They were old, and they knew it.
Their crippling backs forced into awkward angles by age. Deep rut wrinkles lined their faces, slowly deepening as the great Colorado river works away the Grand Canyon.
Everyone of them hobbled about. Each one of them slowly deteriorating, slowly withering away. The only thing that kept them alive were the pills. Small tablets that kept together what scraps of skin and flesh that kept these people among the living.
Dark circles grasped at their eyes, the only part that could still peer out with the same intensity that once made them who they were.
Why did they take the pills?
It was clear that they longed for death. The pain they lived with everyday wasn’t worth living. They could barely move, most of them unable to walk.
Why did they want to live? There was nothing left to live for.
Nothing except life.
They were living to live. But there was no way to get their lives back. And yet there was the promise.
Since the day they could comprehend the words, they were told: One day you will rest, until that day comes, you must work. To this day those words echoed in their tired crippled ears.
But, now that the day had come, now that the promise had been kept, it was worthless. They were trapped in paradise.
Everything was perfect. Flawless.
All was part of the heaven promised them. But their minds had long ago wasted away.
Too wrought to work now.
So now they just took their pills, their necks bulging as their dry throats worked to swallow, tugging the pills down.
They were waiting, waiting for paradise to come....
| ||| Posted on 2007-05-20 00:00:00 | by Glen Bowman | [ Reply to This ] || It's about people who have had their membership cancelled and been imprisoned by folk who can also write poems like this. There is a flaw in your concept here: to perceive a crowd of losers instead of various individuals each with vast experience existing in spaces that younger folk have no basis to understand except for the possibility of friendship.|
Very few beat-up looking old folk in the last months of their lives would agree with you that they have nothing left to live for: many would admit that only recently had they got an inkling of what they had been living for, all that time!
I like the verse-form and I think you're good at poetry because you seek the strong way of putting things; the passionate words and penetrating images. But tabloid journalists also do that .... what's so different about poetry?
|| Posted on 2007-05-20 00:00:00 | by Glen Bowman | [ Reply to This ] || Its not very sympathetic, almost tyranical. Its really a very skewed point of view (but then you are American- just a joke) about life, death and paradise. Or have I got it all wrong? I hate it when that happens. |
The person above me definitely likes it and so in the words of Aishwarya Rai, " if it touches someone somewhere, then it is good" (i think she meant useful but oh well).
To be honest you did compel me to think so it is good writing, even though I dont much agree with it.
Hope this helps.
|| Posted on 2005-10-27 00:00:00 | by ARK | [ Reply to This ] || ok as a story, a social sentiment, i say its fine you have presented the information well. the mood is very gloomy in this. lightly satirical more along the lines of "i want to put a bullet in my head now" kinda of feeling not from the your delivery ha ha don’t get me wrong here, you presented it well. it just the mood in it, gosh i guess it’s my being in middle age I’m not comfortable with. so if that were maybe a side effect you intended to give I say you did a fine job! |
ok I came back on this one cause I think just offering a mood and a small explanation for that mood wasn’t fair to you as a writer. I will attach this to the bottom cause I also feel that this second comment (no matter how far I am behind) does not warrant an extra point. I believe in my heart I failed on the first comment to offer anything that may help. I’m not sure whether my style could help you one way or the other but ill give it a shot.
on the first line I feel depressed because it says this “they were old and they knew it” it like you cant escape from it, it’s a “set in stone” type thing only way to avoid such a thing is “to check out early” bear with me I tend to use clichés and redundancies at times to try to get my point across.
ok now onto “crippling backs forced into awkward angles by age” actually I do like that expression that illustrates a mood and visual very well. . “Deep rut wrinkles lined their faces, slowly deepening as the great Colorado river works away the Grand Canyon.” the usage here is a good metaphor for the depth of those wrinkles and may be even the feelings of those who get them too.
“Each one of them slowly deteriorating” and “the hobbled about” this having launched my mood again downward with the first one being more intense than second. “slowly withering away.” again same effect.
now “The only thing that kept them alive were the pills” I would like to share a minor belief of mine it is this the pharmaceutical entities have infiltrated our health care in every way they can filtering down to the suppliers, all the way to the doctors who prescribe them. I have made a promise to myself knowing what I know about the dangers of many types of medication not to “extend” (using that word loosely) my life by them. I would like to the best of my ability go out naturally with out the help of drugs.
“kept together what scraps of skin and flesh” that is morbid visual there but I do like it. “the only part that could still peer out with the same intensity that once made them who they were.” I see a double meaning in this: one is that the eyes being the windows to the soul and their souls are what made them the same person as before, long before age got a foothold on their lives. and the other is the actual perception of what they see and how they are the same person just an older version, though perceptions do change.
“Why did they take the pills?” that would lead me back to the previous ranting of pharmaceutical entities. but the question is a very good one “why?” I think we need to ask those “whys” on many things in our society a lot of whys need some answers.
“It was clear that they longed for death” that is a subjective feeling/statement toward those older people but not that it hasn’t been thought about by me I go to old folks homes a lot, so I ask many of these type questions. “The pain they lived with everyday wasn’t worth living” again as before a subjective feeling/statement toward those who are older. They could barely move, most of them unable to walk. that is more solid and its heartbreaking to watch.
“Why did they want to live? There was nothing left to live for.” now this I stress to families to have those bonds with the elderly and never leave them to rot away whether in be with the family or if they are in a home. it’s a shame to see people left somewhere alone. that is what that particular line does for me.
“Nothing except life.” that isn’t a depressing line at all there that depending how one sees it can be a blessing or a curse.
the “one day one day” echo effect is cool I like it a gives lull effect to the write.
“now that the promise had been kept, it was worthless. They were trapped in paradise.” the promise of rest, there seems to be no rest in old age but the constant pain and the breaking down of the body it troubling to think about. trapped in paradise is a nice touch of sarcasm.
the pill taking line again jeez very depressing but well described.
the last line of waiting for paradise to come has a doubled meaning to it one is the promise of paradise in death that may be promise if one where to have any religious influence and the second paradise that of rest here on earth.
ok I hope I did better and gave you some justice for this piece.
|| Posted on 2005-10-15 00:00:00 | by inspirit999 | [ Reply to This ] || Not as bad as you think, though definitely improvable. Their backs aren’t “crippling”; age is crippling. Their backs are sagging, shrinking, or whatever term you like – but not a transitive verb. I like the alliteration of "awkward angles + age", though you could phrase it better. “rut” would probably sound better as “rutted” – that is, sounc smoother. Also in that sentence, you use “deep” and “deepening” almost next to each other. Change one or the other; also “as” should be “like”, as in: like some great Colorado wearing its way to form the Grand Canyon”. I don’t intend to tear through this whole piece in detail. I only wanted to point to the attention to detail required to refine your prose – and I truly think it is worth refining, both because the thoughts behind it are sensitive and interesting, and the “rough copy” (as I see it) is worth working over.|
Please...keep up your writing efforts.
|| Posted on 2005-10-15 00:00:00 | by fredmelden | [ Reply to This ] |