactful, to say the least. Your ((((Pound))))) just grabs our attention and we feel this piece as much as we read it. But then the in-between parts or so soft/hard, contemplative/non-contemplative that you have made me almost feel like I'm there. Heaven forbid. Down to the rock marble of my bones, There is also (IMO) some very skillful writing going on here, besides the most creative idea of it all. Some savage sequence, A chipping search for What exists beneath. No history, No memory Defines me. I am as yet not. The staccato sentences add to the pain/sharpness/searching aspect. The cast off shards of Broken evidence. Yes--this is one way of saying it! Thick onion layers of skinned emotion, Smooth sedations of toil Diffuse the crying oil. I particularly like the "onion layers". In my wombed tomb Love the inner rhyme here--almost a touch of humor, although it is not a humorous piece. Birth, So bloody painful, To guarantee the death of innocence. guaranteeing the death of innocence. Isn't that the truth! There are so many things in the natural order of this universe that guarantee the outcome, but this is stated in a particularly captivating way. Counting the consequences Of time. Excellent ending---leaves us still in a state of expectancy, but cleverly done. Thanks for a carefully written piece. Good luck to you in the contest. Marcia 2004-05-04 15:05:02
GoneMark Andrew HislopMark--I think I have just discovered--or re-discovered you. I'm pretty sure you were here a couple years ago when I was here also--and maybe I've grown some, but I find this riveting. Gone Give us space between the hours Or time between the miles To take the desert to our water Our teary sovereignty The thing that really inspires me about this piece is it "almost" down to earth enough to let the sand sift through my fingers--and yet each S. has a "gem" of pure (IMO)poetic stance to knock my socks off! I was pretty "through" for last month, really--what with a life to try to run in some acceptable direction--Laugh--and then I found this. Take the desert to our water--that did it for ME! Make a ready wit our anchor While fingers walk our lips To where all winds fall in a pool Of sudden yesterdays "wit our anchor"--(like a word explosion)--fingers walk our lips--wow---to where all winds fall in a pool of sudden yesterdays. All four lines here: cut my mustard. Ride naked on fallen bridges Swing from a snapping vine Teach me grace to lose everything In emptiness of days Same here--bold images--oh if we all could learn the grace to lose everything. Now that's grace. In emptiness of days--almost incomprehsible and certainly feared, but contemplated here just the same. When you recite the universe You won’t remember me. Where do you go to find these expressions? To the outer-reaches, I guess. Well, I'm glad I stopped by--this is my kind of poem. It's a recipe for living as I see it--because we do this and then it's/we're gone. But oh what a mark you make in the meantime. Good Luck. Marcia 2004-05-04 14:44:31
"Hill's By The Sea"Cathy Hill CookHi Cathy-- BIGGER THAN BIG IS GOD INTO ETERNITY FOREVER, How wonderful is this poem and the above line which is the centerpiece of your theme, although it isn't placed in the center. All your words of Praise for our God shows me so much WHO you are and how you think in your inner being, and HOW you were raised. One can feel your soul rapturing at God's Creation, and the fact that it is YOUR speck of the Island Shore--you are sharing your overflowing cup with the readers. That one can feel so grateful is perhaps the diamond in the gold here. Actually, sometimes I tune into the Catholic masses on Chanel 61 here just to hear the a capella (sp??) singing of the men or women, and I can hear this poetic expression in the same melodic way. I think you have used all the words there are to describe the heavenliness of this place and your place therein. How fortunate you are! There is just something irrisitible about praise and thanksgiving--it gathers people around you as surely as a light or flame draws a moth. I am picking out some of my favorites--both for the pictures you draw and for the poetic alliteration you have enticed our ears with. majestic moments - speck of the Island Shore--atmosphere lets our worries and frets fall and melt so free,--when the sun rises and falls, God speaks to us Spiritually by his finger painting colors separating his Heavenly walls.000000 This is especially poignant and fresh since you don't hear of the sun "falling" as you have it here--but when you're around the water, it must seem indeed that it falls right off the edge of the earth! The twinkles of the stars are his Holy Angels, the moon His Glorious Crown.000000000000000000This is describing a beautiful, grand church--only this is outdoors. I can feel your love for Him! The waves dressed in transparent white are God’s edging of His lace on His Gown. This is a prayer, Cathy--or a hymn--and includes your heart. It is much appreciated by this reader. We are told to: if there be anything good or holy or pure-l-think on these things--and that is exactly what you have done here. Such a fine tribute to your family's beautiful "speck" of this earth. My Best--Marcia 2004-05-02 22:23:37
