Night in the Garden - Revision II

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Night in the Garden - Revision II

Postby Luce » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:18 am

Night in the Garden - Revision II

There’s a cotton plant,
which still gives birth
to soft blooms that fall
and rot on the ground

It’s an unwanted harvest
except by mice who pull
on its fibers or carry it
away whole for nests.

In turn,

the rodents provides
a feast for cats
who slink into the garden,
bellies low scraping dirt,
the fallen kin of Bastet.

Predator and prey
act out their game,
amid the cabbages,
with me cast as Ra,
when the moon is red.

Night in the Garden - Revision

There’s a cotton plant,
left by a former tenant,
which still gives birth
to soft blooms that fall
to the ground to rot.

It’s an unwanted harvest
except by mice who pull
on its fibers or carry it
away whole for nests.

In turn,

the plant provides
a feast of rodents
for cats that congregate
in the night, the fallen
kin of Bastet.

Predator and prey
act out their game
in my garden with me
cast as Ra, when the moon
is red.

Night in the Garden

In the moonlight, silky treads
rustle the dry grass, a sight
of velvet grays, flashes of small
pinpoint beams hug the edges
of the garden where I planted
peppermint, lemon grass and sage.

There’s a cotton plant,
left by a former tenant,
which still gives birth
to soft blooms that fall
to the ground to rot.

It’s an unwanted harvest
except by mice who pull
on its fibers or carry it
away whole for nests.

In turn,

the plant provides
a feast of rodents
for cats that congregate
in the night, the fallen
kin of Bastet.

Predator and prey
act out their deadly game
in my garden with me
playing Ra, when the moon
is red.

Luce
Last edited by Luce on Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Night in the Garden

Postby NotQuiteSure » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:54 pm

     
I like the atmosphere of this Luce,
though S1 seems to be from a different piece than the rest,
also, I kept on misreading 'silky treads' for 'threads' (and thinking of spiders).
Not sure that cats were ever considered the 'fallen kin of Bastet'.
I like the idea of the final stanza, reworking the protective role of Bastet to Ra,
but predator/prey/deadly game are all a bit bald (particularly after 'congregate')
Perhaps 'cast as' rather than 'playing' L25
I think 'when the moon is red' would make a much more evocative title,
just as beginning with S2 would make for a stronger start.

Regards, Not.
     
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Re: Night in the Garden

Postby Luce » Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:21 pm

Not - Thanks for reading this one. I'll consider your suggestions.

The "fallen kin" line refers to when cats were revered in ancient Egypt because they represented the Egyptian cat-headed Goddess Bastet.

Severe penalties were imposed on folks who harmed a cat in ancient Egypt. On record is the death of one Roman solider who killed a cat and, in turn, was killed by an outraged mob of Egyptians for doing so.

Since cats represented a goddess, I guess you can say they were like "spiritual" kin.

Luce
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Re: Night in the Garden

Postby NotQuiteSure » Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:40 pm

Luce
I understood the role of cats in ancient Egypt,
what I didn't understand was 'fallen'.
Were you trying to say their 'state' now is not as it was then?
And if so, why would that matter in the context of the piece.
What you are describing is precisely what they were revered for
back then, dealing with vermin (I'm guessing you don't have quite the cobra
problem that they did).

Regards, Not.
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Re: Night in the Garden

Postby Lou » Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:07 am

Really nice, Luce, I particularly liked the ending which is strong and satisfying - so hard to get right, endings!

Best,
Lou
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Re: Night in the Garden

Postby Macavity » Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:50 pm

Hi Luce.
A hierachical narrative - like poetry forums :) The Eygptian angle was unexpected and fun. Not sure if 'deadly' is already implied in the
predator/prey games?

best

mac
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Re: Night in the Garden

Postby Firebird » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:40 pm

I like it. All except the first stanza. It does little for me, and I'm. Not sure what it actually adds to the poem. The poem start at S2 for me. Nice ending.

