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streams


eclipse
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Outside a church a girl with permanent

mine deep scratches on her face

silently sells me matches-I light a match

and through the round church window

I see a crucifix propping Gods eye open-

the earth his spinning eye-the cross and eye

bridging time-humanity's leap into a new religious

paradigm; cross and earth meet, man's divine

awareness is complete.That night I light two

matches beneath a full moon and place my

hand beneath the flames and see God the

hooded falcon and Jesus his falcon-they cannot

see the fire in the eyes of each other.

Dreams were my bird of prey as i slept-

I was drawn to a wilderness where Christ

wept nails and howled beneath a full moon.

The wind caressed my wings and his hair-

he looked into my eyes and intoned a prayer

and rain-stones came down onto the plains

and bounced off my bedroom window pane

waking me-in the mirror I could still see the

figure of Christ preserved within my eyes.

I watched the TV and Jesus witnessed history

in documentaries. Jesus returned in a dream,

watched the earth in two streams and altered

its history- ended poverty and war, then drank

from the waters. After waking, this was replayed

in my eyes- Jesus they would vaguely recognize

and in return he didn't accept his reflection

in the waters of the streams.

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  • 3 weeks later...
David W. Parsley

Hi eclipse, sorry it took so long for me to comment on this piece with its intriguing images and expansive themes. The ambition seems appropriate and consistent with that exhibited in others of your recent work. My commentary will assume a phantom 'CA' with a view to respecting such ambition with a response that is both general and point-by-point in detail. Apologies in advance for my errors.

 

This poem attempts one of the most compelling and difficult tasks in all Art: the connection of humanity to the cosmic/divine in a personal context. The imagery is vivid and arresting, recognizable yet alien and even disturbing. At its more subtle moments, the sounds alternately move, caress, haunt. Please keep doing that.

 

I am personally vexed by a recurring feature of the poems, in which a figure of some significance appears or disappears abruptly in the narrative. The device can be used effectively on occasion, but this reader found it not so in a few cases, such as the whale, the autistic boy ('fireflies'), and the match-stick girl here. Something in the poem's progression should open a door in the wings to facilitate this player's entry and exit on the stage, e.g. 'walked away to study his rubbing palms', 'retreats, clasps the remaining matches', 'stepped off the boat and sank blowing bubbles', yeesh, I don't know. But you get the drift. ;-)

 

I like your practice of attempting to mask your propensity for rhyming couplets by frequently moving them off the end-rhyme train. Despite this conversion to internal rhyme, I think the poem sometimes still comes across as excessively musical and "easy", and would benefit further from a slight (slight!) toning down - a process Milton used to refer to as "roughing it up a bit."

 

Perhaps this could be partially facilitated by avoiding unnecessary repetition of some words. In this piece, 'match' appears four times; 'eye', seven. Too many, yes, but also missing an opportunity for your gift to leverage greater specifics. What is happening on that gleaming cornea, the parchment colored whites, the bottomless darkness of the pupils, the tell-tale blink, etc.?

 

Some specifics:

 

Outside a church a girl with permanent

A number of objections to the word 'permanent': superfluous; clouds the image; and to my ear disturbs the lines tonally

mine deep scratches on her face

silently sells me matches-I light a match

and through the round church window

I see a crucifix propping Gods eye open-

the earth his spinning eye-the cross and eye

bridging time-humanity's leap into a new religious

paradigm; cross and earth meet, man's divine

awareness is complete.That night I light two

matches beneath a full moon and place my

hand beneath the flames and see God the

hooded falcon and Jesus his falcon-they cannot

see the fire in the eyes of each other.

 

Undecided it the two 'falcon' occurrences will work okay, once the 'match' and 'eye' recurrences are fixed. Try an alternative and see if it still works. Intriguing alternate insight!

Dreams were my bird of prey as i slept-

I was drawn to a wilderness where Christ

wept nails and howled beneath a full moon.

The wind caressed my wings and his hair-

he looked into my eyes and intoned a prayer

and rain-stones came down onto the plains

and bounced off my bedroom window pane

waking me-in the mirror I could still see the

figure of Christ preserved within my eyes.

I watched the TV and Jesus witnessed history

in documentaries. Jesus returned in a dream,

watched the earth in two streams and altered

its history- ended poverty and war, then drank

from the waters. After waking, this was replayed

in my eyes- Jesus they would vaguely recognize

and in return he didn't accept his reflection

in the waters of the streams.

Just my opinion, but one of the 'stream's should be substituted with some other description or phrase.

 

Not really a point-by-point - I plead exhaustion. I hope this helps.

 

Thanks for the finely imagined alternate insights,

- Dave

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