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Death in a dream placed emeralds in

my eyes, placed me inside a diamond

and the jewel inside an angel's eye.

Singing in a tongue I did not understand-

wearing the false teeth of time death had the

moon in his eyes, his tears were rock as I

woke, I could not see for dust and debris,

the clock face was coated within, fully,

I could just see a time fixed. The next

night dreaming there was a diamond in the

sky and a moon in my eyes, death was vexed

as he cleaned the clock face I could see

the night reveal an angel and moonlight

ravish a diamond, as an echo and an

apparition my presence was brief, slight,

safe inside a jewel as death's dour hands

polished time's false teeth and rolled up the

night time sky like a carpet. The reaper

he stitched a rug with a tapestry

of angels circling the moon, the hands were

formed from emeralds, eleven angels

dreamt of me powering the hands, from the

twelth I could see where hands would fall.

In the reaper's gaze one last dim moonrise.

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death's dour hands

polished time's false teeth and rolled up the

night time sky like a carpet.


THAT is great imagery.


And love the SO seldom used "moonrise".

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Interesting personification of death with some diverse dream-work imagery to consider... I found "false teeth" incongruous in a humorous way. Perhaps in the same way that a black eye, or 'shiner' evoked a certain kind of humour when I was a boy; though nowadays it would be inappropriate to think that way. But then that's just me. There's a typo: "twelfth" on your penultimate line that you may want to fix. Best..G

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  • 3 weeks later...
David W. Parsley

Hi Barry, this poem has a misty supernaturality evocative of your most moody atmospheres. Much original imagery moves here hinting at a stubborn symbology moving just outside the grasp of conscious thought. Another dream, Death and Time and Angels take familiar places consistent (if repetitive) with your prior work.


My main problems with the piece stem from a detonation of repeated words (moon=5, death=4, angel=4, time=4, eye=4, hand=4, see=4, dream=3, clock=2, diamond=3, emerald=2, jewel=2, reaper=2, false teeth=2, night=2, sky=2) and phrases (eight times some sort of rock is named, ten times something to do with time or time-keeping, angelic beings all over the place, etc.) It seems like more meditation is called for, on the qualities and aspects of these entities, and how they inform the experience. An instructor once challenged me to write initial drafts of my poems without a single repeated noun, verb, adjective, or adverb. It often proved too hard, but I got the point!


One more perplexity. There is a floridity of expression, unusual for you, sapping power from what is intended to be a surprising, even somewhat disjointed, narrative. I think the piece would benefit from a ruthless paring down to about two thirds its current length or less.


- Dave

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