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mist

by Que


Some days, when the wind picks up and

sends a flock of yellow leaves skittering

around my feet, I get tunnel-vision and

see only those leaves, the glowing white

bands of a crosswalk of which I was guardian,

that black, nameless road and the leaves.

In my memory, there is nothing else.



I peel back the layers, a canopy of

grey skies and green, smells of sap and

pine needles, dampness. moon shadow.

One autumn afternoon, embedded in a sea of

rubber-band bows and paperclip arrows,

I stood as judge before a chain link fence,

goading the cars into driving through puddles,

listening to the low rumbles of I-5 and the

asphalt, and the faint sounds of someone

in the trailer on school grounds, singing.



I imagine the way my toes ground down, my

blade of a frown as I held myself so carefully

aloof. A corn-daughter transplanted, the rain

did not lay claim to me (the way it does now);

it didn't take words to say, “This is not my

home.”



Then the day disappears, the image falters,

fades into these yellow leaves scattering

around my feet, then and now, grey geese

flying east; I wonder if this is why I was

called back, because of the imprint of ivy

on my heart and the breath of the northwest

turning to mist in my lungs.


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124 Reviews


Points: 9765
Reviews: 124

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Sun Jan 03, 2021 12:18 pm
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Liminality wrote a review...



Hi there, Que!

This is such a delightfully mysterious poem (very befitting the title 'mist'). The atmosphere is dream-like, especially with the sort of abstract flow of images. It seems to be a poem about being displaced from a home somewhere? And being somewhere else, with a duty, hence all of the 'guarding' imagery. There's a lot of melancholy I sense in this piece, and longing for that original home.

Language

the glowing white
bands of a crosswalk of which I was guardian


I stood as judge before a chain link fence,
goading the cars into driving through puddles,


my
blade of a frown as I held myself so carefully
aloof. A corn-daughter transplanted,


I love how this image is developed. The "guardian" goes from being positively described with "glowing" bands to somewhat more ominous imagery with the "chain link fence" and "goading", and finally to clarifying that they don't really belong there.

moon shadow


I love this image! It's so creative and an unexpected metaphor to describe the shade of trees.

Structure

In my memory, there is nothing else.


Great work changing up the rhythm here! The one-sentence line gave me a helpful break from the run-on lines with a lot of enjambments and also conveyed a feeling of emptiness.

One autumn afternoon, embedded in a sea of
rubber-band bows and paperclip arrows,


Think I would have appreciated some kind of structural divide between the previous line and "One autumn afternoon", which kind of signalled to me that another narrative was about to start, so it was a bit confusing to have it in the same stanza as "moon shadow" for instance.

I imagine the way my toes ground down, my
blade of a frown as I held myself so carefully
aloof. A corn-daughter transplanted, the rain
did not lay claim to me (the way it does now);
it didn't take words to say, “This is not my
home.


I do like that you're quite consistent in where you place your enjambments! I noticed that for this stanza, particularly the line often breaks before the last word/chunk in the sentence or image, which emphasises it, as in the bolded text.

Miscellaneous

It's interesting that you didn't capitalise the title but used capitalisation in the poem! Does it have a meaning to it? Or is it to capture the atmosphere of mist? I'd love to know. :D

That's all

Overall, I thought this poem had a ton of great imagery. The narrative isn't immediately obvious (I did read it several times before settling on an interpretation), but that just makes it a subtler poem requiring closer reading.

Hopefully you found these comments helpful - and keep writing!

Cheers,
-Lim




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5 Reviews


Points: 7
Reviews: 5

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Tue Dec 29, 2020 5:35 pm
2951302 says...



Great poem!

the only thing that I would say is that some of your line breaks could be improved.
for example:

"Some days, when the wind picks up and

sends a flock of yellow leaves skittering"

I personally think it would sound better if it was:

"Some days, when the wind picks up

and sends a flock of yellow leaves skittering"

Hope this helpful!

Happy writings!




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82 Reviews


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Reviews: 82

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Sun Dec 27, 2020 2:58 am
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Yoshikrab wrote a review...



Wow! Certainly a very serene poem!

I think you did a GREAT job here! :D :D :D

(Also, this is my first review for review day. TIME TO TAKE ON THE REVIEWS!!!)

First, I want to say that this poem's overall rhythm and beat is great-- no problem with that. I'll always tell any poem like this that a good stanza structure and nice rhymes is always needed.

Now, to the actual review:

Some days, when the wind picks up and

sends a flock of yellow leaves skittering

around my feet, I get tunnel-vision and

see only those leaves, the glowing white

bands of a crosswalk of which I was guardian,

that black, nameless road and the leaves.

In my memory, there is nothing else.



Okay, so I was feeling really good until the part it got to "Tunnel-vision". That was seriously out of line with the poem. First of all, it doesn't have the dramatic-ness a poem like this should have. Second of all, it's a slightly informal term. If you used different word choice, that would definitely have been preferred.

There aren't many other mistakes in the rest of this poem. Your descriptive writing is incredible and your line structure is good, although your stanza's could be a bit more organized.

Anyways-- hope you were satisfied with this review.

Bon Voyage!

-y0sH!




Que says...


Oop I've been traveling and forgot to reply %u2014 thanks for the review!



Yoshikrab says...


yw!



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34 Reviews


Points: 247
Reviews: 34

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Mon Dec 21, 2020 10:10 am
rida says...



I think this is a really nice poem!





Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.
— Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind