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  #1  
Unread 03-29-2021, 11:23 AM
John Riley John Riley is offline
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Default Cape Fear River Basin

Cape Fear River Basin

The doctor has ordered me to take two pills each morning
so the fluid will leave my heart and I will be able to breathe
when I leash the younger of my two dogs and walk down
the street and through the park built on the flood plain.
We head off on our way, my young dog and I, down
the hill to the wide creek engineered to flow at a steady,
slow pace until the slanting rains that cut beneath the clouds
more frequently these days fill its sandy banks and force
the waters to heave and bounce over the rocks placed
so sensitively along the tops of the creek bank and flood
the tiny, level plain, where there is a swing-set and a slide
and merry-go-round the laughing children love to play on
the way I loved the playground when water was rain
and not the screaming and vindictive pressure so ruthlessly
released inside of me by the swallowing of two tiny pills.
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  #2  
Unread 03-30-2021, 06:45 PM
Bill Dyes Bill Dyes is offline
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John:

I love the movement of this. It begins like that game made for comtemplation
where one throws a ball against a wall and then catches it and throws it back. The force of the throw varies with the drama of contemplation.

The first four lines tell you that this game is about to speed up dramatically.
There is health/illness, young/old/, water/flood. You paint the place convincingly, giving us only what is necessary.

I love this:
"I loved the playground when water was rain" and the last two lines are that final forceful throw before you walk away.

Nothing wasted here.

Bill
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  #3  
Unread 03-30-2021, 08:08 PM
Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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'Nothing wasted here." I don't think we've differed enough to make a difference, and I don't want you to die. Steady on with the physician, I hope you've have a very good one. Take care. Quite a read. Be well.
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  #4  
Unread 03-31-2021, 06:32 AM
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R. Nemo Hill R. Nemo Hill is offline
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Yeah, this is a great one, John. The structure itself is so dramatic, with that initial matter-of-fact four-line sentence, its astringency contracting the reader's attention; followed by the single-sentence run-on of the rest of the poem into which is stuffed so much of life and death that it almost bursts at the seams.

And the title is perfect.

Nemo
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Unread 04-01-2021, 08:05 AM
John Riley John Riley is offline
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Bill, I appreciate your comment. It is a poem built on contrasts. I meant for it to be a little bit of a joke. The water rushing inside and outside. It's a poem about needing to pee. Then it grew into something else.

Allen, I didn't know we had differed so. I can be an ass at times, while other times I'm only saying what I think is best for the poem. But that can piss people off too. Speaking of piss, thanks for reading my poem.

Nemo, I'm pleased you like it. As I said above I meant to write a lighter poem about having to pee but I don't think I can do that. It doesn't seem to be in my skill set. Your positive input means a great deal to me. Thank you.

Thanks to all
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  #6  
Unread 04-01-2021, 08:30 AM
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R. Nemo Hill R. Nemo Hill is offline
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Ha! That's some title for a light poem!
The need to urinate can be brutal.

Nemo
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Unread 04-01-2021, 10:17 AM
Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Ah, yes, I don't remember those diuretics fondly when my daughter's heart was failing. The docs also limited her water intake, so she was thirsty all the time, and she kept referring to herself as Fatface due to the edema that was still there. No fun.

I do wonder if the notion of the "release inside of me" is the best way to put what is essentially pressure on the bladder. Nothing wrong with poetic ambiguity, but the main meaning was lost on me. The last two lines were thus not as effective for me as they might have been, since I had failed to figure out that these two pills were diuretics, and had concluded that the pressure was only metaphorical/psychological.

Last edited by Julie Steiner; 04-01-2021 at 10:22 AM.
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Unread 04-01-2021, 11:34 PM
Cally Conan-Davies Cally Conan-Davies is offline
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That run-on sentence really builds the pressure, John! So the 't' sounds in the last three words, and simply the short sharp rhythm of them, are a perfect finale!

I love the line that Bill loves, too. ". . . when water was rain".

Great word-work, John! Love it.

Cally
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Unread 04-02-2021, 05:53 AM
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Andrew Mandelbaum Andrew Mandelbaum is offline
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What did old Soren say about the poet whose lips are formed so that anguish comes out from them as beautiful music? Half of me loves this and says "Sing again soon for me". The other half kinda wishes the pills or the walk or some passing god would fix the breathing bit for a few more decades. Stranger things happen so I will wish for both/and.
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Unread 04-04-2021, 08:45 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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.

Wow John. This is what poetry does best. Elevates and shines a light of holiness on those things that would pull us down and make us dumb. This is a crumb for me to follow in what is always being on the edge of the wilderness. I appreciate it.


It's suddenly occurred to me what song it was that began to play in my head after reading this. It is a Blind Faith song with the sublime, surreal voice of Stevie Winwood "Can't Find My Way Home". No connection to your poem except in mood.



.

Last edited by Jim Moonan; 04-04-2021 at 10:01 AM.
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