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Stillborn


JoelJosol
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The color of the rice fields

is changing

but typhoon winds

induce a miscarriage.

Rain water lashes at them,

burying their stalks,

as heavy clouds keep watch

overhead.

 

In the city,

gunshots break up

the rank of marching farmers-

one, two, four bodies

dropping to the asphalt

like rice stalks,

their blood spotting,

splattering

on abandoned slippers

as soldiers eye

the dispersed crowd

with rifles.

 

After the storm,

fields lay overwhelmed,

their grain dying

in the brown water.

 

In the city,

the farmers hold silence

in their fists,

their dead bathed in blood,

as the body count

begins.

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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Very moving poem centered around political unrest/upheaval, Joel. The farmers protest, and the force of government is used against them. I love how the heavy clouds keep watch/overhead while the rice fields, overwhelmed and dying, become a symbol for the farmers' cause. I also love the bitterness expressed in the following lines:

In the city,

the farmers hold silence

in their fists ...

The title works well. In the first lines, I would probably say either

 

The color of the rice fields

is changing

 

or

 

The colors of the rice fields

are changing.

 

But really, this is a powerful and impressive write. Thanks for sharing it here.

 

Tony

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

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goldenlangur

Hello JoelJosol,

 

I like the way you use images of the city and the village to evoke a sense of foreboding and then the actual outburst of protests on the streets. The "typhoon winds", the "heavy clouds" and the "rain" lashing at the ripening crops all convey this ominous sense of things about to erupt. These lines are particularly striking:

"...one, two, four bodies

dropping to the asphalt

like rice stalks,.."

 

While forces of nature ram the rice fields the state machinery mows the farmers down.

 

As Tony rightly remarks this is a powerful testimony of the unrest and the severity with which it was dealt.

 

"...abandoned slippers

as soldiers eye

the dispersed crowd

with rifles."

 

And also:

 

"...the farmers hold silence

in their fists,.."

 

 

The only niggle is : I wondered if you need "water" in "rain water"? Another detail which trips the reader is:

 

"After the storm,

fields lay overwhelmed,

their grain dying..."

 

"overwhelmed" is a little abstract for the effect you're trying to convey and "their grain dying" seems literal.

 

But as always, these are only my observations and do feel free to ignore them. But these points aside, your poem makes a great impact.

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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Aleksandra

Wonderful poem Joel. It is so moving at the beginning, sounds so political and deep, and I found it philosophic:

 

The color of the rice fields

are changing

but typhoon winds

induce a miscarriage.

 

I like it the comparing in this part:

as heavy clouds keep watch

overhead.

that makes the poem harder and deeper.

 

Then the subject of the poem with dark imageries, you wrote that so good.

 

Especially I like how you expressed the dark imageries like this one:

After the storm,

fields lay overwhelmed,

their grain dying

in the brown water.

that sounds very dark but very beautiful expressed. In some special way.

 

And yes on the end, those expression captures the poem. The ending part it is so touching. You made there some mix of good metaphors and clear images. I love that connection:

 

In the city,

the farmers hold silence

in their fists,

their dead bathed in blood,

as the body count

begins
.

 

Thank you a lot for this poem Joel. This is a really good write.

 

Aleksandra

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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Thanks Tony, GL, and Sandra. I will consider your feedback and place the revision in the workshop forum. Our country is in so much turmoil lately. This relives the massacre of farmers back in the 80's.

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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