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Ants With Cameras

by fortis

Your body felt heavy
after sitting there,
staring, chasing after nothing.
You looked deep in thought,
your mouth pursed,
but your mind was blank.
The motions were there,
but they left no memory,
no mark, like a pen out of ink.

And your body felt heavy
when you noticed the hospital bracelet
lying on the floor
where it had been for 2 weeks.
But you couldn’t bring yourself
to pick it up and read the name.
So you left it there, uncut.
The wrist had slipped right through.

And your body felt heavy
when you saw the clear sky.
You wanted a cloudy day.
You wanted crashings in the heavens.
The skies should be weeping.
Like you wept.
Yet the stars twinkled bright
and the moon shone, oblivious.

And your body felt heavy
when it snowed so pure and white
and the sky was still clear and blue
because you had slept and stared
all the way through the storm.

And your body felt heavy
when she whispered three words
from a time past and forgotten.
She whispered it
without knowing
that you were listening.
She whispered it
in her sing-songy voice.
She whispered it
so soft, and so vivid
the memories.

And your body felt small.
A tiny child sits in the back seat
of a white minivan.
He stares in wonder at
the freshly fallen snow.
The way it sparkles in the sun.
And he imagines—just for a moment—
that every glimmering flake
is an ant with a camera
trying to get a picture of him.
Thousands of tiny insects
all hoping for the chance
to get his picture.
He grins.

And your body felt heavy
when she whispered those words.
“Ants with cameras.”
As she stared at the snow.
Your body felt heavy,
and your mind felt an ache,
An ache eons old,
when you realized
you could never go back
to that bliss.
When you realized
there are no ants with cameras.
Just snow.

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67 Reviews

Points: 1337
Reviews: 67

Sun Sep 29, 2013 2:35 pm
indieeloise wrote a review...

Hi, fortis! Here to review this extremely intriguing poem of yours. :)

So the vibe I’m getting here is that the sight of sudden snow reminds the speaker of childhood memories that morph into more recent (and more painful) recollections. I feel like this poem goes on for longer than is necessary for your theme, and since a snowflake is something of brief, as is a flash of memory, I feel like this would benefit from using fragments and/or shorter or less stanzas. Just something to consider. Things start picking up the pace towards the end of the 3rd stanza, mainly at the line “Like you wept” - it seems like the first true emotional reaction of the subject of the poem that ties in the perspective of the speaker with that of the subject. I think you should use more of this - you use a bit of an “aerial” point-of-view in this, which can work well with poetry, but I think that since this deals with memories of someone separate from the speaker, it would benefit the poem to ‘cut to the chase,’ if you will. You switch back and forth between this aerial view (as if the speaker is in the sky, looking down on the subject like an ant on the ground - pun intended c;), and the memories/perspective of the subject, which are things that the speaker really couldn’t know unless they were inside the mind of the subject. Or, an option that would not only eliminate the above confusing switch between the perspectives and also would convey the theme of this poem in a more concise and poignant manner would be to let the speaker and the subject be the same person. As in, write it in first-person. I think the theme would be conveyed more directly.

As for the separate stanzas, I think you should nix the first. It really does nothing to contribute to the overall idea of the poem.

The second is a bit jarring; I like where you’re going with it, especially the “wrist had slipped right through” part, but it kind of comes out of the blue. Maybe keep this, but provide more of a foundation for it in the 1st stanza.

Third stanza - good. Makes me think of the phrase, “misery loves company.”

The fourth stanza feels a little like rambling - but I get that the first mention of snow is important, so maybe you could find a way to work that into the third stanza, since you’re already talking about weather and oblivion and such.

Fifth stanza doesn’t really seem to contribute to the poem much, either. I like the whole introduction of a third character - this mysterious “she” - and I think you should keep her mysterious. I like the way you mention this “she” in the last stanza, in a fleeting way. Like a flashback. Like a snowflake. Remember your overarching metaphor - you want to reflect that in not only your content, but your aesthetics, as well.

Sixth and seventh stanza are my favorite, by far. The only suggestion I have for those is to be less “showy” - it gets a little prose-y with the “he grins” and such. But that’s all I would change!


Great poem, overall! I will definitely check out some of your other work. :)


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191 Reviews

Points: 7136
Reviews: 191

Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:52 am
Nargles wrote a review...


Ok, so Nargles here to review for you.

I enjoyed this, it was captivating. And while I don't fully understand, it was good. And it doesn't really matter if I don't understand it fully, because it still captivated me and made me think and question what it was about. So good job! Because poetry, for me, is about captivating the reader so that the reflect on the poem and what it is about.

Now, whilst this is a good poem, well written with some great imagery. I feel as if it a little bit disjointed. peanut mentioned this briefly, that they felt as if the first half didn't really fit with the second half.
And, while I can see what she means, for me, it was more the chopping and changing of ideas.
The overall idea of a persons body and how the feel is clear. But you have all these little ideas scattered around the place that just don't fit. They are nice ideas by themselves, and you express them really nicely, but when you read them with the poem as a whole, the simply feel out of whack. If that makes sense?
I sort of understand why you have included them, and I feel as a lot of them could work such as ants with cameras, because I really like them. But you simply need to pick a few and really focus on those.
Do you understand where I am coming?

It is a great poem, well written, with some really good ideas. It just needs a bit of tidying up.

Keep writing.
Nargles xxx

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1238 Reviews

Points: 35807
Reviews: 1238

Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:51 am
niteowl wrote a review...

Hi there fortis! Nite here to review for Team Rouge this fine Review Day!

So...okay this is going to be the lamest review I have written in a while, because this is so darn good! It paints this beautiful but sad picture of grief mixed with nostalgia. The second person perspective threw me for a loop at first, but I think it worked really well for this piece.

and your mind felt an ache,
An ache eons old,

Okay I had to find something to critique, so here it is: you don't really need to repeat "ache".

Otherwise, excellent job. Keep writing! :)

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187 Reviews

Points: 13001
Reviews: 187

Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:19 am
PeanutPhoebe wrote a review...

All right, PeanutPhoebe, here to review. Okay, so I didn't really see how the first half really fit with the rest of the poem. It seems like it's more about how your body felt than ants with cameras. I liked the second part, it's interesting. However, the beat seems a little off. I think you did pretty good, but it could be improved. Sorry if I seem harsh or negative,:/ I just want to help you become a better poet. You have great potential!! Keep writing!!

Life's short; smile while you still have teeth.
— Tuesday