Staying Safe

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Suzanne
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Staying Safe

Post by Suzanne » Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:10 am

Staying Safe

He tells me we need a fence. I
adjust the twists of barbed wire.

The flesh of my shoulder has
a moment of relief from the weight
of the spool carried through the dry,
or muddied, beige seasons.

Another fence. I feel my eyes roll,
my eternal ageless self balking
in a subtle release of energy,
a barely perceptive stand.

He needs a fence. He says.

I silently scoff at his blindness
and fiddle with the wire cutters deep
in my pocket. The pointed tips issue
a daily reminder of the power within my reach.

I stay very still as not to feel anything.





Original:

Staying Safe

He tells me we need a fence.
I adjust my twists of barbed wire
so the flesh of my shoulder has
a moment of relief
from the weight of the spool
I've been carrying through the dry,
muddied, beige seasons.

Another fence. I feel my eyes roll,
my ever-ageless self escaping to take
a barely perceptive public stand.

He needs a fence.

I scoff at his testosterone blindness
and fiddle with the wire cutters deep
in my pocket. The pointed tip issues
daily reminders of the power within my reach.
I stay very still as not to feel anything.




.
Last edited by Suzanne on Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:13 am, edited 2 times in total.

ray miller
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Re: Staying Safe

Post by ray miller » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:45 am

Reads like something personal developed into something political. But hasn't The Smart One decided that a fence is no longer necessary?
Anyway, I like the tone. Can you have a season that's both dry and muddy?
I like the rolling eyes/ barely perceived public stand. Why ever-ageless, though?
I stay very still so as not to feel anything.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

Macavity
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Re: Staying Safe

Post by Macavity » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:30 pm

Apologies for playing around Suzanne, but I wondered if there would be more tension in a condensed version...
Suzanne wrote:Staying Safe

He tells me we need a fence.
I adjust my twists of barbed wire
so the flesh of my shoulder has
a moment of relief.


Another fence. I fiddle with the wire
cutters deep in my pocket. I stay
very still as not to feel anything -
a barely perceptive public stand.
Good see you writing again.

best

mac

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Re: Staying Safe

Post by David » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:58 pm

Macavity wrote:Good see you writing again.

best

mac
Yes indeed. Suzanne is back, Ray's back, I'm back, Seth's back, Ros is back ... where is Ian?

And where the hell is k-j?

It is indeed good to read you again, Suzanne.

Cheers

David

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Re: Staying Safe

Post by JJWilliamson » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:43 pm

Reads like a highly entertaining defensive strategy to me. The extended metaphor works well
with the speaker saying enough's enough. We don't know what's happening, of course, but I'm not sure it matters.
I might ditch 'testosterone', it makes the speaker sound a bit twisted and it's been done to death. You can't blame it for everything, can you? :)

Enjoyed this one, Suzanne.

Good to see you again

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

RCJames
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Re: Staying Safe

Post by RCJames » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:36 pm

Suzanne - You give an indelible picture of work on the range - or, I guess, fields, over there.

"so the flesh of my shoulder has
a moment of relief" - Maybe drop "the flesh of"

and just a suggestion:

"The pointed tip issues
daily reminders of the power within my reach.
I stay very still as not to feel anything."

---- 'The tip issues
pointed reminders...'

Very vivid - Best - RC

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the stranger
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Re: Staying Safe

Post by the stranger » Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:35 pm

Hey Suze,

Great to see you posting again!

"I've been carrying through the dry,
muddied, beige seasons."

Oh yes, haven't we all...Perfect.

Hurrah, it seems this place maybe coming alive again?

Cheers
Ts

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Re: Staying Safe

Post by Antcliff » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:54 am

Suzanne! Huzzah. Glad to see you around again. Three cheers for Finnish-American poets.

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

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lotus
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Re: Staying Safe

Post by lotus » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:30 am

dear Suzzane

it is a pleasure to become acquainted with your pen

the transparency of wire fence
and how barbed wire brings thought of fencing with swords
entwines well 'within my reach'

a warm smile from The Netherlands
silent lotus
“A poem should have the touch ... the way sunlight falls on Braille.” .......silent lotus

Suzanne
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Re: Staying Safe

Post by Suzanne » Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:46 am

Hi.

Thank you for the replies and apologies for the long delay in thanking you for your time.

I have tweaked it a bit. Seems like i wrote it a very long time ago.

Poetry, it is like deciding to take a long bath. You don't always have the time to do it. No matter how pleasant.
Just saying.

Warmly,
Suzanne

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Re: Staying Safe

Post by churinga » Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:27 pm

Hi Suzanne

He tells me we need a fence. I .... Prefer the 'I' on the next line, it makes no sense to me to leave it dangling here.
adjust the twists of barbed wire.

The flesh of my shoulder has ....You don't need 'flesh' it over-explains.
a moment of relief from the weight

of the spool carried through the dry,
or muddied, beige seasons. ......Sonically I would prefer to leave out 'beige' or leave out 'dry and muddied', one or the other would suffice.

Another fence. I feel my eyes roll,
my ageless self balking .... I am very wary of broad abstracts like 'ageless', they weaken a poem. I would much rather have images not the intellectualizing of this V.
in a subtle release of energy,
in a barely perceptive stand.

He needs a fence. He says. I like the repetition of the question also that it is not dialogue.

I silently scoff at his blindness
and fiddle with the wire cutters deep
in my pocket. The pointed tips issue
a daily reminder of the power within my reach. .....I like images or real details, I think the power you feel could be symbolized by a detail, rather than intellecualizing it via another broad abstract eg 'power'.

I stay very still as not to feel anything. I would say '...so as..' Best line in the poem and one of the best lines I have read in a while.

I feel the poem should not have couplets but revert to the former layout and follow the natural, free verse, flow of the sentences.


cheers from Down Under

Ross

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Re: Staying Safe

Post by Jackie » Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:22 pm

I've enjoyed reading this over and over, Suzanne, and find myself preferring parts of both versions.

The power dynamic is fascinating. The title tells me that the power to initiate is in his hands, and it threatens, overwhelms you. Only he can need a fence—you seem to acknowledge that—yet he has no power to carry it out. You are the wire and you are the cutters. You have the power to bash his plan but only so long as you feel nothing. And they haven't yet made the barbed wire that bars feelings.

That last line is magnificent.

It's not clear what the fence would keep in or keep out. I assume that it's a fence to confine you, and not a fence between the two of you; else, why would he want it?

Very interesting!

Jackie

Suzanne
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Re: Staying Safe

Post by Suzanne » Sat Nov 03, 2018 8:19 am

Thank you, Ross from down under. The couplets were an accident. I agree with you about that.
Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

And thank you, Jackie, for yours, too. I liked that you felt the tension in this. Enjoyed your comments very much.

:)
Suzanne

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Re: Staying Safe

Post by lotus » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:01 pm

dear Suzanne

i find this extremely fine
in that your address

the boundarilessness of existence

and how poignant is the poetry of deep pockets
and the hand held secrets that they hold

i like the crisscross of fences
and the fencing that takes place as sport behind wire cage masks

there is much that is Staying Safe
with your unframed
portrait canvas

it did me good to become familiar with your pen


a warm smile
silent lotus


Last edited by lotus on Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“A poem should have the touch ... the way sunlight falls on Braille.” .......silent lotus

Suzanne
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Re: Staying Safe

Post by Suzanne » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:09 pm

Well, that was pleasant to read.

Thanks.
I think I need to write another poem. :)

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