The Carolinas Arms

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NotQuiteSure
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The Carolinas Arms

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sat May 30, 2020 12:06 pm

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The Carolinas Arms


You know the pub, its paint too worn
to welcome in the passer-by.
You know the street, the one that sank
beneath the city's rising tide.

You know the type that drinks in there,
each one as empty as a glass.
That place has a reputation,
you know, so you keep walking past

afraid to enter, quench your thirst,
for what you see might give you pause,
those grizzled things, discarded shells,
the Veterans of the Squirrel Wars.

Their baffles, spinners, cages, wires,
drawers full of grand master plans,
their Sun Tzu quotes, their certainty
that Nature Must Submit to Man

all came to naught. All came to this
slow twilight at the long road's end
behind a blue and boot-kicked door
their sorrows drown, then rise again.

For their Romes burned and their Troys fell,
their Kassels, in the end, surrendered.
Each feeder filled was at a cost
they can't forget, so they remember

how it was they came to cross
the Washing Line, the Borders' Edge,
that Rubicon which led to woods
of squirrels nesting in their heads.

Above the bar an epitaph
in pokerwork, just seven words,
a sentiment as old as time:
What We Did Was For The Birds.



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Last edited by NotQuiteSure on Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:32 pm, edited 4 times in total.

ton321
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Re: The Carolina Arms

Post by ton321 » Sun May 31, 2020 12:53 am

Hi Not, I like it, though a bit baffled. Will come back later,
Tony
Counting the beats,
Counting the slow heart beats,
The bleeding to death of time in slow heart beats,
Wakeful they lie.

Robert Graves

Macavity
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Re: The Carolina Arms

Post by Macavity » Sun May 31, 2020 6:16 am

Hi Not

Like Tony, I was also baffled, beyond the slaughter of those bushy-tailed 'rats' (I consider them vermin - the 'grey' ones that is). The 'war' parallels, the male psychology that needs war...perhaps I'm not tuning into the 'dark' comedy. My only suggestion is to use that's instead of and in L7 and a full-stop after despair.

best

mac

NotQuiteSure
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Re: The Carolina Arms

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sun May 31, 2020 11:07 am

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Hi Tony, mac.
Thanks for the read.
This one ended up a little darker than intended (the general 'futility of war' stuff is more foregrounded than I had envisioned initially), and also, it appears, more obscure. Neither of you encountered anyone who went to great (and surprising) lengths to proof their bird feeders against squirrels (or even a particular squirrel) only to be effortlessly outwitted by the rodent? No? OK. This may be a niche(r) market then.

Regards, Not


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Macavity
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Re: The Carolinas Arms

Post by Macavity » Sun May 31, 2020 6:47 pm

Neither of you encountered anyone who went to great (and surprising) lengths to proof their bird feeders against squirrels (or even a particular squirrel) only to be effortlessly outwitted by the rodent? No?
No, but I got that thread in the poem and can imagine it.
This one ended up a little darker than intended (the general 'futility of war' stuff is more foregrounded than I had envisioned initially), and also, it appears, more obscure
I used the word baffled, but this thread was also apparent. I guess I wasn't tuned into the comedy. I feel you could go darker, give some edge for a dark comedy or tragi-comedy. I can imagine a singular obessive, but a group with a military background is an exaggeration that could work better for the comic. You could change the title to the 'Garden Birdwatchers Club'. Make reference to more recent conflict zones like N. Ireland, Helmand, or Basra. Squirrels as terrorists using guerilla tactics against predictable defences. Defeat becomes more personal.

Just a thought

mac

NotQuiteSure
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Re: The Carolinas Arms

Post by NotQuiteSure » Mon Jun 01, 2020 1:08 pm

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Hi mac,
you're rather racing ahead of me. What I wanted to write was a piece about a place where such stories could be told,
not to tell the stories themselves - that is phase II. :)

Regards, Not


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TrevorConway
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Re: The Carolinas Arms

Post by TrevorConway » Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:43 pm

Hey Not,

I was really pulled in at the beginning here, and yes, I definitely felt I knew the pub. After a few verses, the subject matter was much less familiar, to the point that it felt like a separate poem, not the kind of people I'd expect to find in the pub. There was a lot to like from there on, too, though it wasn't quite as relatable as the first few verses, I thought. I'm intrigued by them, but I felt I didn't fully get what you were going for, whereas I totally got your intention in the first few verses. It feels like a satire, though I'm not totally sure who you're satirising.

If it's a poem about a group of eccentric bird enthusiasts, I'd say you could well have two interesting poems here: one about a pub and its characters/atmosphere, etc., which you started off describing very well, and another about the group meeting up, with a simpler set-up at the start, along the lines of "There is a group who meet...they talk of birds..." and so on.

