Coming Back

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BobBradshaw
Posts: 1437
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Coming Back

#1 Post by BobBradshaw » 07 Dec 2019, 22:07

V5:

Coming Back

Just as trees stripped by a gale
cannot hope to gather up
their fallen leaves

in their arms,
to sleeve their limbs
again in green,

so too I face
the obvious: you’re not
coming back.

Ill with grief,
I have no appetite
for either this food

or for putting you
"behind" me.

I ache for your touch,
your warmth--
your lips pressing life
into me again.


V4:

Is There A Chicken Soup That Can Save Me

I fear I have become a stripped dandelion,
my best days behind me,
all hopes blown

without you. I pray for a miracle
but the age of miracles
is behind us.

Just as trees stripped by a gale
cannot hope to gather up
their fallen leaves

in their arms,
to sleeve their limbs
again in green,

so too I face
the obvious: you're not
coming back.

I am ill with grief,
I have no appetite
for either this soup

or for putting you
"behind" me.

I ache only for your touch,
your warmth--
your lips pressing life
into me again.


V3:

Chicken Soup in Times of Disaster

I am overwhelmed
by loneliness, as helpless
as a small bird

caught in a gale.
If only we were pigeons
sharing the same loft again.

It sounds absurd to say
I’ve sought out this broth
for comfort in such times.

But here I am,
savoring its steam,
thinking of you.

I drag my spoon through it
looking into its fog
for answers.

I long for a miracle,
a way to change your heart.
It's said chicken soup

can save lives, even the dead
should their lips
meet its warmth, touch—

the way your lips once
pressed life into mine.



V2:

Is There A Chicken Soup That Can Save Me

I fear I have become a stripped dandelion,
my best days behind me,
all hopes blown.

I pray this steaming bowl
can revive me,
like heart paddles applied by strangers

once did. I’m always thrown back
on the hopes of strangers
saving my life, you too

once a stranger leaning
over me, your blonde hair
eclipsing the sun.

This mothering broth
is my best hope, which I sip
the way a hummingbird samples

a dying flower’s
last nectar, savoring it
as I do memories of you.

My heart woozy, I long
for a miracle: that it's true
chicken soup can save the dying

the way your lips once
wrung life into mine.


V1:
Is There A Chicken Soup That Can Save Me


When you walked out on me
my heart wobbled, almost fainting.

I’m hoping chicken soup
can revive me,
like heart paddles applied by strangers.

In the end I’m always thrown back
on the hopes of strangers
saving my life, you too

once a stranger leaning
over me, your blonde hair
eclipsing the sun.

I fear I have become a stripped dandelion,
my best days behind me,
all hopes blown.

My only hope is this chicken soup
which I take in,
the way a hummingbird samples

a dying flower’s
last nectar, savoring it
as I do memories of you.

My heart woozy, I long
for a miracle: that it's true
chicken soup can save the dying

the way your lips once
wrung life into mine.

judyt547
Posts: 131
Joined: 17 Jan 2013, 19:46
Location: middle of the woods
Contact:

Re: Is There a Chicken Soup That Can Save Me

#2 Post by judyt547 » 08 Dec 2019, 13:17

I'd leave off the first stanza. Make 'em hunt for it. You're really giving away the ending at the beginning.

I love the stripped dandelion stanza, that would make a great first section, but you've mentioned
chicken soup three times. Could you pare it back to one?

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1437
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Is There a Chicken Soup That Can Save Me

#3 Post by BobBradshaw » 09 Dec 2019, 07:44

Ok, I will play with it... thx

SivaRamanathan
Posts: 1039
Joined: 14 May 2011, 20:30

Re: Is There a Chicken Soup That Can Save Me

#4 Post by SivaRamanathan » 09 Dec 2019, 08:36

Following the thread.

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1437
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Is There a Chicken Soup That Can Save Me

#5 Post by BobBradshaw » 09 Dec 2019, 09:10

Revised....thx for your ideas, Judy....

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1437
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Is There a Chicken Soup That Can Save Me

#6 Post by BobBradshaw » 12 Dec 2019, 00:14

Would the closing line work better with "squeezed life into mine" instead of "wrung life into mine"? Or maybe the verb "pressed"?

judyt547
Posts: 131
Joined: 17 Jan 2013, 19:46
Location: middle of the woods
Contact:

Re: Is There a Chicken Soup That Can Save Me

#7 Post by judyt547 » 13 Dec 2019, 03:00

Beginning's better.

However, you've used 'strangers" three times consecutively. Two, max, and you really don't need a 'heart paddle' metaphor to follow the blown dandelion one. The first is terrific, the second is cringey.
try the poem with out this:

"I pray this steaming bowl
can revive me,
like heart paddles applied by strangers

once did"

and see how it looks without it. Metaphors tend to get in the way of each other,
unless they're really related. The girl saving you works. The paddles don't.

