Hours Ago

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churinga
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Hours Ago

Post by churinga » Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:22 am

Hours Ago

Toddlers gallop through the mall
laughing like an audience.
The old continue chatting
in the donut cafe.
Shoppers weave
and babies, being pushed around,
seem to be in power.

Coffee-fixed,
girls stumble over sentences
and young men, laughing hollow,
long with sunglassed eyes.

Now a toddler is screaming blue murder;
suddenly the mall reeks of horror
but the old continue chatting
and all is shiny cool, glassy bright.

Walking home,
history seeps between buildings,
trees cavort
and heat waves from a distance
where high rise by the ocean
look like a painting
I should paint.

Snake basking in such blues, such colours,
my heart leaps and fails,
leaps and takes hold.


Note: I did make some chhnges after suggestions but have decided to revert to the poem as originally posted, with 1 typo fixed. I will revise later. Tues 27.
Last edited by churinga on Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:35 am, edited 4 times in total.

Macavity
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Re: Hours Ago

Post by Macavity » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:02 pm

I enjoyed the read Churinga. I liked the continued chatting. You've been adventurous with your verbs. I'm not convinced by gallop or cavort, but at least there is not a litter of modifiers. Rather than seem perhaps hold the power would be more effective? The use of short sentences in S1 could also be used for the rest of the poem to make the images sharper and tone more definite. Like the concluding lines, a comma after blues or capitalise such.

best

mac

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Re: Hours Ago

Post by Pauline » Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:18 pm

Much to like here Ross.
It's late. I'm tired and I'm ready for my bed
so rather than explain what did and did not work for me
I found it easier to chop a few line brakes and words
and offer you my suggestions to take or toss.
Here you go.
All offered in good spirit :)

Hours Ago

Toddlers gallop through the mall laughing
like an audience. The old continue chatting
in the doughnut café as shoppers weave
and babies, being pushed around
seem to be in power.

Coffee fixed girls stumble over sentences
and young men laugh, hollow, long
with sunglassed eyes and now
a toddler screams blue murder.
Suddenly the mall reeks of horror.

The old continue chatting and all is cool.
Walking home, history seeps between buildings.
The trees cavort and heat waves from a distance.
The ocean, basking in such blues makes my heart leap.

It looks like I painting I should paint.


Hey, I ain't saying it's great. Just food for thought. :)

I enjoyed this picture you painted :)

churinga
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Re: Hours Ago

Post by churinga » Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:25 pm

Thanks Mac and Pauline for your comments.

Mac. I wll fix the punctuation, I have cataracts and it is a chore to see clearly. I think hold power is better, I will keep that in mind. I noticed a toddler galloping , they also often skip, my local mall has a kindergartenson the top level so lots of toddlers around. Trees cavort was written without much thought, so will reconsider, parts of the poem were around for a while then the rest came in a ruch and I posted it the next day so it is very much a first draft.

Pauline: Thanks for you take on it. I also thought the last two lines were a bit to portentious for the poem and snake basking suggests stillness when in fact i am walking. So I appreciate your edit. Your poem about rape (I can't find it now and don't remember the title) was terrific.

Ross

ray miller
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Re: Hours Ago

Post by ray miller » Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:14 pm

Enjoyed. I like how the babies seem to hold power.
Should it be Coffee-fixed?

young men, .....long with sunglassed eyes. - very nice.
and all is shiny cool, glassy bright. - I'd omit "cool" , flows better
where high rise by the ocean - should it be "a high rise"?
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

churinga
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Re: Hours Ago

Post by churinga » Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:27 pm

Thanks Ray, there is a cluster of high rise buildings on the headland, I live near Coogee Beach in Sydney. 'coffee fixed' I think could have a hyphen but also is valid without. In case anyone doesn't know the slang, fixed is junkie slang for being high on heroin. I see your point about omitting cool. And will edit it out.

cheers
Ross

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Re: Hours Ago

Post by NotQuiteSure » Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:52 pm

[tab][/tab]
Hi churinga.

A toddler gallops through the mall
Purely for the alliteration, 'totters' for 'gallops'?
laughing like an audience.
Like this line, would it weaken it if you added
TV as a modifier to audience?
The old continue chatting
in the donut cafe.

Are there such things as donut cafés
(as opposed to donut shops)?
Shoppers weave
and babies, being pushed around,

do you need 'being'
and if not, maybe begin the next line with 'still'?
seem to hold power.

Coffee fixed, girls stumble over sentences

Did wonder, after your explanation to ray
whether is shouldn't be Coffee-fixed-girls
(the comma seems unnecessary)
and young men, laughing hollow,
'hollow' is a little predictable
long with sunglassed eyes.
'glassed' may have a different meaning here.
(Though it still might work)
You might consider inserting this section
after 'donut cafe' and before 'Shoppers weave'
(You get something of a rhyme with
'power/now a toddler')

Now a toddler is screaming blue murder;
second 'toddler'. Might be ok if it was 'the' toddler.
suddenly the mall reeks of horror
reeks is an interesting choice.
but the old continue chatting
and all is shiny, glassy bright.

I wonder if you might end here?
It's a good line to finish on and
what follows would work better
by itself, I think.
You might also rework the title,
it doesn't seem to be doing much
at all.

Enjoyed the read.

Regards, Not.
[tab][/tab]

churinga
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Re: Hours Ago

Post by churinga » Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:02 pm

Thanks for your detailed crit. I have tried to answer most of your suggestions.

A toddler gallops through the mall
Purely for the alliteration, 'totters' for 'gallops'?
laughing like an audience.