Cheers,

Tristan
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Re: Night in the Garden

Postby Luce » Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:59 pm

mac, Not, Lou, Tristan - Thanks for looking this one over and leaving feedback. Thanks Not for coming back to the piece again.

Luce


Macavity wrote:\
A hierachical narrative - like poetry forums :) The Egyptian angle was unexpected and fun. Not sure if 'deadly' is already implied in the predator/prey games?

best

mac


You're right Mac about "deadly". I was thinking of nixing it before but decided to keep it to see how it would "play". Consider it gone. :D


NotQuiteSure wrote:Luce

I understood the role of cats in ancient Egypt,
what I didn't understand was 'fallen'. Were you trying to say their 'state' now is not as it was then?
And if so, why would that matter in the context of the piece.
What you are describing is precisely what they were revered for
back then, dealing with vermin (I'm guessing you don't have quite the cobra
problem that they did).

Regards, Not.


You brought out an interesting point Not. Were cats sacred to the ancient Egyptians because they killed vermin really (including snakes) or were they revered because they represented a Goddess? I think they were revered and thus protected because they just happen to represent a Goddess, at that period of time. Once the Goddess Bastet was no longer widely worshiped, cats were no longer considered sacred and were considered vermin themselves. That is what I mean by "fallen".

As you pointed out, although cats do what cats naturally do, for thousands of years, they seldom get thanked for it - especially feral cats.


Lou wrote:Really nice, Luce, I particularly liked the ending which is strong and satisfying - so hard to get right, endings!

Best,
Lou


Thanks Lou. I'm really glad you like the ending.

Firebird wrote:I like it. All except the first stanza. It does little for me, and I'm. Not sure what it actually adds to the poem. The poem start at S2 for me. Nice ending.

Cheers,

Tristan


Okay, another vote to nix S1. I wanted to keep S1 to establish the setting of the poem. However, on reading the piece more closely, I think there is enough in the poem to point to the setting besides the title giving it a big clue as to where the poem is set - duhhh??? :lol: Nixing S1. Glad you like the ending Tristan.

All - Revision coming up next, based on great input from everyone.

Luce
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Re: Night in the Garden - Revision

Postby Firebird » Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:41 pm

I much prefer the revision Luce, but have a few more suggestions below. 'Cast' is so much better than 'playing'. The poem looks better on the page, too: it has a symmetry now.


Luce wrote:Night in the Garden - Revision

There’s a cotton plant,
left by a former tenant,
which still gives birth
to soft blooms that fall
to the ground to rot. (To avoid the repetition of 'to' this line could be written: 'and rot on the ground')

It’s an unwanted harvest (Do you need 'It's' at the beginning of this line? You could get rid of it if you put a colon at the end of the previous stanza - after 'rot')
except by mice who pull
on its fibers or carry it
away whole for nests.

In turn,

the plant provides
a feast of rodents
for cats that congregate
in the night, the fallen
kin of Bastet. (Strong stanza)

Predator and prey
act out their game
in my garden with me
cast as Ra, when the moon ('Cast' is so much better that 'playing')
is red. (Lovely ending)

Night in the Garden

In the moonlight, silky treads
rustle the dry grass, a sight
of velvet grays, flashes of small
pinpoint beams hug the edges
of the garden where I planted
peppermint, lemon grass and sage.

There’s a cotton plant,
left by a former tenant,
which still gives birth
to soft blooms that fall
to the ground to rot.

It’s an unwanted harvest
except by mice who pull
on its fibers or carry it
away whole for nests.

In turn,

the plant provides
a feast of rodents
for cats that congregate
in the night, the fallen
kin of Bastet.

Predator and prey
act out their deadly game
in my garden with me
playing Ra, when the moon
is red.

Luce
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Re: Night in the Garden - Revision

Postby David Smedley » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:58 pm

There’s a cotton plant,
left by a former tenant,
which still gives birth
to soft blooms that fall
to the ground to rot.

