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    dots Submission Name: photographsdots

    Author: mara
    Elite Ratio:    6.38 - 65/74/20
    Words: 392
    Class/Type: Poetry/Serious
    Total Views: 1198
    Average Vote:    5.0000
    Bytes: 2725

       a poem for my father

    --edited at Haecceity's suggestion.

    --edited again at alteredlife's suggestion.

    Make the font bigger!! Double Spacing Back to recent posts.


    it's a glossy jigsaw, a crinkled-
    itís the focused-eye of my life; sometimes

    blurred from sudden motion, the abrupt
    jerking of a head, or fingers
    diving forward, to cover a lens.

    laying out old photographs:
    there's Mother, dead two years,
    and the startling likeness of my son,

    dated 1970. but it's me, aged maybe
    fourteen. then me and my best friend,
    as cadets, bellies against the

    snow; our winter uniforms starkly,
    darkly defined in black and white. in those
    days, we always smiled like

    idiots. and here's an open parachute
    against a faded, pinkish sky. it's not mine.
    the year it was taken, one cadet died,

    his parachute simply never opened.
    I still think, sometimes, about what
    it would be like to rage, immobile,

    against death by gravity, only
    half a minute away. we all feared
    ignominious death. I don't remember

    all that these imperfect prints
    preserve. that's what they're here for,
    I suppose. but I have to wonder

    what pieces slipped through the
    fragile net of lens and eye?
    are there sunsets I have lost,

    girls I have forgotten? trees that I
    climbed for summers on end
    only to bury them away with the years

    and stare blankly at the stumps
    that are left? to leave behind this
    nonsense, this smattering and

    scattering of colors and lines--
    the shapes of my life-- is too little.
    how can I make my footprints

    larger? more defined? how can I
    show you what monsters lurked around
    each corner, at age five? or that seething

    teenage resentment I thankfully lost?
    the love for my wife is clear enough--
    what of the anger? the bitterness, sometimes,

    and the sudden shock when my older brother
    died. and the prayers for my daughter,
    the atheist-- these things I do not know

    exactly how to show. no close up is
    close enough; no panorama is wide
    enough. there simply is no bridge

    to cross this chasm that lies
    between the world, and what's behind my eyes.
    so eventually, I must sweep the arm

    across the coverlet, and entomb these pretty
    fragments once more. something will remain,
    at least that will be there. and one day,

    my kids can say they knew me.

    Submitted on 2006-04-03 00:20:26     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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    ||| Comments |||
      I enjoyed this a lot. You sucked the reader in telling him it was about photographs, but really, it was about a life lived as well as could be, and the rewards and disappointments that came with it anyway. You did well staying away from abstracts, and you used the poets tools very well, conveying the senses of anxiety, excitement, sadness and joy at the places where they were recalled. Good work,
    | Posted on 2006-04-03 00:00:00 | by Sandburg | [ Reply to This ]
      You're imagegry kicks ass in this poem. I really enjoyed reading it. I like the way that you flow from stanza to stanza, breaking the poem up and yet at the same time letting it run on. Photographs do tell a story don't they? I find it easier to write about something or someone when I can look at a picture. The past is there to remind us why we are here, or for those we have lost, why they aren't. I was amazed as I read this poem. I agree, this is a Master Class peice of work.
    | Posted on 2006-04-03 00:00:00 | by ThisIsReal | [ Reply to This ]
      This is a masterclass poem, a pleasure to read. I like the way your run-on lines move us over the line ends and the verse ends. Not a difficult poem to understand, but well composed, yet deeply felt basic description of the major milestones in your life. Oddly enough photos do capture a reality, we as we once were, but of course we are now strangers looking back at the different people we once were. This is an evocative poem and it almost feels as if each of teh incidents you have briefly touched upon is worth a poem in itself, but then again, that's what photos are - snapshots - still frames from the moving picture. Enjoyed the read.
    | Posted on 2006-04-03 00:00:00 | by hanuman | [ Reply to This ]
      Wow the imagery was fantastic throughout this entire piece, really made for a good set up. The words were sharp and precise and thats what i think made this work, and flow together so well. Anyways thanks for the write it was very very well written. Have a wonderful evening, ciao for now, amber
    | Posted on 2006-04-03 00:00:00 | by amber_in_wyomin | [ Reply to This ]
      I really enjoyed your poem. In fact, I think it's one of the best I've seen on this website. You create such a vivid image, I got sucked in.
    The rhythm seems awkward at first, but then I thought about it, and it actually reminds me of flipping through old photos, with memories blending and then being interrupted by others. awesome.
    | Posted on 2006-04-03 00:00:00 | by russiangopher | [ Reply to This ]

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