Blue Dragonfly - RevisitedJoanne M UppendahlHi Joanne--when I saw this (bright and early for me) this morning, I hoped, really hoped that you weren't going to take out "my splendor hunger"--as I noted was suggested by a reader, because splendid hunger is not what you're saying here--and splendor hunger thrilled THIS reader, so I am glad to see it stayed! Tell you what, I see the little changes--flickeringings was a typo, so no biggie, but taking the "a" out before mate or marauder reads better and says more.--(as a sparkling adornment--) reads better as well. Such tiny tiny changes, but that's what re-writing entails as we veteran re-writers know all too well. Again, your two wings are in place, which I loved right off the bat--and there you go, my Second Opinion--laugh. Now Joanne, I am going on a weekend trip -- which is a bad time for The Poetic Link, I know, but it has to happen. I'll be back Sunday night in time to take part in whatever's happening then. Just so you know. Best--Marcia PS--splendor hunger and marauder still light my candle!2004-04-30 08:37:54
Blue DragonflyJoanne M UppendahlJoanne--what a gift you have and you give it to all of us so generously. I looked on my sheet about an hour ago and you weren't there--now you're slipping away! Well, guess that's an old tape by now--laugh. Well, first off, your FORM is in the shape of two wings! How splendid is that! And the words you've chosen (lyrics really) are as light and 'airy' as the insect you're describing for us. "the slight toss of your head" and "eyes seem to sweep this space"--I've probably said this before, but you've created a mini-Disney movie--we want to name this exquisite and playful creature. I think it's the head and eyes reference. "Flickerings"--the word almost sprouts wings itself and "mate or marauder"--I really took two looks when I came to marauder-- what a word for this delicate little creature--does he REALLY marauder (I asked myself...) Well, yes, I suppose to a mate it could look like a marauder. How funny. Sparkling adornment--aesthetic angel--Disney would've had this little guy on the big screen for sure! Ah--my favorite--I wonder if you divine another life form. Glad you brought this up--because our cat does this all the time. She watches someone standing behind my chair, and her eyes look this way and that as if someone is moving. I never knew how to describe that before, really, but you have done it for me. I was really amazed when I read that part--is it physics or metaphysics. Maybe a little of both. YOur "splendor hunger"--how aptly put, and we know you do have that, Joanne--and I have a hunger always to read more and more as your spirit rises from the pages. You have made this reader extremely happy. Thank you. (& nitey nite) Marcia2004-04-28 23:32:48
Between Seventeen and Eighteenmarilyn terwillegerHi Marilyn-- I read this eagerly as though each line were a frame in a movie. It has a mood and a 'feel' just as all your poems do. In fact, weather 'colors' a lot of your writing--sometimes those colors are 'raw' and 'chill' and never forget 'wind', but you write them here just as surely as a painter would brush the cold upon a canvas. A gelid and heartless wind invaded her gaunt sanctuary. Its gust, razor sharp, sliced and pricked her sparsely clad body. She needed to solve this problem but tonight she was just too tired, too cold, too hungry. This is the S. I like the best. (Had to look up gelid--but it's a good word to use here, and maybe I should have figured it out from "gel"? her gaunt sanctuary rips at us as we watch. gust, razor sharp, sliced and pricked/sparsely all good picture 'feeling' words. As soon as I read "too tired"--it was like the prosidy music that comes along in films just before the bad thing happens. "I guess I'll go home" she thought, I can make amends but first I need some sleep." She began to feel a shawl of warmth caress her body and her eyes felt lead heavy. She hugged her knees to her chest sitting in an upright fetal position. And when she says she needs some sleep. Being raised in a northern climate, I was always being told--never go to sleep--never go to sleep--you'll freeze and die. Anyway, the handwriting was on the wall for this child as soon as I read that. Now, Marilyn--I'm sure Wayne will tell you (I call him my Punctuation Coach-- and I'm darned lucky to have one!) "I guess I'll go home," she thought. "I can make amends but first I need some sleep." The commas I don't know about, but she should have quotes around her words--just as she should have a warm coat around her body! Between Seventeen and Eighteen is a real 'pull' for most of us--whoooa--because we're all amazed we lived through that year ourselves! Very nice read--pulls lots of empathy and sympathy from the reader and uses the right choices of words. THanks for the break--I needed to get away from my uploading problems! Best, Marcia 2004-04-28 18:17:01
Majourney WellThomas Edward WrightTom-- This is so well done, I am stuck between breaths. THe language, incredible--fantastically poetic, has the ring of sadness, and yet, of course, your ending is not sad. Well, it is and it's not at the same time. I see from opposing shore Her anticipated arrival: Fair thee well mama-door. This is the happy ending, for her at least, as I see it--her anticipated arrival--and mama-door. (Only you.) I am sure, being as careful as you are and as articulate, that you intended to use: Fair tee well. But my dictonary online states it as "fare-thee-well"--I have even learned that all online dictionaries are not created equal, possibly because of their create-ors. Anyway, this is a fine effort and will stick with this reader, probably forever--since forever's not that far away. (IMO) Thanks. Marcia2004-04-24 12:14:35
