Establishing Boundaries with Bullies

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Suzanne
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Establishing Boundaries with Bullies

Post by Suzanne » Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:08 am

Establishing Boundaries with Bullies

Part of a cardboard box slumps frosted
over the top of my bird feeder filled
this afternoon with assorted seeds.
From my favorite chair, I watch
eight yellow tits take turns,
little feet clutching the cylinder
that swings lightly with their weight.

Yesterday, the squirrel,
red coat faded grey, clung
like a lover. Hung
upsidedown, head bobbing to catch
feed through the wire. Teeth bared
when the tits came near, body wrapped
around the cage to protect it,

under the illusion he could decide
what to do with my seeds.



.
removed freshly
Last edited by Suzanne on Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Establishing Boundaries with Bullies

Post by Ros » Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:41 am

Interesting! Love the ending, very double-meaning.

feeder freshly filled - rather a lot of alliteration?

I like the way the title adds to the meaning. So often people don't make the title do the work it should.

Ros
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Re: Establishing Boundaries with Bullies

Post by Antcliff » Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:40 pm

Yes, with Ros.

Liked the double-meaning ending and the title is excellent.

I also liked the pace of it.

And the fact that it was hanging upside down.

Good stuff.

Good to see you back.

Seth
We fray into the future, rarely wrought
Save in the tapestries of afterthought.
Richard Wilbur

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Re: Establishing Boundaries with Bullies

Post by Xillus_Xavier » Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:21 am

You have presented a vivid picture of an interesting scene. The imagery is good and the alliteration and consonance is carried out very well for the most part. I do think, however, lines 2 and 3 go a little overboard with "f" sounds. You have four instances of "f" sounds in just seven syllables (feeder to af-ternoon). That's a bit much. The rest of the poem flows superbly.

I enjoyed this.

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Re: Establishing Boundaries with Bullies

Post by Suzanne » Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:22 am

Thank you, Ros. I am very glad you noticed the title. Discovering the title made me laugh! Poetry is like doing a jigsaw puzzle.
I didn't see the double meaning of the last line. I am not so sure I like it. I was not intending to have a "right to my body" thing going on. Yet, there it is...

With you and Xavier mentioning the alliteration, I will gladly remove an f.

Thank you, Seth. I think of you often as I watch my birds. The cardboard will have to be replaced with something more aesthetic, I do say.

Thank you for the feed back, Xavier. Glad you liked it.

This was the first poem is eons. Felt good. Let's try again, lol.

Warmly,
Suzanne

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Re: Establishing Boundaries with Bullies

Post by Ros » Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:42 am

Suzanne wrote: I didn't see the double meaning of the last line. I am not so sure I like it. I was not intending to have a "right to my body" thing going on. Yet, there it is...

Warmly,
Suzanne
'clung like a lover' really signposts that double meaning. I think it adds a lot to the poem, personally!

Ros
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Re: Establishing Boundaries with Bullies

Post by Suzanne » Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:09 pm

You should have seen that squirrel, he was a rascal. Made me cranky.
I'll keep it as it is. I think it adds to the whole, lol, doesn't matter that I didn't see it initially.

A reader makes a poem a poem and not just words in a poet's head. Thanks, Ros.

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Re: Establishing Boundaries with Bullies

Post by bodkin » Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:31 pm

Enjoyed. I see the double meaning in the last line, but I wasn't thinking it was central to the poem...

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Re: Establishing Boundaries with Bullies

Post by Suzanne » Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:56 am

Thank you, Ian. I appreciate it and am encouraged.
Poetry is such a workout for the rusty. Its quite time consuming, in a good way, mostly.

Thanks,
Suzanne

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Re: Establishing Boundaries with Bullies

Post by Arian » Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:01 pm

I like it. Particularly liked

clung
like a lover

....Though immediately following it with "Hung upside down..." is, perhaps, a bit unfortunate.

I liked the last lines too - I didn't see a double meaning in them on first-read, and still don't really.

Cheers
peter

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Re: Establishing Boundaries with Bullies

Post by Suzanne » Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:15 am

Hi peter,

Thank you.

That squirrel climbed down the chain and hung by its feet upside down like an acrobat. I thought hung and clung was a strike of luck but, yes, I can see it could be seen as unfortunate.

Being the first poem written in about a year, I was just happy it landed on the page!

Always a pleasure to hear from you. Glad you enjoyed it.

Warmly,
Suzanne

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Re: Establishing Boundaries with Bullies

Post by David » Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:59 am

It is a lovely picture of garden shenanigans, Suzanne. I see how the "clung like a lover" line - which I like too - is proving a bit of a red herring from your point of view.

I'd be happy to see you change the final line - only slightly, perhaps simply replacing "my" with something else - so as to remove the unintended double meaning. As it is it reads like a claim for sexual autonomy, to which I can only say "hear hear!" - but not necessarily in a poem about an ill-mannered squirrel. And hey presto, the red herring disappears.

Cheers

David

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Re: Establishing Boundaries with Bullies

Post by Suzanne » Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:02 pm

Well spotted, David. So clever!

I love how, in poetry, so much can alter with a change of a word or two.

I will ponder this and the upside down.

Warmly,
Suzanne

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