Traveling in Mexico

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BobBradshaw
Posts: 1397
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Traveling in Mexico

#1 Post by BobBradshaw » 18 Jun 2019, 22:58

Traveling In Mexico

Our bus pulls into a village.
As we step outside
the Mayan children rush to adopt me.

The children disperse
as my pockets empty.
I drop my last coins into a basket
as we enter the village church.

Christ and his fallen saints stand
anonymously in the rear of the hall.
They are covered with a cloth,
punishment

for allowing the previous church
to burn down.

I too have made mistakes
this past year, allowing
my marriage to fail.

I stand in the shadows next
to Christ and his failed saints
as if we were stranded travelers
who bring only baggage.


note: an old poem revised

Kenneth2816
Posts: 1178
Joined: 01 Jun 2008, 09:17

Re: Traveling in Mexico

#2 Post by Kenneth2816 » 19 Jun 2019, 09:23

I would submit that the use of fail/failed in such a short poem is less powerful than the use if another word.


Very good poem, easy to relate to. Nicely paced and not overdone

Michael (MV)
Posts: 1576
Joined: 18 Apr 2005, 04:57

Re: Traveling in Mexico

#3 Post by Michael (MV) » 19 Jun 2019, 09:58

 
life imitating religiosity

FranktheFrank
Posts: 1534
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Re: Traveling in Mexico

#4 Post by FranktheFrank » 19 Jun 2019, 16:23

I like the poem
Michael seems to have summed up the intent well.

I feel it could benefit with pruning extraneous words.
For instance you don't need 'Indian' in indian village,
Mayan children gives the clue, the definite article
could be left out, its a Mayan village
so only Mayan children live there. Just 'Mayan children',
will serve just as well.

'Last' coin isn't really needed.

Would 'collection basket' serve better than just basket.

Suggest:
Carved figures of Christ and the disciples
stand at the rear covered by a light linen cloth,
punishment . . .

S5 is the heart of the poem
the pain of a failed marriage
the realisation N didn't fight enough
to save it. There are times to fight
and times to be still. This is a powerful
and revealing passage. The poet speaks
from either experience or has seen what
a failed marriage brings, evocative.

I suggest 'fallen' saints that agrees with the
sate of N, a fallen N remorseful at his failure,
therefore fallen. Fallen means less than perfect,
i.e a sinner.

S 5 is so important you could pad out that a bit more
with a revelation and cut 'past year'.

The title then doesn't really reflect what is happening,
as Michael suggests, the visit to a church brings out in
N the sense of failure, and he may not be a believer
but a church, no matter how primitive, can bring out
in a man the sense of the divine. This is why Catholic
churches score above the more restrained Protestant
churches in that they gild their churches for effect
all part of the marketing.

The strength of the poem is marrying the visit to a strange
land and church and jarring the reader with the underlying
sadness of N.

Maybe a Biblical quote could serve as the title.

I seem to have gone overboard with this critique,
I hope you don't mind Bob.

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1397
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Traveling in Mexico

#5 Post by BobBradshaw » 20 Jun 2019, 04:23

Thanks, Frank... I like “fallen” saints and I am removing Indian from Indian village

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1397
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Traveling in Mexico

#6 Post by BobBradshaw » 20 Jun 2019, 04:27

It was a fascinating place. John the Baptist, not Jesus, was the main guy for the villagers, due to the importance of water in their agricultural community. The cross was carved to look like leaves of corn.

Kenneth2816
Posts: 1178
Joined: 01 Jun 2008, 09:17

Re: Traveling in Mexico

#7 Post by Kenneth2816 » 20 Jun 2019, 06:16

Catholics are really big on symbolism, but I've never heard of a cross like you describe.Sounds almost like a hybrid of Mayan and Christianity

FranktheFrank
Posts: 1534
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Re: Traveling in Mexico

#8 Post by FranktheFrank » 20 Jun 2019, 10:06

We can learn a lot from the 3rd world Bob.

meenas17
Posts: 688
Joined: 23 Mar 2014, 11:27

Re: Traveling in Mexico

#9 Post by meenas17 » 20 Jun 2019, 15:46

I like the poem.
Simple and brief.
The Mayans and Mexico work well.
The grief of N runs parallel to the scenario,
N has failed to save his marriage.
Of course the last lines,

as if we were stranded travelers
who bring only baggage.
are very expressive.
meenas17

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1397
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Traveling in Mexico

#10 Post by BobBradshaw » 21 Jun 2019, 06:40

Yeah, growing corn was their livelihood. A local anthropologist explained to us that the carvings on the cross represented corn.

Thx, Meenas....

FranktheFrank
Posts: 1534
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Re: Traveling in Mexico

#11 Post by FranktheFrank » 21 Jun 2019, 12:12

I love travelling Bob
the images have stayed with me for years
sometimes it is the people sometimes the environment or the food
sometimes the culture or all those together.
Your poem brings your experience into our domain.

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1397
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Traveling in Mexico

#12 Post by BobBradshaw » 21 Jun 2019, 20:01

Thx, Frank

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Billy
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Joined: 22 Jun 2006, 10:56

Re: Traveling in Mexico

#13 Post by Billy » 22 Jun 2019, 21:04

I like this simple poem, Bob. Real, a sincerity that touches.

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