Instructions for My BurialJoanne M UppendahlDear Joanne--I have to respond now--2 hrs. ago you were up near the top. Now you are nearly at the bottom--I HATE THIS PART ABOUT THE SITE--it's like "time (nor the Poetic Link) waits for no man. Gheeze--I just had to fix supper--that's all! Anyway, this is beautiful--and really touches me where I live because I have wondered what I, too, should leave as instructions. No one ever thinks to leave 'beautiful' instructions--it's just blah blah blah blah. The old legalese--etc. "Upon the Lord let all the hope of Israel rely." oh I am taken aback. I am breathless in the face of this writing. I am stamped into the rock of this reality. !! We must be kindred spirits--I can see no way around it. (now here I am commenting on your additional notes--but, as I've said before, not only to you but others I have commented on---we ARE our poetry--just as we ARE our critiques--and just as we ARE our "additional notes." I often think--when the Lord sits me down and asks: ok--what are the premises of your reality--I will start with blah blah blah and continue into blah blah blah and end with: THe Lord Our God-the Lord of Israel--is One. Because everything hangs thereupon. (for me In my humble opinion.) Your first verse: Dress me in my moss green sweater, my mother’s pearls, clean jeans and soft socks. is so elemental--I can see you, Joanne--as I can see myself. Nothing fancy, please, just "comfort clothes" and add the sentiment of mother's pearls. You come from such depths, it makes me cry. Place a granite coffee pot at my head pine cones at my feet, grandmother’s “Blue Monday Poems" in my hands. I know we are not supposed to do this (but I'm so mad at this site, I will!!!) a granite coffee pot--now what kind of memories are entwined in that--I suppose it's a future poem or perhaps a past one that I have not read) Pine cones. Oh, me too. Me too. I wrote a story once: Save A Green One For Me--and it was to this same effect--when it's all over, the green things (I consider pine cones to be in that bunch) those are the things that were important. Your grandmother's writings--I think she is smiling from heaven at her "little granddaughter" who followed in her footsteps. Sea water, enough to cover--sounds like a recipe. In this case: hmmmmm. (reader laughs). I confess I haven't read Ps. 131 lately--and if I do it now, this whole thing will dissolve from my screen, so will read it afterward, but the idea is there--and I am taking notes because I may have to plagiarize when I get ready to do "mine". ! Oh, the picture-thing is funny-==and I'll tell you why. I keep wanting a "great glamour shot" of myself for the ob. column--and everything turns out to be terrible--and I think perhaps, the dog's nose (or moon) might just say it all. I will keep this in mind as I struggle for the perfect 'shot'. Musicians, if available: red-headed woodpeckers, Pacific tree frogs, rain. This is too funny. Yes, wouldn't we all love musicians--but in the event we can't get musicians-- well, yes, red-headed woodpeckers would be nice--or if we can't get those, the frogs--or rain. I thank God for you, Joanne. I don't care how 'strange' it sounds. I'm at the age where I can thank God for whatever-the-heck-I want-to! Thanks for this wonderful poem. (You realize it makes it hard to 'choose'. Oh well--I can face hard choices! Your friend--Marcia 2004-04-22 22:03:57
The Last VisitSherri L. WestGosh, Sherri--I want to say you have your mother's gift--but we all know you have your very own. This takes my breath away--another winner for sure. Some of my favorite concepts here are: Lemon trees burdened with spring’s first blossoms blessed the afternoon air This contradiction in terms--or opposites is really stunning--burdened/blossoms/blessed “Welcome-stranger-have-we-met-before” smile pierced my soul Right here, we really realize what's going on--piercing your soul (pierced mine!) lost you in the haze of the past We are protected against everything but time, I guess. Nicely put. you remembered your childhood but not mine We sipped cool lemonade and yearned to connect hearts and souls so much emotion here in these 3 lines. YOu know she wants to connect hearts and souls--but she just can't quite get there. . You recalled someone with my name… You see, there are so many wonderful lines throughout, it would be impossible to choose. And your approach is unique, as well. wind whipped prairie, I searched your face and found my spirit Another really beautiful phrase, with the alliteration, not overpowering, only enhancing the thought. You gave me a gift you didn’t know you had. These treasures come from the 'deep, wise' you--they just seem to bubble up from somewhere and blaze their trails across the page, don't they? Can you see that I’m still crying? I think you've hit on a universal feeling here. When tragedy or even the normal "dying from old age" happen, we tend to cry in different ways for years--not always tears, but sometimes just a groaning in our spirit. But God must have intended this event to expand our spirits--perhaps that's part of why we cry--we are being expanded, a little like giving birth, we are expanded beyond what we think we can stand, but that's the way it is intended and I don't believe death is happenstance. Very nice, Sherri--Good Luck--Marcia ;+) 2004-04-20 23:22:45
SummerSherri L SmithHi Sherri--several things really appeal to me about this short poem: I'm learning (from folks who know--laugh) that even though the syllables are right and the line-number is right, it isn't necessarily haiku or even senyru--and so I just agree with Wayne--just write it in this form--and title it, and it's a three lined poem. Of course, the title falls right into the bin of s's that you've got going here--and s's are the right sounds for all the words you have listed here. In fact 'of' and 'on' are the only two words that don't fall into the 's' or 'r's category--and yet, they are two (prepositions???) (It's been over 50 yrs. since I took an English class--laugh again). Anyway, the two propositions that share the 'o'. sizzling/steak/scent/symphony/summer/sounds/sun/ray(s)/arm(s). I think it's the sizzling steak scent that involves my nose right away--and then I'm like Pavlov's dog--I'll just let it go at that! These are fun, aren't they--obviously for you too! Good job. Thanks for submitting. Marcia2004-04-18 17:20:26
