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Just a Weatherman

Author: Lost Sheep
ASL Info:    41 M Vancouver, WA
Elite Ratio:    6.25 - 913 /773 /73
Words: 508
Class/Type: Poetry /Misc
Total Views: 1345
Average Vote:    No vote yet.
Bytes: 3355


This is my entry to the Weatherman contest. Or more acurately, this is the piece I should have entered.

When the contest was first posted, I set out to write a good piece. "The Weatherman" is not really my style of theme, so it took me several days to put together what I felt was a decent entry. My usual style of dealing with lost people in freeform poetry just wasn't going to work here. I figured everone was going to write pieces slamming the weatherman for inaccuracy, so I took a different path. I also wrote in rhyme, which isn't my usual style, but seemed to fit the theme I had chosen.

When I was finally content with piece I went to the site to post it. There I discovered a rule that I hadn't seen before. Maybe it was added later or perhaps I just missed it the first time. The new rule read "* Each Line Cannot Start and end with one syllable words". I was devastated. My piece was no longer eligible.

So it was back to the drawing board looking for a fix here, a hack there. I was able to rework the piece to fit the rules, but it lost a lot of the flow in the process. A quick comparison between this version and the version in the contest will show you how much it suffered in translation.

Now the contest is done and I was beaten by a VERY good poem written by Jennifer (joy7542). Her poem was unquestionably the best of all the pieces submitted. She actually had me feeling for the weatherman, which is pretty mean feat indeed. I think it's the best piece she's ever written, at least here on ES. It was a great piece and have no interest in taking anything away from it. She deserved to win.

Still, there's a sour taste in my mouth over the entire thing, because her poem has the very one syllable starting and ending lines that I worked so hard to slash from mine. In fact the great majority of contestants, feeling the rule was arbitrary, simply blew it off. There were five other poems that followed the rules and all of them suffered to at least some degree from lousy flow. I wonder what those poets would have come up if they had known the rules wouldn't matter.

In any event here's my original piece, before I knew of the rule. I hope you enjoy it.

Just a Weatherman

Old Jack Thorson was a weather show host
Famous he was from mountain to coast
Weathermen are a curse,
Many bad, some are worse
Truly, Thorson seemed closer than most

Truth be, old Jack was always correct
It wasn’t just his, the signs to connect
Although he was gallant
He knew his true talent,
The weather was his to direct

When Thorson said rain, the river would rise
Declare he the sun, it’s 90 for highs
He predicted the storm,
He said when it would warm
Forecast snow? It was up to your thighs

It happened once during the wettest of fall
Thorson came home and got a phone call
A young boy sought drying
Although he was dying,
For he wanted to see some baseball

Jack looked at the radar, examined the sky
All systems said rain, but he wanted it dry
There appeared little doubt
Baseball’s chances were out
Failure loomed, but he just had to try

It was Thorson, God, the boy had trusted
Jack flew to work, the clouds were adjusted
Right now was the hour,
He tested his power
Still downpour and deluge, wind gusted

Then thunder was banned, the rain disappeared
Sunlight broke out as the pitcher’s time neared
The crowd gathered there saw
People gazed up in awe,
“Weather God!” all the masses there cheered

When letters, they came, all were seeking his aid
“Create sun for crops”, for showers they prayed
“Prohibit the rain,
Flooding’s due soon in Spain”
“The World Series cannot be delayed!”

Putting out fires, with his own hand
Growing plants in the high desert sand
Refilling the lakes,
Flashing ski slopes with flakes
Christmas white and the spring wedding grand

Jack was so rushed, he began to feel ill
All of the people soon wanted his skill
Without any checks
He misjudged his effects
Unwanted things started to spill

For planets are globes, no matter how stout
and changes have ways of moving about
Although clouds were thinned
Blizzards grew on the wind
Every shower was countered by drought

And then a cry came, and oh, it was dire
“Thorson come quick, for Wheatville’s on fire”
He put down the smoke,
Sadly then the dam broke
Forty six lay there dead in the mire

Oh, how people in pain can forget
In rage they came and on him beset
Wiping tears from his eyes
Old Jack hears all their cries
Yells of revenge drown his cries of regret

Thorson looked up to the heavens, so high
Cumulonimbus formed in the sky
Lightning flashed from the cloud,
Hit him with his head bowed
Weather God’s final act, a bulls-eye

Now over the stone’s a perpetual squall
Raining right there, where he managed to crawl
“Buried here where he trod,
Sorry, not Weather God
Just a Weather Man, it seems,

after all”

Submitted on 2006-03-17 00:08:53     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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I am pleased to see you used so much rhyme. It's not usually your style but it brought this one something extra.
I love that you always seem to take on a challange. It inspires me to be more like you and your writes. Great job.
Times are changing and the fact that you seem to use your writing to play into the past, present and future really makes me long to read your work.
Thank you so much for being that one person I can look up to.
| Posted on 2006-03-30 00:00:00 | by bbcakes1115 | [ Reply to This ]
  Don't give up on rhyme, Steve. Rhyme doesn't limit. It forces creativity. Anybody can say anything in limitless space. A craftsman and artist can say what ever he or she wants in any space provided him or her.
Saying that, Rhyme isn't your problem here. It's meter and rhythm. Meter is the heart of rhyme. Rhyme feels forced when your meter is off.
"Jack was so rushed, he began to feel ill
All of the people soon wanted his skill
Without any checks
He misjudged his effects
Unwanted things started to spill"
Like in this stanza, the last line want another syllable at the beginning, something unstressed, to keep the limerick feel of your stanzas.
Figure out your rhythm, your stress paterns, and this will become a very strong piece.
| Posted on 2006-03-28 00:00:00 | by DavidHirt | [ Reply to This ]
  Unusual indeed to see rhyme in your posts.. but I think venturing into new areas is good for any writer. For me, I need to venture more into free verse.
This was interesting and held my attention. And one of the better entries in the contest (unlike mine..but I just really wanted to be in the running it was fun).

