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Unread 02-07-2020, 02:43 PM
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RCL RCL is offline
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Default Landscape and Inscape

Rev 1

Landscape and Inscape

Triggered by heaven or hell, the Santa Anas
blew all night, at times with hurricane force.
My seven sky-high pines hammered the house,
cracked its red roof tiles and crushed rain gutters.

A perfectly dry and see-forever morning
lit my lot, but winds remained intense.
Through windows, I could see that leaves of grass
rode eddies, bent and twirled and bowed to ground.

The blow had polished grass to glassy facets
like silvery fingers bidding me to come.
Tumults of trees and plants soon drew me out
into my lot where ripped-up roots flashed light.

Though naturally sifting sun, the needles
on my pines now looked electrified,
strobing the light and spitting it like sparks—
until my flora faded back to green.

Last Line was: looking hot, yet cold as icicles.

Los Angeles, 2/2020




Landscape and Inscape

Triggered by heaven or hell, the Santa Anas
blew all night, at times with hurricane force.
My seven sky-high pines hammered the house,
cracked its red roof tiles and crushed rain gutters.

A perfectly dry and see-forever morning
lit my lot, but winds remained intense.
Through windows, I could see that leaves of grass
rode eddies, bent and twirled and bowed to ground.

The blow had polished grass to glassy facets
like silvery fingers bidding me to come.
Tumults of trees and plants soon drew me out
into my lot where ripped-up roots flashed light.

Though naturally sifting sun, the needles
on my pines appeared electrified,
strobing the light and spitting it like sparks—
looking hot, yet cool like icicles.

Along the edges of my lot, the flowering
bushes shimmered. Up close to one, looking
down, I saw my eyes look up at me,
reflections from the many mirroring leaves.

As I stepped back, leaves scrambled my reflection,
now like pieces of a pulsing puzzle
that, attracting and repelling, rapidly morphed,
daemonic whirlwinds whipping all my parts.

But when those Santa Anas waned, the puzzle’s
parts resolved as my ecstatic smile—
until that image finally dissolved
and my lot’s mirrors faded back to green.

Los Angeles, 2/2020

S4 was:

Though naturally sifting sun, pine needles
now strobed light, emitting it like sparks,
as if each needle were electrified—
seeming hot, yet cool like icicles.
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Last edited by RCL; 02-09-2020 at 11:18 PM.
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Unread 02-07-2020, 07:55 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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x
This is really on the cusp of being a beauty. I've only just read it once and found that it may be too long to sustain the power of the first 2-3 stanzas, so you may want to consider a major condensing of the description that begins to unravel a bit as the poem wears on.

Maybe a different title. Triggered?

I'll get back. Strangely, it reminded me of Coleridge and I don't know why.
x
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Unread 02-07-2020, 08:50 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
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Hi Ralph,

I love the alliteration throughout. I do, however, feel this could be abridged without losing the gist of it.
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Unread 02-08-2020, 08:54 AM
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R. S. Gwynn R. S. Gwynn is offline
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16 lines max and forget the "happy" ending.
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Unread 02-08-2020, 09:59 AM
John Riley John Riley is offline
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Ralph, the opening line starts me on the wrong foot. It isn't impossible to use religious metaphors with storms, although it would be damn hard to make it fresh, but when you start with "Triggered by heaven or hell" my immediate thought is "no, that isn't what causes the Santa Ana winds." I'm not able to suspend my disbelief. I just think wrong.

I agree the descriptions go on too long. Maybe these two stanzas could be made into one?


Though naturally sifting sun, the needles
on my pines appeared electrified,
strobing the light and spitting it like sparksó
looking hot, yet cool like icicles.

Along the edges of my lot, the flowering
bushes shimmered. Up close to one, looking
down, I saw my eyes look up at me,
reflections from the many mirroring leaves.


As others have said it needs to be shorter. Perhaps a sonnet?

Hope this helps.

Best
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Unread 02-08-2020, 12:29 PM
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RCL RCL is offline
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Thanks, Gents! Consensus seems to be: Abbreviate! I’m happy with the happy ending, which makes me all warm and fuzzy about At Onement, but will try out telling it with a sharper slant with the first four stanzas.
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Unread 02-08-2020, 02:13 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
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Ralph - I like the 4-stanza version better. I wonder if “though” starting the last stanza should be “through.”

Through naturally sifting sun, ...

PS - I'm wondering now what the poem would be like if you ended with the last two lines of the original (the grass being green again).
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Unread 02-08-2020, 03:11 PM
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Martin, glad it now works better for you. I’m not sure about the “through” change, but have tried the ending with “green again.” Thanks!
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