japanese verse 45 (Stream)Erzahl Leo M. EspinoHi Erzahl--(it's me again--hope you don't mind!) The middle line 'makes' this poem for me--with its metaphorical shoulders of mountains--actually I've never read a piece with mountains personified before--but it's a great idea and make s a refreshing 3 lines poem. I know syllables didn't allow you to say runs to the open sea--but it's BETTER, it's just 'tighter' and more like the poetry you are representing here. The hidden rivulet, even though it's hidden, we, the reader, can see this, like by some "magic vision"--we see, and is so appropriate to what happens in nature--the little rivulets disappear for a time and then pop up somewhere else. We have those in Wyoming also-- little streams that absolutely go underground for miles and then pop back up, so I can relate very well with your first line. Again, your middle line is the 'metaphorical masterpiece' that draws me irrestibly to this piece. Thanks for another great submission to keep fresh reading always ahead of me. !! Marcia2004-04-15 19:30:17
Why is it that.....Sherri L. WestSherri--like mother like daughter--I'm sure you're sick of that one! laugh. This poem is great fun, and from one who is on social security and medicare--and gravity has done terrible things to my body (haha), I will only say: Good for you--and best of luck!!. Ah, gravity--that physical reality that makes us stay on this earth. Without it--well you know what the smart say! You will defy senility, and I so hope you do--at least as long as you can. You may find that it's nice to have social security there (so you can do a few naughty things that you wouldn't be able to otherwise-- but you can talk to your Mom about that maybe...). The ending was such a surprise to this reader--a comedy really. Such great fun. Aptly titled. Professionally executed. Very very fun. Think I'll get rid of my mirror too--not that it does that much good with my eyes getting older than dirt--but at least I look in it--see no wrinkles--see a 25 yr. old with much wisdom--no scars-- no spot--no blemish--just God's perfect creation. Well, he must have planned it that way. Spotlessly-unwrinkled-ly yours, Marcia 2004-04-14 20:10:53
Untitled 2stephen g skipperHello Stephen (again, hello) This is probably the most emotionally transparent poem I have ever read. I cannot NOT resond. If I could say "the" word or do "the" thing that would carry you across this terrible hour, I would--but none of us have ever figured it out. They call it "five stages of grief" but I don't know...either the five stages are really long--or else there are more stages. I've had a season of joy, Followed by a season of sorrows, Where she has gone, I will surely follow. The first line pulled me right in, and the second reads a little like Ecclesiastes--I can surely follow this reasoning, since I've had my own seasons of the same. We call them seasons, but the sorrow-ones can seem more like years. The 'tilt' of your sorrows/follow half-rhyme drives home the awful pain. It works like prosidy in a film, where the dissonant bass notes preceed the "bad scenes." On the other hand, I don't think this was on purpose--more, just grief working its way out in any way it can. S2 is really beautiful, haunting, inspired and a gift to all who read, even though we feel the season of your heart, we still appreciate the poet's gift. "so easy to remember"---both a blessing and a curse! Waiting for a thunderbolt of reason, Arms now outstretched, For a lightening strike of truth, Waiting for those answers, those reasons from heaven, arms outstretched, similar to the pain and plea of the crucifixion. At first I thought you meant "lightning", but reading further, I think it was a play on the words-- you want the light-en-ing of answers, of truth to ease your burden. Now, if that's what you meant, that is superb! I think your use of 'opposites' is most effective--how she's gone--...but so close. In poetry (as well as in grief) I do believe we can have it both ways. I will keep the faith, After my own fashion, Never to forget her utter love and passion. Ending with the wonderful, compactful rhyme--fashion/passion is craft at its best--and yet, I don't believe you are really concerned with 'craft' here--just getting those feelings out, on paper, a kind of tribute to her, a kind of release for you--somewhere between a eulogy and breathing. My best to you, Stephen. Time will help. Marcia 2004-04-13 19:33:50
Thumb of GreenMell W. MorrisHi Mell--wow, I am envious of her garden--and your inner rhymes and way with a story or portrait, this is. Each line is so earth-filled, that I almost think you've been out there in the dirt yourself, producing enough for your town. What a generous thought that is, and I think it reflects true garden- lovers everywhere. (At one time I actually wanted to get a hit song so I could afford to buy a farm north of Phoenix and drive produce for city dwellers who could not afford to buy--my friend & I laugh about that dream to this day) But you have hit the nail on the head with the idea that she knows "the sharing part is the heart of her beloved garden. Your inner rhymes shine is practically each line, but they are so ORIGINAL and fresh. Who would have guessed: glance/plants? dew-kissed/crisp. Her peas are pleased and her leeks peak. This has breath, Mell--I can see the heart of this poem beating. My favorite line is the picture of her in the wide-brimmed hat, shading the glowing sheen of her face. Kindness spills itself all over your page. Gleefully is such a good word for how her corn waves--it reflects the supreme generosity of the gardener and of God who gives every good thing in its season. I can just see this corn--its wave is irristible-- I would have to stop in! The colors have come forward too--peas are green, corn is yellow, leeks are green/white, the good earth is dark (rich brown), the tomatoes are probably red, her hat is straw colored. You can't help yourself, I know, but everything you write has such depth and power, stemming from a source of knowledge, I can't get to the bottom of it--nor do I want to--I just want more to read. Thanks and Best Wishes! Marcia 2004-04-12 22:49:19