It’s an unwanted harvest
except by mice who pull
on its fibers or carry it
away whole for nests.

In turn,

the plant provides
a feast of rodents
for cats that congregate
in the night, the fallen
kin of Bastet.

Predator and prey
act out their game
in my garden with me
cast as Ra, when the moon
is red.

Hiya pal, this piece carries (for me) to much that detracts from the meat.

Why would I want to know that the "cotton plant" was left by a former tenant?
Why would I want to know that the "harvest" is unwanted?
I see the connection in these two thoughts but for me they are not needed.

Why not simply have a cotton plant growing in the garden that the mice take the cotton from for their nests, the meat there (for me) would be close observation of the plant the mice and nests to give me a more in-depth interaction with those three things, on the "senses/visual" level.

the plant provides
a feast of rodents
for cats that congregate
in the night, the fallen
kin of Bastet.


This is too pedestrian, (for me).

Firstly, are the "rodents" growing on the plant? Your syntax seem to suggest this.
Secondly mice are wary things, and if the cats are congregating wouldn't the mice see and therefore avoid them?
Cats "HUNT," slinking, belly to the ground. See the potential to merely "congregating?"

David.
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Re: Night in the Garden - Revision

Postby Sheila » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:01 pm

Quite beautiful, mysterious. Raw and evocative. Bast description is fine, she may be fallen now, depends on your view point. Sheila
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Re: Night in the Garden - Revision II

Postby Luce » Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:20 am

Tristan, David & Shelia - Thanks for dropping by to read and leave your thoughts on the poem.

Tristan and David - Good points made. Took into consideration your feedback in my latest revision.

Shelia - I'm glad you liked the poem, mainly as is.

All - I think this will be it, as far as any "immediate" revisions. I need to put this one in the box for a while to get a fresh view of it again.

However, it doesn't mean that you can't leave any additional feedback. I'll just be considering it for any additional revisions in the far future.

Luce
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Re: Night in the Garden - Revision II

Postby JJWilliamson » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:50 pm

I like the way this builds, Luce, and much prefer the second revision.

Incidentally, do you pronounce "Luce" as Lucy or Luchay, or neither?

My only suggestions would be to rearrange the word order, in places, to bring the central imagery to the fore.



Luce wrote:Night in the Garden - Revision II

There’s a cotton plant, ..."There's an abandoned cotton plant"
which still gives birth ..."which still bears soft blooms" perhaps?
to soft blooms that fall
and rot on the ground

It’s an unwanted harvest
except by mice who pull
on its fibers or carry it
away whole for nests. ...Mice pull on its unwanted fibers (fibres) :)

In turn, ...Not sure you need this line.

the rodents provides ...Maybe start with "cats slink"
a feast for cats
who slink into the garden,
bellies low scraping dirt,
the fallen kin of Bastet. ...Really like this turn.

Predator and prey
act out their game,
amid the cabbages, ...This is a great image to open on.
with me cast as Ra,
when the moon is red. ...Delightful



Enjoyed reading this poem and thread.

Best

JJ
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Re: Night in the Garden - Revision II

Postby NotQuiteSure » Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:16 pm

Much stronger for the revision Luce.
Would 'still' not imply an old plant?
Perhaps, 'neglected' rather than 'unwanted'?
You have, I think, nicely evoked an image of decay.

I think JJ's right about 'in turn'.

'Rodents' reads as oddly pejorative - and again, I think JJ is right about the order of this verse.
Perhaps something to consider would be;
slinking ...
bellies low, sweeping the dirt
the fallen kin of Bastet
are...

among the cabbages
[you could include other plants here]
'I am cast as Ra' - I think you need the formality of 'I' rather than 'me'.
Good end line.

'Predator...game' is unnecessary, and rather lacking colour.

Regards, Not.
     
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