This actually happened, I am using toddler to mean a young child not a baby learning to walk. I was worried I'd got it wrong but according to online definitions a toddler can be a young child up to four years old. I think adding TV is unnecessary, it might suggest canned laughter.

The old continue chatting
in the donut cafe.I

It is a combined shop/cafe, Common here.

do you need 'being'
and if not, maybe begin the next line with 'still'?
seem to hold power.

I will edit being out. I tend to use 'being' too much, blame Heidegger.


Did wonder, after your explanation to ray
whether is shouldn't be Coffee-fixed-girls
(the comma seems unnecessary)

I'm not convinced. I assume fixed is well known as slang for shooting up, I used it as a contrast. Coffee is a real craze here, there is a joke in Melbourne that everyone there owns a cafe.

and young men, laughing hollow,
'hollow' is a little predictable

Not sure why it's predictable.

long with sunglassed eyes.
'glassed' may have a different meaning here.

The light in Australia is punishing, everyone wears sunglasses and the malls are so shiny and well lit people don't remove them. I couldn't believe how grey London was, it is really different here, like LA, 'nothing but blue skies'.

and all is shiny, glassy bright.
I wonder if you might end here?

That's a good point, will consider. I agree the title is a dud. I'll think of something better.

Really appreciated your critique.
cheers
Ross

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Re: Hours Ago

Post by k-j » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:33 am

I quite like this. Some striking turns of phrase e.g. line 2, the babies, the cavorting trees.

I'm not keen on the third stanza. "Screaming blue murder" is hackneyed and "suddenly" also seems OTT. Unless this stanza with its reek of horror is some sort of parody, but if so it feels out of place in this poem.

"High rise" should have an 's' on the end no?

"Such blues, such colours" seems to be asking the reader to do what the poem should be doing. But I dig the last two lines.
fine words butter no parsnips

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Re: Hours Ago

Post by churinga » Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:28 am

Thanks k-j.
All your points are valid and I will probably act on them except I want to start a trend with 'high rise' as a plural, I think it is much better than 'high rises' which sounds as if the buildings are on the move.

Ross

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Re: Hours Ago

Post by lotus » Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:32 am

dear Ross

A toddler gallops through the mall
laughing like an audience.


very fine to hear the hoof beats of a toddler
and how its laughter is so encompassing


silent lotus
“A poem should have the touch ... the way sunlight falls on Braille.” .......silent lotus

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Re: Hours Ago

Post by JJWilliamson » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:17 am

A most enjoyable poem, Ross, and excellent thread.

I enjoyed the exchanges, suggestions and explanations very much. Just how a poetry site should work.

A few thoughts, no more than that, for your deliberation:
churinga wrote:Hours Ago

A toddler gallops through the mall ...I paused at 'gallops'. I get it and actually think it's ok but something like "tears" "races" "careers" "hurtles" sounds less like a horse.
laughing like an audience.
The old continue chatting
in the donut cafe. ...I like this detail.
Shoppers weave
and babies,[s]being pushed around,[/s] (in prams) ...Just a thought.
seem to hold power.

Coffee fixed, girls stumble over sentences ...I get the 'fixed' aspects of this but regardless of grammatical accuracy a hyphen would clear the confusion, at least for me. There's a doubt over the coffee being a dose/fix or a prepared beverage.
and young men, laughing hollow,
long with sunglassed eyes. ...Great! I like the covert nature of the peepers, AND the necessity to protect the eyes. Thought 'long' could stand a nudge.

Now a toddler is screaming blue murder; ...'Screaming blue murder' is a tad clichéd. There's GOT to be an alternative.
suddenly the mall reeks of horror ...I stumbled here, finding the entire line incongruous.
but the old continue chatting
and all is shiny, glassy bright.

Walking home,
history seeps between buildings, ...Vague but delightful.
trees cavort ...Super image.
and heat waves from a distance ...'heat waves' is too close to "heat-waves" OR "heatwaves". I've seen all three, even in the dictionaries. I'm assuming this refers to the shimmering sun and refraction. Could be wrong.
where high rise by the ocean ... maybe "a high rise" if you don't like the plural. Not sure what you're trying to achieve, though. "where ocean apartments" might work, with the term now being widely used outside of the USA. The Brit's still say "flat" but are quite comfortable with "apartment". Do the Aussies use "unit"?
look like a painting
I should paint.

Such blues, such colours, ...Bit on the twee side. You could easily drop this line.
my heart leaps and fails,
leaps and takes hold. ...I really like the close, because I can feel it right down to my toes. I suppose "my heart leaps" is a bit hackneyed but the idea, that indefinable moment is something you should hang on to IMHO. We paint using our eyes and emotions, enter a bubble where time seems to be irrelevant, often waiting for that "leap" you mention. Maybe there's something there.
I thoroughly enjoyed these warm and inspired observations.

Best

JJ
Long time a child and still a child

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Re: Hours Ago

Post by churinga » Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:47 pm

Thanks Lotus for your comment

Thanks JJ
I did try to capture what I saw, so the toddler did gallop like a horse and thought it was hilarious, but I think toddler is probably a bit wrong since the child may have been older. Most think of a toddler as very young.
I was also thinking ''pushed around' could be misconstrued, we call them strollers not prams, but I will change this line.
I will change it to coffee-fixed, it never occurred to me that it would confuse people.
I also worried about 'long' again because it has two meanings.
the blue murder couplet refers to an atrocity that occurred in a mall here, but even most Aussies would not remember it. I will probably have to edit it out.
heat waves is as you think although I thought it maybe too cute.
'high rise buildings' is the accepted term, We also use flats, units, apartments, althought flats is disappearing. I will change this to 'a high rise' to avoid confusion.
I agree the thread has been thorough.
cheers
Ross

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