CanticleJoanne M UppendahlHi Joanne! you're tickled about spring, aren't you! My heavens, I check The Link 20 times a day and The Canticle has been on there and has almost gone off my screen. I don't like how that happens. I think everybody should have a chance to critique the new poems, no matter how popular they are. Mell's is right behind yours, about 3rd from the bottom, so hurry hurry! I had to look up Canticle, although I remember it from attending the Episcopal Church, I believe-- : SONG; specifically : one of several liturgical songs (as the Magnificat) taken from the Bible Anyway, there I have it--and a song it is. I am so conditioned. I see your name and I know I'm gonna love it, and you have definitely made this a song with your "chorus being repeated with just a change in the time of day. The 's's' sing, esp. in S 1, but the p's get their air-time too, with tulips/ upturned/cup/purple/praising/(s)leepily/prayers/petals each tilted face an upturned cup such a definite picture here--I could draw these flowers from this line alone. of purple red or yellow gold, each your colors are really the boldest--no pastels of summer in this line! Just the bold shout of spring. And your blossoms have ears! Well how cute and artistic is THAT?! o’er din of birds’ ah, we have a counter-melody going here in both "choruses". The day's begun--the day's begun! Such excitement in song and so true of the birdsongs--they just go wild in celebration for the morning. You have captured that here. from petals closing over tulip eyes Sounds to me like the tulips have no choice, once the petals close over their eyes--like: bedtime tulips! As flickering spring songs are sung Then your chorus again--you know, flickering is a great descriptive here--is this an "action adjective"? I know this poem "readied me up" for spring and ushered me into the mood of it with a flourish of color and song. I've been waiting for your April offerings to begin and am so glad I caught this one. I'm curious how you came up with your title. If you get time or feel inclined, let me know, ok? Thanks for Joy today! Marcia PS--& excuse--I just noticed your clever rhyme scheme--I think the ear takes it for granted, but there it is in all its wonderful Craft: glistening/listening....sung/begun.....deeply/sleepily......arise/eyes....&.....sung/done. Well done!MM 2004-04-12 22:30:22
TwistersSherri L SmithHi Sherry--you're slipping down my list--dammit, wish it wouldn't DO that! Please God, I pray, protect my loved ones This is the crux--and the reader knows it's a writer who has "lived some"--because her hope is not so much for herself as for her loved ones. We do reach that stage, don't we? I know God planned it that way. Sometimes I wonder if God really had a plan for people who were getting older--but, of course, he did--look at Sarah. This had to be terrifying! Looking for memories to salvage. Such a heart-wrenching statement. But I am guessing there is total truth in that--when everything is blown away--we look for memories to salvage. Probably a family picture is worth far more than the blender or toaster--or a chair. Rain blowing sideways Another really descriptive line--I have been in those kinds of rainstorms--but not twisters as you describe. But...no matter where you are, the forces of nature are so powerful, you ask: What is man that You are mindful of him--just like David. How anything survives these is a miracle in itself. Total devastation--survivors picking through the rubble--and really? a wooden branch imbedded in the large fish's mouth. I'm surprised, yet not, because I've heard such stories. But how we live thru them is another question. The alliteration adds to the storm somewhere: winds/whipping/spotters/scouting/skies/watches/warnings/ weather. Well, yes, weather--I guess so! Lots of alliteration, here, but I have a feeling, it was a little subconscious, because the storm itself is so primary that you would just "tell it" "tell it"--now I do really like the indentation of every other line--it looks so planned--and makes me think I should "plan" more myself--rather than just blabbing the thoughts and whipping them onto the page. Hmmmm. You can tell ME, next time you critique me. Springtime in the Midwest. (Sure makes me want to GO there--laughoutloud) The sound of a freight train--magnified. You know, I've heard "survivors" tell of avalanches that way. They could hear this terrible roar--then...the white wave. 'course that's survivors--the rest aren't talking. Well, nature is certainly a force. I wrote a critique of Mell's poem about the river and "felt" the force of the river--because standing there just makes me feel like a mite--a flea--so vulnerable. When I was younger (& could run) I didn't feel that way. I felt I had a chance--but now, nature's forces could smish me in a twinkle. Only God keeps us safe anyway. I implore Him hourly! Thanks for a great read--an insight into this terrible force--and thank God you all survived it. Impactful! Marcia 2004-04-12 01:13:26
