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The night moved like a sidewinder
through deserts of thought as those
leaving the earth rewound through
histories. Night left with his mouth
full of clouds and frozen thunder,
lightning. One snap of thunder for
those departing, one lick of lightning
for those being born, clouds released
rain, evening exhaled, winds of heaven
wiped the sidewinder's tracks to etch
names in the sand.

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Wow Barry,  

6 hours ago, eclipse said:

Night left with his mouth
full of clouds and frozen thunder,

What imagery!  My favorite though is this next

6 hours ago, eclipse said:

One snap of thunder for
those departing, one lick of lightning
for those being born,

I loved this poem.  I wonder if you just used "snake's" or "reptile's" instead of repeating "sidewinder" in the penultimate line?  The repetition kind of jumped out at me.  Maybe because it is so compact, which I really loved. Use what is helpful, ignore the rest. 

This is a short poem for you, I really liked it.  It has total focus.

~~Tink 

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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9 hours ago, eclipse said:

The night moved like a sidewinder
through deserts of thought as those
leaving the earth rewound through
histories. Night left with his mouth
full of clouds and frozen thunder, (Best line in the poem, frozen thunder really paints a picture for me along with full of clouds.)
lightning. One snap of thunder for
those departing, one lick of lightning
for those being born, (Love this too!) clouds released
rain, evening exhaled, winds of heaven
wiped the sidewinder's tracks to etch
names in the sand.

Overall I thought the poem was amazing and you could change sidewinder to gazelle or something like that, good poem, thanks for sharing.

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Barry,  Gazelles would leave tracks in the sand making a pattern of sorts but the image of the sidewinder sliding in its unique sideways manner is really creepy and the perfect choice.  Again you surprised me, there can't be many sidewinders in your neck of the woods.  

~~Tink

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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Barry, this one's tight, start to finish. There are only a few very minor changes I would make to make it read better, to perfect it:

 

The night moved like a sidewinder
through deserts of thought as those
leaving the earth rewound through
histories. Night left with his mouth
full of clouds, frozen thunder,                              
[add a comma after clouds and move "and" to the next line]
and lightning. One snap of thunder for
those departing, one lick of lightning
for those being born -- clouds released             
[add an em-dash after the list (after born) to introduce the sentence]
rain, evening exhaled, winds of heaven
wiped the sidewinder's tracks to etch
names in the sand.

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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On 11/24/2019 at 4:06 PM, tonyv said:

Barry, this one's tight, start to finish. There are only a few very minor changes I would make to make it read better, to perfect it:

 

The night moved like a sidewinder
through deserts of thought as those
leaving the earth rewound through
histories. Night left with his mouth
full of clouds, frozen thunder,                              
[add a comma after clouds and move "and" to the next line]
and lightning. One snap of thunder for
those departing, one lick of lightning
for those being born -- clouds released             
[add an em-dash after the list (after born) to introduce the sentence]
rain, evening exhaled, and winds of heaven
wiped the sidewinder's tracks to etch
names in the sand.

I found one more minor change I would make, noted in bold.

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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This has a terse yet mythical quality that is really distinctive and appealing. You start off with a bang--the intriguing image in the first line, and continue with the interesting metaphor "deserts of thought." "Those leaving the earth" is fairly mystifying, but I can imagine you're simply referring to people who happen to have died within this time period. I do like the reframing of the word "wind" within "sidewinder" in L3's "rewound," though "rewound through histories" strikes me, again, as mysterious.

The next sentence, and that which follows, are powerful and captivating. I love the visceral personification of "night," which to me evokes the spirit of Native American legend. The language here is so strong that somehow it doesn't bother me too much that I can't be sure what you're talking about. I can only imagine you're describing some momentous, mythical event. I really like the quickly-listed succession of happenings in the long last line. I feel each one so strongly; so much is conveyed but not a word is wasted. This poem is like a lightning bolt itself--brief but potent and awe-inspiring.

As to the others' comments--usually I'm rather a stickler for grammatical correctness, so one might expect me to align with Tony's suggestions, but I'm actually inclined to prefer the irregularities because I think they add to the poem's overall mood of suddenness and unexpectedness. I also like your repetition of "sidewinder" at the end--to me, it doesn't feel redundant, but rather, like the poem is bookended by the powerful image of this very special type of snake. I think it's a word that's strong enough to bear, and benefit from, repetition. I can't see any advantage at all to changing it to "gazelle."

 

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