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badger11

After She Leaves for Work

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revision3

 

He closes the blinds. His mind's in grass
that's ankle deep, in need of sleep -
always her scent unwraps the quiet,
replays those easy times beyond

the knotted ground where standing on
the creaking bridge they'd play with sticks
a childhood game: his twisted root
spirals towards a sandy bank

and comes to rest; hers quickly skips
a crop of rock - its slender wood,
so sleek and dark, gliding the stream
to deeper pools as spiders spin

silence beneath the shade of pine.
All happiness is hoarded in a web.

 

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

 

revision2

 

He yawns as if he has not slept,
then sips his tea. Leaving a slice
of toast, a hungry kiss, she waves
and quickly drives her car away.

He closes the blinds. His mind's in grass
that's ankle deep, needing to sleep.
Always her scent unwraps the quiet,
replays those easy games beyond

the knotted ground to stand upon
their breaking bridge, play with sticks
a childhood game: his twisted root
spirals into a sandy bank,

and comes to rest; hers quickly skips
a crop of rock, the slender wood
so sleek and dark, gliding towards
a deeper water as spiders spin

silence beneath the shade of pine.
All happiness is hoarded in a web.
He sips his tepid tea and yawns. A slice
of toast, now hard and cold, he leaves.

 

 

 

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

 

revision1

 

After his wife leaves for work

 

He closes the blinds. His mind's in grass
that's ankle deep, needing to sleep.
Always her scent unwraps the quiet,
replays those easy games beyond

the knotted ground to stand upon
their breaking bridge, play with sticks
a childhood game: his twisted root
spirals towards a sandy bank,

coming to rest; hers quickly skips
a crop of rock, the slender wood
so sleek and dark, gliding across
that deeper water as spiders spin

silence beneath the shade of pine.
All happiness is hoarded in a web.

 

 

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

 

Toast

 

He yawns, then sips his tea as if
he has not slept. Leaving a slice
of toast, a hungry kiss, she waves
slowly reversing her car away.

He closes the blinds. His mind's in grass
that's ankle deep, needing to sleep.
Always that scent unwraps the quiet,
replays those easy games beyond

the knotted ground to stand upon
their breaking bridge, play with sticks
a childhood game: his twisted root
spirals towards a sandy bank,

coming to rest; hers quickly skips
a crop of rock, the slender wood
so sleek and dark, gliding across
that deeper water as spiders spin

silence beneath the shade of pine.
All happiness is hoarded in a web.
He sips his tepid tea and yawns. A slice
of toast, now hard and cold, he leaves.

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All happiness is hoarded in a web.

 

Wow! I know I do not fully understand that in context, but it is striking, almost jolting. Maybe SLIGHTLY sad, though? Hmmm. An evocative piece, rich in images.

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Interesting progression/regression on the sequence of revisions, Badge. I saw this when you first posted it, and I'm sorry it has taken me so long to get to this reply, but now I do have more to work with.

 

When I saw the first version, there was one thing I was going to focus on which stood out as far as the meter goes. The meter is iambic tetrameter until the last verse in which the middle two lines unexpectedly switch to pentameter. Why is that? Is it intentional?

 

/ ALL HAP / piNESS / is HOAR / ded IN / a WEB /

 

/ he SIPS / his TEP / id TEA / and YAWNS / a SLICE /

 

In fact, the former is one of my favorite lines of the poem as far as both content and meaning are concerned, but the shift from tetrameter to pentameter is perplexing (to me anyway).

 

You've pared it down to a sonnet in Revision 1, and I'm surprised that you've gone back to five quatrains in Revision 2. Though I can appreciate the desire to include all the lines/verses and information, I'm inclined to favor and focus on the fourteen line revision.

 

The poem has a bit of a rambling effect. I suspect that's intentional, but I really think fourteen lines is all that it can bear without giving the reader too much and losing him.

 

The title of Revision 1 does the trick. It alleviates the need for L3 & L4 and gives the reader a lot to go on as he gets into the poem. Nevertheless, it could be tweaked a bit. "After She Leaves for Work" would work.

 

Here are some of my thoughts for tightening this up:

 

 

He closes the blinds. His mind's in grass
that's ankle deep, in need of sleep --

always her scent unwraps the quiet --
and playing familiar games beyond

the knotted ground. It stands upon
their breaking bridge and plays with sticks.
A childhood game -- his twisted root
spirals towards a sandy bank

and comes to rest; hers quickly skips
a crop of rock, the slender wood
that's sleek and dark, and glides across
the deeper water. Spiders spin

silence beneath the shade of pine.
All happiness is hoarded in a web.

 

 

Tell me if this still makes sense. I don't want to alter your meaning. If I did, it's from my own lack of understanding.

 

As for the last line, yes it's still a pentameter but somehow works. It somehow punctuates, adds a period to the poem the way an Alexandrine might.

 

 

Tony

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Thanks Tony. I was reluctant to lose my toasted bookends because I worked so hard to make them work. I need a trusted friend to take that step. Thanks for that. I don't know why I rebel against metre in verse, but I do. Stupid really because if I send a verse poem to a publication then there could be a question about the metre (the editor of the Centrifugal Eye queried the metre on another poem).

 

have a happy new year!

 

badge

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... I don't know why I rebel against metre in verse, but I do. Stupid really because if I send a verse poem to a publication then there could be a question about the metre (the editor of the Centrifugal Eye queried the metre on another poem) ...

 

Well, Badge, it's not illegal. I mean, one can do whatever he wants in poetry, but it does raise questions when someone is paying attention to the meter. I don't think it sounded bad at all with the two lines of pentameter in the last quatrain, but something makes me ask, "Why???? Why did the poet do this?" And maybe it happens more often than I realize. I'm just working within the context of my own limited experience. I think a deviation should serve a purpose, so that the reason for the deviation is self-evident, like the IP at the end of my example: to serve as a period, to add emphasis, to punctuate. ("The End," lol.)

 

 

have a happy new year!

 

badge

 

 

And same to you!

 

Tony

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