Monthly Archives: November 2011

Early Dawn – First Draft

This is the first draft of a poem based on the Early Dawn quick exercise I did.  I started to play with some of the verse and thought I might like to write a rhyming poem.  I realized I hadn’t done much of that in a while, so I decided to give it a try.  I used to write everything in rhyming verse, but fell away from that.  I find I still love to do it as the added challenge of both the rhyme and the meter make the process more rewarding in a way.

This is just a first draft, but I like some of the thoughts here.  I think I’d like to add at least a couple more stanzas and probably do some reordering to see how it plays out.

Cool grey predawn catches fire,
Burns ever brighter as the sun ascends;
Radiant warmth fights silently,
Against the crisply coursing autumn wind.
Trees and grasses shiver and sough,
Hum tenuous tones on sway and bend;
Chanting songbirds lend melody,
The ethereal chorus of twilights end.

Hill and swale coalesce in form,
Awash with mornings first tentative rays.
Mounting dawn coaxes color forth,
Drawing vibrant hues from the muted haze.
Golden tones color Fall’s last leaves,
Sharing final splendor in dying days.
Deep violet skies flee fleetly west,
Seeking refuge once more as night decays.

Long shadows creep across the land,
False strength that falters as day grows bright.
Earth and stone sit stolid and cold,
Unavailing resistance to warming light;
Crystaline dew breaks free from bonds,
Restlessly stirring, grasps the wind and takes flight.
Eternal sun dances onward,
An overarching orb empowering life.

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Early Dawn Exercise

This is another quick poetry exercise to get some imagery down on paper.  I was down at my family home this weekend, which is in the country, and while outside it occurred to me a number of times how much the feeling of the place affects me.  I thought I’d jot down some ideas and work to expand that.

Crisp wind buffetting the land
Cool grey pre-dawn catching fire,
Burning ever brighter as the sun ascends
Waking from dreams meant to lull and control
Breathing deeply, slowly drawing idyllic scents
Memories and substance awaken
Unable to recapture a perfect essence
Yet overwhelmed and inundated.

For decades I drank of that pastoral landscape
Sights and sounds innumerable and eclectic
Permeate every and all things
Sticks and mud, stone and tree, air and water
All subjects of the masterwork

Verdant and breathy, it pulsates to a deep rythme
My heart beats with it.
An awakening seldom priveleged
It stirs the depth of incomprehension
But comforts with familiarity.

So grand a vision

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Old Age – Fourth Draft

I finally got around to working on another draft of this poem.  I pulled a little material from the first rethinking and made some pretty heavy modification.  This is much closer to what I had originally intended, but I think it was good to explore some of the other aspects of the various drafts.  I think I want to keep actual memories out of the work so that it stays in the moment, and the poem continues to be about the occurrence of the character being mistreated unintentionally.  I’m hopeful that I can produce a final draft from this.

Surrounded,
Honored for longevity with proximity,
He sits central among them as they natter,
A clamorous homage to his perceived widsom.

It has been long since they were afforded
An opportunity, such as this,
To sit and regale each other,
Fervently summarize the intervals,
Spanning days, weeks, and years
Of increasingly important lives,
Judge successes and failures
Against a familiar tapestry.

He listens as though hearing fails,
The tellings filtered through a gauze,
Time wrapped about his mind.
He nods and smiles in affirmations
So important to them.
Memory is dear to him.
He walks the shadowed lanes of the past,
Fearful of what has been lost.

They break his reverie.
Sharply annunciated questions,
Near screams,
Force his attention.
His nods and mechanical smiles
Greet the patting of his arm and leg,
Pawing to ensure his attention,
On the moment . . . not the past.

Winks and knowing looks
Pass back and forth,
An acknowledgement of wit
And delicacy, and tact so necessary
For dealing with the aged and enfeebled,
An affront to a strong mind
In a worn shell.

Used up, he lingers on,
Weighted with emotion, bound by sensation,
Overwhelmed and long suffering,
Yet calm and knowing.

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