Who Slew My Daffies?marilyn terwillegerBless you, Marilyn--and my condolences! Is this the newest addition to your "I Am Fred" book of serious poetry? hoot hoot hoot! What a pleasant Eastern morning surprise for me. You are really rolling them out, aren't you--or are you re-rolling? I know we're not supposed to copy/paste, but it's such an easy way to cover everthing--and besides (Chris) this is short- Who slew those Daffies anyhoo? Cranky old Winter thats who Jack Frost Froze their Noses a Fiesty wind Added to The brew Poor little Daffies all Hunched over Looking like An old sot With a hangover. Happy Easter Title pulls me right in--immediately--I knew what "daffies" were; I have them too (of course, mine think they live in the bananna belt compared to yours!) 'anyhoo'---what halfway-cowboy poet like myself wouldn't appreciate that! Cranky old winter--the personification of winter, followed by the familiar personification of frost (universally known), the froze/nose tickles my rhyme-meter. Fiesty is good adj. for wind (how well you should know that!!!) Daffies hunched over, like cattle, horses and all living things sort of hunch for protection--an old sot with a hangover. Happy Easter (from Wyoming!) is such a laugh. Now, also, this narrowness on the page is something that has always attracted me--can't tell you why, but I think it has to do with the speed that your eye can travel. When I was a kid in Mountain View, we used to go to Salt Lake just before Easter because we had no shops in Mountain View, and their daffies and crocuses, those little hyacinths were all up and looking so spring like. Air was balmy--then back to Wyoming and the things you describe in your cute poem. As an aside, have you read Tom's latest? I laughed until Jim thought he was going to have to seek outside help! Something about Things Old Men ... Let me know by email when you read it. It was on my list last night--the elusive list that dissolves in front of your eyes. The hologram list. Thanks for a great, uplifting read. Happy Easter to you as well! Marcia2004-04-11 10:57:34
What Old Men Struggle with at Times Like ThisThomas Edward WrightTom--these "Norman Rockwell" scenes (can't help but use it again!) are your long suit. We are inside your head the whole time, and we see you being a smart man who knows the "slaughter" to use your word going on in the world (on every channel)--the irresponsibility of the rabbits--what a hoot that one is! Meanwhile, you are a man with children (believers teehee) and they believe in your hiding the eggs. The Jews are Passover-ing. The Christians are Resurrecting. The Atheists are blatantly planting chocolate bunnies in plastic grass. I worry about them. Especially the bunnies. At the same time, we have this unassuming assessment of the different religions--and I love what the Atheists do--and I love that you worry about "them" and mean the bunnies! Humor is alive and well in this piece. I will always see you, Tom, in red plaid pajamas--sorry, but you started it, and that's just the way my mind works--it may forget the rest, but not the red plaids. Everytime I read this it strikes me funnier until I am laughing out loud and my husband thinks I've lost it. He looks a little 'worried' and asks--what is it? I say--it's this poem--it is so funny and I break down laughing again. I don't know. But there's this Royal Chaos going on, and bless your heart, you are just relishing the black jelly beans and paying tribute to the aetheist god. (Don't forget the God of Israel--O see and taste that the Lord is good)-I'm paraphrasing, because it's been awhile. I can't resist copying these next two lines, because they are so good: It died with that slow discoloration of its face. The little green lights along the top tell the story. I can't say enough--I shall read this again and again. (I'm waiting for a commercial to read it to my husband--the savages are spearing the tigers right now). Marcia2004-04-11 00:42:47
Midnight Stallionmarilyn terwillegerAh Marilyn--this thrills me to the BONE! As soon as I saw it was posted I HURRIED to my own new poems list, else it would get critiqued by others and vanish out of sight! You have put the horse to paper here, and I can feel his strength and hear your heart pounding! "weak-kneed but held..." your stand. I can feel the emotion going clear thru me. And the fact that he muzzled your palm is just incredible--and the fact that you dared stand there. Well it's all just action-filled, and drama-- yes you have captured the drama. "Leafless wilderness"--what a picture (of most of Wyoming--laugh!!) but what a description--right off the bat I could see you, sense the wildness of it all--country and horse. Ooh, yes, I have some favorite lines here too--my eyes just search them out and drink them in--don't yours? and a falcon skulked overhead, vulpine by nature he dove then soared across time and the falcon skulks and soars across time--well, go take a nap Marilyn--you deserve it! What writing-- what pictures. the mystic peaks that prop up heaven, This is truly inspired--I guess this has to be the favorite, but there are so many! what to do what to do The withers of this regal mustang shivered, withers/shiver---and so do I eyes cloaked with doubt------that's instinct I guess. That renegade of beauty engraved romantic magic on a parched uncluttered plain and the chained palisades of my heart Here's another beauty and inspired ending. "uncluttered plain" ties us in with your opening scene about leafless wilderness. You know I didn't know what to call that country--I was thinking "high desert" but of course, plain is the word--the right word and the only word for this ending-- chained palisades is a thrill too. (This is gonna do good!) Whew--glad I got to comment--they go so fast, it seems like I can't look away for a moment--my house looks like it too, but I've been trying to find my prescription glasses and have turned everything upside down and inside out...to no avail except the house looks like burglers went thru. Luck! Marcia2004-04-10 18:05:03