I like the moral here.. To not expect more from others than we do of ourselves.. and that we are all human..and mistakes will be made. It seems Jack, and the others forgot this.. but was soon reminded.

Good work.
| Posted on 2006-03-23 00:00:00 | by Intricate1 | [ Reply to This ]
  Well hi there Steve! I have to agree that this piece was different for you. Rhyming is hard work and you do a wonderful job at it. I must confess though, I so enjoy your work much more when it doesn't rhyme.

I am a strong believer in the fact that rhyming limits a person, and here I feel that it has limited you a bit. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy the whole piece, it was just that I think you could have written something much more grand if you had written in your usual style. But hey, what do I know. I'm just a lowly poet trying to find her strength on the paper.

We all need to try something a little different sometimes.

Overall, it was wonderful and I do enjoy reading your work no matter how it is written. I do believe that if you had submitted this piece, you would have come out the winner.

Brightest Blessings,
| Posted on 2006-03-20 00:00:00 | by lenotoire | [ Reply to This ]
  Well Steve, Chell is right about being surprised at the amount of comments. I have to be honest friend and say that I do like this because I am a fan of your style of writing. The problem is that the rhyming was a bit much but not to the point of ruining the write. I am more of a fan of your personal writes and your stories which I do like very much.
This one ran on a bit and did leave the reader looking for an end.
I hate being a critic because it leaves me feeling guilty for doing it.
So I will leave you with my above comments in hopes that you understand.

Respect and Admiration

| Posted on 2006-03-19 00:00:00 | by Wisdom Seeker | [ Reply to This ]
  I am suprised that this hasn't gotten more comments... Where has everyone gone???

I really enjoyed the limerick feel in this piece. Your character seems larger than life. And the different themes that run through this at the same time are really cool. (I like the' is he a god, isn't he a god?', and the 'don't mess with the weather, you may not like the results', almost chaos theory.)

For a man that hates rhyme, rebels against syllabic count, worries about the emotional connection, not the words, this piece fair kick butt.

Proud of you baby- even the winner thinks you're a winner...

Loved by,

| Posted on 2006-03-18 00:00:00 | by Chell | [ Reply to This ]
  I really liked this Steve,
if it was posted I am sure that it would have taken first prize.
You really got me into the story of it.

Though I dont really like rhyming, I loved this, you did a great job with the flow of it.

The ending was the best part, just a weatherman after all.

thanks again,
& take care
| Posted on 2006-03-17 00:00:00 | by joy7542 | [ Reply to This ]
  Well, this is quite different from what I am used to reading from you! Not too often I see a rhyming poem with your name attached to it. This form you have have used is not an easy one to write, especially while telling a story. I occassionally write rhyming poems too, and actually mine entered for this contest was also a rhyming poem. But, overall, I prefer to write non rhyming ones. I think you did a nice job with this, not the best I have read from you but still a good poem. I think the rhyme may have gotten in the way a bit here. I dont like having to be confind to rules when I write. Free style is definitely where it's at with me. A nice story you have told. Take care.

| Posted on 2006-03-17 00:00:00 | by lmz | [ Reply to This ]
  As you know I think some of your poems are amongst the best on the site but I'm afraid this isn't one of them. Normally your characters zing out of the page but rhyme seems to have killed Old Jack Thorson long before

Lightning flashed from the cloud,
Hit him with his head bowed
Weather God’s final act, a bulls-eye

and the pity of it is that I think the story could have been really good.

'Forecast snow? It was up to your thighs' is a good line and

For planets are globes, no matter how stout
and changes have ways of moving about
Although clouds were thinned
Blizzards grew on the wind
Every shower was countered by drought

isn't bad at all but most of the language does seem forced and parts seem clumsy, especially for you, like

Raining right there, where he managed to crawl
“Buried here where he trod,

In addition, I agree with this new person Reid Welch concerning the inverted syntax.

I get tempted to try rhyme some times myself but those poems aren't amongst my best either. I would love to see the whole thing rewritten in your normal style because for me this one doesn't suit you.

Still other people may love it. This is just my opinion.

Sorry and an extra big hug because I feel guilty for being so negative.
| Posted on 2006-03-17 00:00:00 | by comradenessie | [ Reply to This ]
  I'm very new here and not at all familiar with group standards or even competent to use this software platform.

For my taste and sharing perspectives: couplet-rhymed poems are hard to pull off well.
They are, by nature, pretty sing-songy and tend to make small of any serious attempt to convey modern poetic thought.

Another peril of the form is the great temptation to invert syntax. A perfect example, and needless inversion is found at your opening:

"Old Jack Thorson was a weather show host
Famous he was from mountain to coast"

Now, c'mon. Nobody speaks like that today:
Famous was he.

nah, don't take down your poem to "poetaster" level when it's so easy to avoid.

For instance:

Grizzled Jack Thorson, the weather show host:
Famous greybeard from mountains to coasts.

--same thing, really, but a heck of a lot more engaging (imo).

Can you look through your poem to find more ways to make it cooler? One good thing, always: cut out fats. Make the poem as short and succinct as you can.

People have short attention spans.
For this reason, the opening line or two are vital for hooking in the reader.
Just as vital is the closing line. Must be sharp to make the poem memorable, inviting enough for a second reading.

I hope this mini-review is of some use to you.

Cheers from newbie Reid
| Posted on 2006-03-17 00:00:00 | by Reid Welch | [ Reply to This ]

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