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  #1  
Unread 11-09-2019, 08:49 PM
John Riley John Riley is online now
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Default Bird Songs

Bird Songs


Blue Heron

The frogs and lizards
and blue herons
do not care for graceful lines,
the fog that seeps them into night.
Content with their oneness
no god threatens to separate them
from where they dig and sleep
and lay their eggs.
From this, they gather nothing,
have no idea what nothing is.

Flag On The Moon

The cardinal in the maple ash outside
my window, glorious in his red industrialism,
makes no true achievement in his tree.
The cardinal has no need for miracles,
works without hesitation, without waste
or contemplation, and with such energy
he will never become a flag left standing
in dust so like the dust from home.

Blackbirds

Still strong enough to choke a river's bend,
full of the rage that bounces
like a cart across No Man's Land,
I slipped the stanchion,
carried a lantern down the dusty road
through the town where women
once spit snuff into cans.
The season stared from the valleys,
rolled inside hay bales on the brown fields.
Blackbirds flew south like retreating smoke.
Nights arced across a hairline horizon.
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  #2  
Unread 11-09-2019, 11:17 PM
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R. S. Gwynn R. S. Gwynn is offline
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I am enjoying these recent pieces. The second one here tends more toward allegory than the other two, which are symbolist.
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Unread 11-10-2019, 10:15 AM
Ron Greening Ron Greening is offline
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full of the rage that bounces
like a cart across No Mans Land

...that is my new favourite image

Ron
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Unread 11-12-2019, 07:44 PM
John Riley John Riley is online now
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Sam and Ron, thanks for reading. I'm pleased you each found things you like.

Best
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Unread 11-15-2019, 06:59 AM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is offline
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John,

The third is my favorite of these. The images are striking and original and you stick the ending perfectly.

I like the other two, but they aren't snapping into place for me.

In "Flag on the Moon," l.4-6 get a bit telly for me. L3 gives me all I need to know of that. The opening and ending of the poem, though, work beautifully for me.

I feel the same about the second half of "Blue Heron," though I can't localize it as well. I wonder if it's because the last two lines feel so closely related to Wallace Stevens' "The Snow Man."
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Unread 11-15-2019, 08:57 PM
John Riley John Riley is online now
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Thanks for reading Andrew. I may prefer the last one also.
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Unread 11-16-2019, 04:28 PM
annie nance annie nance is offline
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I know itís not metrical but it has a sort of lovely lilting rhythm thatís very appealing, John. Very enjoyable reading.

Annie
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Unread 11-16-2019, 08:03 PM
Jason Ringler Jason Ringler is offline
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Hi John,
Really good pieces on their own and they work well together. Hope that you keep adding to it. Flag on the moon is my favorite.
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  #9  
Unread 11-17-2019, 08:59 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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x

You: I may prefer the last one also.

You would prefer the last one. You're in it : )
But in fact, you are nested in all three of these poems. They are wonderfully woven by the meditative thread of nature. I even feel a bit of Mary Oliver in the way the speaker seems to revere the collective natural world's unvarnished sense of nothingness. They just be.

I was thinking the other day about the human desire for more than what is and how no other living thing desires something that isn't intrinsic to their existence. No flower pursues answers. No bird wants a better world than the one it makes for itself. No tree paints or sings. You say that so explicitly well in the first of the three poems, but it threads through the other two as well.

My only critical thought is, I wonder about the last line of the Blackbird poem and whether "Nights arced" is the right phrase, for a couple of reasons: 1.) I can't picture it juxtaposed with the "hairline horizon". 2.) The plural "nights" does not agree with the singular "horizon".

Thoroughly enjoyed.
x
x
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  #10  
Unread 11-17-2019, 01:24 PM
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Jan Iwaszkiewicz Jan Iwaszkiewicz is offline
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One and three for me John but two ain't half bad.

I am with Ron on the rage that bounces it really resonates.

Regards,

Jan
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