Up on the Zambesi Copper Belt Escarpment

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FranktheFrank
Posts: 1532
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Up on the Zambesi Copper Belt Escarpment

#1 Post by FranktheFrank » 11 Oct 2019, 14:00

Our baby sons asleep in their cots
dreaming of picnic bears.
I listen to the shower run like rain
on a corrugated roof, wait
for her to join me, the mother
of our children.

Avocados drop and fruit bats flop,
wood smoke wafts through the window grills
in the purple of evening, charcoal fires
pepper the darkness, prickles of light.
Cicadas reach their chorus crescendo
to suddenly stop like a light switch - off,
they spit from the flower bower
when we pass by.

She joins me smelling of buttermilk,
slightly damp, her skin smooth as lavender
on ice.

We flick through the photo albums
memories flow like a wide river in flood.

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1366
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: CopperBelt Escarpment

#2 Post by BobBradshaw » 11 Oct 2019, 20:42

I like these lines best:

Avocados drop and fruit bats flop, wood smoke
wafts to me in the blue night, charcoal fires
pepper the darkness, prickles of light

judyt547
Posts: 106
Joined: 17 Jan 2013, 19:46
Location: middle of the woods
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Re: Up on the Zambesi Copper Belt Escarpment

#3 Post by judyt547 » 17 Oct 2019, 03:52

I like the entire second stanza, Frank. (all but "flower bower". Maybe just "flowers"?)
In the first stanza the wording seems awkward:
Would it read more smoothly if you used a single different word:
"our infant sons sleep in their cots". "asleep" seems to require "are"
with it, "sleep" can stand in for both of those.


I love the image of the shower/corrugated roof, but
"The mother of our children" seems overstated, unnecessary.
Is there a way to extend that image of the shower without
"the mother of our children"? would "I wait for their mother to join me"
be enough?

"She joins me smelling of buttermilk, slightly damp" is a marvelous, sensual image, it seems
(at least to me) more connected to the first stanza than where it is now.

The last two lines were a puzzle: Suddenly I think, this is a memory, and they are
actually reliving it through photo albums. This might work better as an opening stanza
rather than a closing, if this is indeed a memory. Otherwise it comes across
as disjointed.

Read it aloud to yourself, see how it flows. That's sometimes the best way to find
pacing errors, or awkward sections.

FranktheFrank
Posts: 1532
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Re: Up on the Zambesi Copper Belt Escarpment

#4 Post by FranktheFrank » 17 Oct 2019, 11:26

Thanks Bob and Judy
Appreciation always welcome Bob.

Judy a valued critique from you, thank you.
I will take your comments seriously and ponder
it does needs some tweaks. Yes, looking back Judy.

judyt547
Posts: 106
Joined: 17 Jan 2013, 19:46
Location: middle of the woods
Contact:

Re: Up on the Zambesi Copper Belt Escarpment

#5 Post by judyt547 » 18 Oct 2019, 04:09

Cool. I think it needs to be clearer that this is a memory.
Make it the first two lines of the poem, in some way.
That clarifies the whole thing.

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