"Mothering broth' is a bit er,ah, heavy, and I think that too much emphasis on broth
in all its forms might kill the metaphor entirely. I'll leave it up to you about that.
"wrung" sounds awkward and pretty violent, get out the thesaurus and see what
appeals. "Squeezed " is not good. She wasn't trying to kill you, she was saving you.
how about "pressed life into mine." ?

This is a delicate poem, the blown dandelion is a lovely image, and it would be
a shame to weigh it down with too many heavy images like "wrung" or heart "paddles."
Keep it light, gentle, and let it float a little. If that makes sense.
And read it out loud. Read it to your cat, if you have one. (smiles)

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1437
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Is There a Chicken Soup That Can Save Me

#8 Post by BobBradshaw » 13 Dec 2019, 09:07

Judy, I am listening to your advice, and revising. A substantially different tact, for this latest version....

judyt547
Posts: 131
Joined: 17 Jan 2013, 19:46
Location: middle of the woods
Contact:

Re: Chicken Soup In Times of Disaster

#9 Post by judyt547 » 15 Dec 2019, 05:49

where went the dandelion?
I think you're beginning to beat the broth metaphor to death.
This is 'trust your reader to get it" time, and most of them will. The ones
that don't, never will.

If you're going for humor, two pigeons in the same loft is good. Otherwise, no.
Im sorry (maybe im a bit giddy, forgive me) but Im seeing those two pigeons
turning into the soup you're stirring. (this is what happens when you mix up
too many metaphors...)

Don't try so hard, Bob. Go back to that lovely stripped dandelion,
maybe forget all the rest about chicken soup, and just write a poem
about the blown dandelion (maybe a realization that what is lost
was lovely, but you can't bring it back...)

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1437
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Chicken Soup In Times of Disaster

#10 Post by BobBradshaw » 15 Dec 2019, 07:34

You’re right, Judy.... best to put it aside for now....and rethink things.... thx for your input

capricorn
Posts: 316
Joined: 21 Sep 2017, 23:23

Re: Chicken Soup In Times of Disaster

#11 Post by capricorn » 16 Dec 2019, 01:41

Your latest revision seems like a different poem on the same theme, Bob and although I like both versions I have to say

I fear I have become a stripped dandelion,
my best days behind me,
all hopes blown.

sounds more interesting/original for an opening stanza,than

I am overwhelmed
by loneliness, as helpless
as a small bird


I agree that the 'heart paddle' does sound too harsh

It's a great poem, though - perhaps putting it on the back burner might help clear your thoughts. You can overthink poems sometimes, I've been there too often.

Eira

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1437
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Chicken Soup In Times of Disaster

#12 Post by BobBradshaw » 22 Dec 2019, 09:16

Another revision....

capricorn
Posts: 316
Joined: 21 Sep 2017, 23:23

Re: Chicken Soup In Times of Disaster

#13 Post by capricorn » 23 Dec 2019, 05:29

I love your latest version, Bob, especially

Just as trees stripped by a gale
cannot hope to gather up
their fallen leaves

in their arms,
to sleeve their limbs
again in green,

'to sleeve their limbs in green' is wonderful!

I cannot see anything I would change.
Eira

To be nit-picky,

I pray for a miracle
but the age of miracles
is behind us.


As you have 2 'miracles' nearby,perhaps the 2nd 'miracle' could be replaced by another word?

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1437
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Chicken Soup In Times of Disaster

#14 Post by BobBradshaw » 23 Dec 2019, 21:05

Thanks so much, Eira. Any ideas for a new title?

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1437
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Chicken Soup In Times of Disaster

#15 Post by BobBradshaw » 25 Dec 2019, 00:40

What do you think of cutting the 1st two stanzas ans starting in S3?

capricorn
Posts: 316
Joined: 21 Sep 2017, 23:23

Re: Chicken Soup In Times of Disaster

#16 Post by capricorn » 27 Dec 2019, 03:11

Hi Bob,
I'm never too clever with titles. If you keep the present one, then a question mark at the end.

Is There A Chicken Soup That Can Save Me?

Now you mention it, I think st 1&2 could be deleted - stanza 2 certainly could. I still like St 1, but this could be trimmed back to

I have become a stripped dandelion,
my best days behind me,
all hopes blown away


However stanza 3 would be a good place to start.

Just as trees stripped by a gale
cannot hope to gather up
their fallen leaves


Perhaps
so I face the obvious:
you're not
coming back.


I am ill with grief,
I have no appetite
for either this soup

Perhaps delete 'I am' from 1st line

or for putting you
"behind" me.
I ache only for your touch,

Perhaps delete 'only' in last line

Just a few more thoughts
Eira

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1437
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Coming Back

#17 Post by BobBradshaw » 27 Dec 2019, 10:28

Thanks for your help, Eira. Have a great new year!

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