Not many bum notes here, but it felt a little wordy just before the last verse, so I wonder if condensing the third last and second last verses into one verse would help. Most of the classical references worked fine, I thought, except Troy and Rome, maybe because they're such mainstream references, whereas the others seem a little less obvious to me, and hence a bit more intriguing.

Hope this feedback helps, Not.

All the best,

T

The Carolinas Arms


You know the pub, its paint too worn
to welcome in the passer-by.
You know the street, the one that sank
beneath the city's rising tide.

You know the type that drinks in there,
each one as empty as a glass
and overflowing with despair,
you know, so you keep walking past.

Afraid to enter, meet their gaze,
for what you see might give you pause,
those grizzled things, discarded shells,
those Veterans of the Squirrel Wars.

Their baffles, spinners, cages, wires,
drawers full of grand master plans,
their Sun Tzu quotes, their certainties
that Nature must Submit to Man

all came to naught. All came to this
slow twilight at the long road's end
behind a blue and boot-kicked door
their sorrows drown, then rise again.

For their Romes burned, and their Troys fell,
their Kassels, in the end, surrendered.
Each feeder filled came at a cost
they can't forget, so they remember

how it was they came to cross
the Washing Line, the Borders Edge,
that Rubicon that led to woods
of squirrels nesting in their heads.

Above the bar an epitaph
in pokerwork, just seven words,
a sentiment as old as time:
What We Did Was For The Birds.

NotQuiteSure
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Re: The Carolinas Arms

Post by NotQuiteSure » Wed Jun 03, 2020 6:02 pm

.
Hi T,
thanks for the read and suggestions.
I definitely felt I knew the pub
:)
the subject matter was much less familiar
I couldn't have both the setting and the subject matter be unfamiliar, one eases you gently (I hope) into the other.
If it's a poem about a group of eccentric bird enthusiasts
It's more a scene setting poem: a place for these 'eccentrics' to meet and tell their tales and commiserate with each other (as their significant others, those that (still) have them no longer listen to their 'war stories').
except Troy and Rome
I picked those, in no small part, because they're familiar (in the same way the opening description of the pub is) and they allow me to get away with (punning) Kassel - who's going to recognise that name, and its place in history? (Or even google it? :) )


Regards, Not


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capricorn
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Re: The Carolinas Arms

Post by capricorn » Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:34 pm

I can see the pub, Not, thanks to your excellent description, A well written poem - I cannot make any suggestions on first read. I sympathise with the squirrel problem as we share this :lol: but it became almost insignificant when rattus himself joined the feast!! (long story)

Eira

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Re: The Carolinas Arms

Post by NotQuiteSure » Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:11 pm

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Hi Eira,
thanks for the read.
capricorn wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:34 pm
(long story)
Aren't they all? :)

Been wondering about changing the title, so if you'd care to weigh in, either
The Knight & Drey
or
The Dray & Knights

Any thoughts? Anyone?

Regards, Not

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TrevorConway
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Re: The Carolinas Arms

Post by TrevorConway » Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:53 pm

Hey Not,

I think The [X] Arms format works better for a title, sets the scene. Maybe "Carolinas" doesn't roll off the tongue easily, so you could replace that word, I guess, though it's hardly essential. "The Squirrel Arms" is probably too on-the-nose. "The Squire Arms" also comes to mind.

T

Macavity
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Re: The Carolinas Arms

Post by Macavity » Sat Jun 13, 2020 3:34 pm

The Knight & Drey
Is fun

capricorn
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Re: The Carolinas Arms

Post by capricorn » Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:50 pm

The Knight and Drey rolls off the tongue better than The Dray and Knights

Eira

NotQuiteSure
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Re: The Carolinas Arms

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:45 pm

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Hi T, mac, Eira.

Thanks for the feedback.
I think I'll go with The Knight & Drey (as per mac and Eira,) though following the thread of Knights led to The Tilted Windmill (which has a certain appeal) ... dithering.

Regards, Not

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capricorn
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Re: The Carolinas Arms

Post by capricorn » Wed Jun 17, 2020 9:07 am

NotQuiteSure wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:45 pm
.


I think I'll go with The Knight & Drey (as per mac and Eira,) though following the thread of Knights led to The Tilted Windmill (which has a certain appeal) ... dithering.

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Mmmm…… I see why you're dithering. While I like The Knight and Drey, The Tilted Windmill does have a certain appeal. Different!

Eira

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Re: The Carolinas Arms

Post by NotQuiteSure » Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:21 pm

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You're not helping Eira! :)

K&D sets the scene better, I think, but TW is a better name for a pub.
AAArrrrghhh!

Regards, Not

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