Author Topic: Be Careful Where You Poke  (Read 646 times)

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Offline Bill

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Be Careful Where You Poke
« on: July 19, 2012, 02:41 PM »
I was tired of cleaning up after
the dove nesting up in my tree.
Its droppings kept coating the sidewalk.
I took that mess personally.

So taking my eight foot long poker,
a two by two piece of hard wood,
I thrust it high up in the branches,
spooking that damn dove but good.

Startled, it flew off.  Its curses,
disguised well as cooing, decreed
that some day she’d see me below her
and try to drop some shit on me.

I chuckled --that thought was amusing--
then, looking up, what met my eyes,
but that dove’s nest high up in the branches.
I acted with haste --never wise.

I poked at the nest to destroy it;
two pokes and its pieces rained down.
When one of those pieces bounced off me,
I followed its fall to the ground.

A baby bird’s body so tiny
it could fit in the palm of my hand
was the piece that had bounced off my shoulder;
its fall was not what I had planned.

Its gray down was rising and falling,
eyes covered and closed, as in sleep.
While watching it die, I stood thinking.
(I am not the type who would weep.)

I thought, “I will bury its body
among the pruned branches that will
be picked up on this Wednesday morning
and dumped in the nearest landfill.”

While nestling it in the pruned branches,
I also thought, “This goes to show
that one should take care where he’s poking,
especially if one doesn’t know

what’s hidden by some frail structures,
what needs gentle handling, what may
be only an innocent wishing
that it could fly up and away.

I had to dismiss all such thinking;
there still were more branches to prune.
Yet, I know those thoughts will come back to me
The next time I hear a dove coo.

Offline Kay

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Re: Be Careful Where You Poke
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2012, 07:05 PM »
Bill,

a very delightful read. I have done scansion in years but with this I didn't have to to know it has the perfect rhythm. Very enjoyable poem.

Offline Bill

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Re: Be Careful Where You Poke
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2012, 08:39 PM »
Kay,

Thank you for stopping by to read and comment on this poem.

You are generous in your evaluation of the rhythm.  It still needs work, but I'll get it there.

Bill

witt

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Re: Be Careful Where You Poke
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2012, 05:57 AM »



I enjoyed this very much. Funny . . . I didn't really notice that it rhymed. That's a good thing!


Well done!



Offline Bill

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Re: Be Careful Where You Poke
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2012, 10:00 AM »
Witt,

Thanks for stopping by to read and comment on this poem.

The rhyming was deliberate, but also without a focus on exact rhyme.  Near rhyme was sufficient and maybe that is what helped disguise it.

Bill

Offline SkaaDee

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Re: Be Careful Where You Poke
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2012, 11:50 AM »
no offence, but this sounds like dr seuss.
he's probably the most successful poet of the 20th century.


Offline Kay

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Re: Be Careful Where You Poke
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2012, 01:18 PM »
Skaadee, if someone compared me to one of the most successful poets of the 20th CDentury, I wouldn't be offended but you are kidding right?

Offline SkaaDee

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Re: Be Careful Where You Poke
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2012, 02:53 PM »
No, not kidding, it reads like Dr Suess.
The rhyme scheme, lightness of theme,
and story telling nature of it.

It's also a bit like the Night Before Christmas.








Offline Bill

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Re: Be Careful Where You Poke
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2012, 03:40 PM »
Skaa Dee,

Thanks for stopping by to read and comment on the poem.

No offense taken.  It strikes me that too much poetry seeks for some obscure metaphor trying to convey a deep thought, as opposed to simply having fun with words and conveying simple principles. I wish I knew what Dr. Seuss' foremost motive was, but I prefer to think of him as having fun with words, and, in the process, conveying simple principles.  He is unsurpassed in the field for combining such with wonderfully charicatured artwork. 

Keep writing,
Bill

Offline seraph

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Re: Be Careful Where You Poke
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2012, 05:26 PM »
Hi Bill,

This is a nicely constructed poem. Your meter is spot on but it feels a bit sing song from my perspective.
I thought that the poem was a bit too long and I would recommend that you remove stanzas 7 and 10. I think stanza 7 does not keep in with the other more light-hearted  stanzas. I found the voice to become callous and it didn't fit with the rest of the poem. Yes the bird died but the grisly details and the landfill aren't in keeping with the tongue in cheek feel of the poem.

I also found stanza 10 to be unnecessary and awkwardly worded.

what’s hidden by some frail structures,
what needs gentle handling, what may
be only an innocent wishing
that it could fly up and away.
This feels awkward and archaically written.

I think you can remove this and go straight to the last stanza without missing a beat.

Anne

Offline Bill

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Re: Be Careful Where You Poke
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2012, 08:23 PM »
Seraph,

Thank you for stopping by to read and comment on this poem.

I will take a closer look at the verses you mentioned.  Truth be told, there always is a certain amount of callousness that accompanies me throughout my day.  Kind of the Mr. Hyde to the light-hearted Dr. Jekyll. 

Keep writing,
Bill