Rising to the OccasionMell W. MorrisHi Mell---you and Seamus; Seamus and you. Why don't you suggest we 'study/discuss' him next time. I have printed some of his pieces from the internet, but right now am concentrating on L. Gluck. The first verse here reminds me nostalgically of "amber waves of grain". Your ever-present inner- rhymes lull me--I 'wave' in the first verse and rock with the water in the second. "At the river, passion silts down course"---I have never heard this term used before--down stream, but down course is fresh and makes me reach a little. (it's a good thing.) Love the dip and sway. Second verse makes me remember standing beside a large river (like our Snake, for instance) and there is so much power in the water and the wind and all the forces of nature that it's thrilling and frightening at the same time. I get this again, vicariously, through your second S. "as reed music (xlnt) serenades along river. I feel you have eliminated "little" words on purpose here, to get the essence of the raw surroundings. It's very effective. For example "along the river" is more me--and "along river" is more you. Leaving the "the" out paints a little of the toughness of the outdoors--and I know it is very tough. "A Coign of vantage"--? Well, there's a term you don't hear every day but says succinctly what you want to say--"delivers a span of nature--wow, just chalk-full of surprising new insights and expressions for this reader to lap up. "fragrant flueorescence with the essence"--just plain good poetry, and more good descriptions. You want your readers to be standing there with you and you have succeeded. Stirring, soaring--radiant effulgence. You always leave me wanting more, Mell. This has been great fun (& I always learn something!) Thanks---My Best, Marcia2004-04-10 00:08:32
Talking About It with My DadThomas Edward WrightTom--This is priceless--you know, like the TV ad? You have painted TWO Norman Rockwells for me, spirited me away to another time and brought my own homelife into sharp and nostalgic focus. As personal as a car-wash, was it? Now if this were a movie I was watching, I would just sit back and get all reminiscent-y and enjoy, but when I piece it down, you have cleverly taken the high points of the attitude of the era and parceled out the centerpieces for us to glimpse. Reading this, I have to laugh with tears in my eyes (& I'm serious) because whenever someone takes me back to my own talks with my Dad, I turn to jello. I think my Dad did 'skirt' on the birds and bees with me, his daughter, but my mother could never bring herself to. Finally, the local horse 'n' buggy (literally) town Doctor--Doctor MacLeod called all 8 of us girls from the 8th grade together in the pews of the Masonic Lodge and told us about menstruation. I had been "doing that" for 3 yrs. by that time, but I sat respectfully because such were the times. Here's your Dad, giving you a book, and putting your Beetles record on (for distraction or to make you comfortable--or to make HIM comfortable! It's just all too funny--then you, follow suit, and tell your siblings: nothing--nothing they'd understand, following the pattern that has been handed to you. (Can you tell I think you did a good job?) It really comes home when your mother dies, but no one can say the word. My mother was the most absolutely devoted mother a person could have, but never, ever told me a word about sex. Her Puritan instincts certainly "protected" me from it, but it was never mentioned. I myself got my kids a mama kitty when they were 6 and 8 and mama kitty had many kittens (which we gave all away to the best homes we could find) and that's the way I taught my kids about sex. Well laugh-out-loud. But we are who we are. I think I've wandered more into my own life than I should have, b ut just letting you know how closely I identify with what you've said here. A really really good piece! Thanks--Best-- Marcia2004-04-09 23:29:16
Passion's PardonAndrea M. TaylorWell, Andrea, you know me--I love the title aspect--(it actually works like a fourth line, doesn't it, letting the reader in on just a little more information. I am sitting here, studying this, and realize you actually have 2 poems--one in haiku and one free verse about the rock and the pebbles. Interesting that you see yourself as carrying pebbles. I can go either way on this--I think I do or have tended to carry pebbles, as though it's a lesser sin, but of course it's the thought in the heart that counts anyway--pebbles? bullets? hate? I see myself in your additional notes but honestly feel that I have let the pebbles go because they were--well, you know what they do. Saving sorrowed souls in a lovely singing line, perhaps with minor chords. I do wonder why there are little letters on outstretched--gave--but a captal S on saving. Is this a subconscious yearning on our parts to accentuate the Saving aspect? Sorrowed souls we are--but joy lives within the same walls as sorrow, I've found. I guess if you live long enough, you finally get something through your head. Anyway, Andrea--a poignant expression for this Holy time of year. I thank you for posting! Marcia Hi Andrea--this is weird--I just did a whole critique--pressed something and it's gone. It's always hard to re-cap with exactly the same thought processes but am going to try. I had said that there are actually 2 poems/expressions here--both equally interesting--the haiku that is poignant and thought-provoking, very timely for this holy time of year--and the additional notes--which tells us volumes itself! We're all guilty in our way of carrying pebbles--but I have found that they are a tremendous burden that my physical body cannot endure. Are they "little sins" that we think are ok? My body told me no--let them go. My body told me, if you don't let them go, I will get very very sick. Well, I learn everything the hard way--but sometimes a pebble works its way into my pocket anyway and I have to consciously drop it and leave it behind. But then that's me. I had wondered why this powerful, alliterate sentiment has a small letter on the 1st and 2nd lines, but has a capital S on the 3rd? Is it because Saving sorrowed souls IS the power at the ending and cries to be noticed? It intrigues me that perhaps it was subconscious. It is the Saving that I cling to always and even though this is a wrenchingly sad theme, joy weaves its way throughout, like the sunrise at Easter and the joy of the Resurrection. Now that's hard to capture in 3 lines but you have done it--I guess it's because of the sunrise weaving itself through and between the lines. My best to you, Marcia 2004-04-09 22:40:47
The Sixty Seven Percent Solution to the ProblemThomas Edward WrightHi Tom--"the syrup that defies logic"---ever the physicist in you sees all things with a different, albeit, appealing slant. You have so many vivid pictures in here, it's hard to even choose a few favorites. Perhaps like the syrup, all steps/pictures are needed. I like your Whale Tail Pond and your uncle Archie, names that give place and person to what's going on. The stainless steel pails on the one hand and the dogs licking off the concrete in the next--steriley clean, earthly not-so-clean. Life is like that, though, of course, the opposites giving contrast, It also gives this poem 3-dimensional texture which this reader is delighted with. "The chainsaw's harvest" is yet another seeming contradiction--that such 'waste' fuels the fire for the pure sweetness--somewhat like the horse manure growing wonderful vegetables! The "medicine cup"...you "hold like a chalice"--wonderful imagery--the introduction of Don, Uncle Archie and now Mary gives personality to your story and substance to your theme. "waiting dogs' mouths"---seems as though the critters make out pretty good--and we all know that dogs and cats usually won't eat stuff that really isn't truly good. They smell everything first--unlike myself who trustingly pops it into my mouth!!! "the golden wine onto your tongue"......the nectar of the maple-gods".......the forty-to-one reduction roils"==just excellent description and alliterative poetry here--smells, pictures, pleople, the innards of life working hard to make something sweet from earth's yield. "northwest winds" and "wheelbarrows" all add to the rugged work you are portaying here. Excellent simplicity, Tom, that manages to make beautiful out of a lot of life that is not beautiful to begin with. then your last verse is like a little PS that you sing which is comforting in its faith and simplicity. And last to clean your plate with your tongue. There' s a kid in all of us, isn't there, Tom. I learned a whole lot here, and enjoyed every minute! Best, Marcia2004-04-09 22:12:39
Come Walk With Memarilyn terwillegerHi Mariyn--I can't explain it but this has brought tears to my eyes. I think it was the last line and your reference to God. But even before I got there, this is so what I remember about your work. Do you live in a tree and take notes from there? (just kidding of course, but your nature observations are always so---so---what I remember. Every line is special. And when did you write this? Just curious. Lets mingle in the wild and shaggy forest see the majesty of rolling trees as they rub against an azure sky, with leaves that softly scrub angel wings ...the wild and shaggy forest...the rolling trees...your azure sky...but softly scrub angel wings is best best best! Beside the giddy brooks with borders of lichen ophite, see mystic splendors of cunning corridors and rhythmic spasmodic shadows I love your giddy brooks/borders---lichen ophite...your cunning corridors and smasmodic shadows. You and your keyboard have really been having fun, haven't you. I know what it's like--it's like mainlining something, probably illegal, to have that much fun! When the flush of morning folds it's light among shrouded thickets hear the vibrating silence that echoes our fain footsteps flush/shrouded/silence/echoes/fain/footsteps--this is wrapped in chiffon! with the s and f sounds blending together--sort of the sound the wind through trees makes. (Now Marilyn--I'm often wrong... but isn't it "its" in this case. Nevermind, if I'm wrong, I'm wrong. Feel a rhapsody of wind weaving its way through steep timber tops whispering a syncopated serenade Lets frolic in His festival of awe The rhapsody of wind weaving is another breezy-effect you have managed to give this piece--timber tops/whispering/syncopated/serenade--then the frolic festival and "awe" is a summarizing word to end this poem. This has a songlike, breezy effect which many of your nature poems do, and is an invitation most people, inclulding myself, will find irrisitible (or however that's spelled). LOL. Thanks, Marcia PS--it was at the bottom of my list and I'm learning to "catch" those before they slip away! 2004-04-09 18:48:30
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