Driving Forces that Claim us -------------------------------------------
The days are patient to the
freckles of roses that drink in rich green forest
For hours a sliver of dark grey falls on the brow of a happy rock
the ignorance a cousin to bliss
Down and across the web of space,
fearful eyes watch
they are the short breath of time and the hands of a clock
Lingering perceptions of drafty houses and the idea of no home at all demand the body and the mind
The human heart beats quickly to catch up to light
it beats faster and faster to break through the barrier
only to find that the gates here are strong and tall and fierce and shine solidly in the sun
but it might stop
cease to be motivated by fear
and then slow down
Like the hips of a striding tiger
ignorant grass grooves in the fields
and always along with
the turning of the earth
cosmic forces turn the worlds and the plants and the suns
ferns grow on the gears that grind on gears inside motion and three dimensional space
the people are sick
they bite their nails and tremble and take prescription medications
food that determines their medication
spring bubbles as she is brought to a boil
summer suns the faces of the women and they get cancer
duality and buildings crumble as leaves fall
winter has not yet arrived
the list grows longer
a single tree still stands
roots firmly planted in confident thankful soil
the tree of life never runs out of time
but dies gracefully when the sun goes down
This is one of your weaker pieces.
Your spelling/grammar faltered in this one though it's
been top-of-the-line in recent pieces. This is only
important because it makes this one feel rushed to me
(though it may not be).
Reading this, I know I can not critique stanza by stanza
as most of these stanzas seem to be heavily dependent
upon the other stanzas.
You're attempting to create a painting and I am almost
to where I can see it, but then I lose it.
Partly it's because the first line doesn't make sense to
me. It does, but it doesn't. It does because I can see
a forest dotted with roses and they are "drinking" as
all plants "drink". But then I read it again and I feel
We switch. You start with a nature scene then hop to a
I get the sense that this stanza is the introduction to
the "Driving forces that claim us", time being one of
them. Everyone eyes the clock knowing their time is
being cut every second and so they must hurry hurry get
Though, "the heart beats quickly to catch up to the
light/but it might stop/and then slow down" suggests
that despite the hurry that time drives us toward people
do occasionally relax some and unwind.
I find no meaning here again. It's importance seems to
be a contrast to the human drive. The natural world
goes on in its calm, careful pace.
This goes out to the view of the universe. These
"cosmic" forces move all the worlds, etc. You relate it
to gears suggesting that the universe is more a machine
than a thinking, organic thing. "and three dimensional
space" seems unnecessary.
Here you return us back to the neurotic human beings who
are so worried and harried that they "bite their nails
and tremble and take prescription/medication" and that
they eat. You suggest that the food determines their
medication which could be a clever nod toward how
obesity has become a thing people take medication for.
Or just a less clever nod that our food affects us. In
which case I suggest removing the eating part of this
This stanza made me smile because you found a way to
work the seasons into this poem. Knowing you I would
wonder if this wasn't more forced because you -wanted-
them in there rather than needed them. But then I
This stanza works in how you present it. The second
line in this stanza was exceptionally clever and became
my favorite line in this for that alone.
I will make a suggestion on the third line,
"winter caresses their hair and they shiver" or
something like that. "winter winds" is just a bit
cliché the way you use it.
The second and fourth lines of this stanza go along with
the rest of the poem in their contrasting human life and
nature. I feel that the "duality and" part of the
second line would be better taken out.
This isn't very clever, but, "a child springs from a
young mother" would have been another way to do the
fourth line without making the mentioned season as
obvious. Though obviously my line is awkward.
I would remove this stanza. I could argue that it
belongs in this piece, but I think I could make a
stronger argument against this stanza. You
unnecessarily add a contemporary situation to a piece
that otherwise can stand outside what is happening -
Not counting S7, this is your weakest stanza. The tree
of life is a cliché and while the imagery of this stanza
is obvious and strong, I just don't feel it is strong
enough. I would suggest leaning onto some mythology.
Yggdrasil (the world tree of Norse myths) is a good
I'd like you to at least rewrite this stanza either
making use of my suggestion (not necessarily Yggdrasil,
but you could try) or just coming up with something far
more novel. I would be interested to see if you can
It's a strong piece, but not a powerful piece. Do you
understand what I mean? You express your point well and
with largely original words/wording, but I don't think
it has a lot of power to -do- something. Now I'm not
sure what I mean. I just sound pretentious now.
The piece is solid though I feel you have done better.