Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Clock

I swallow the last of the birdsong,
slow,
and shatter the cup.
Just for the noise.
Just for the noise.

Then, I hitch up the dead horse
and drag the sun till it comes up;
shooing stars away
with what's left of my voice.

It's another morning for me
to carry in.
Another night
buried beneath the still hands

of the clock
set by you
and stopped.

For some reason, this one has given me fits.  Here's the revised version:

I swallow the last of the birdsong slow
and shatter the cup for the noise.
Then I hitch up the dead horse
to drag in the sun
and shoo the stars away
with my voice.

It's another morning
for me to carry in.
Another night buried
beneath the still hands

of the clock
set by you
and stopped.

Any thoughts?

For Peggy's prompt at Real Toads

30 comments:

Gail said...

I dislike repeating myself but...Wow!

Sam Edge said...

That's just a damn fine poem mama z. Congrats on getting selected for the Boston Poetry contest.

Marian said...

whew, good one.
Boston Poetry Contest? what'd i miss?

Jinksy said...

drag the sun till it comes up ?

Sheesh! I'd rather leave it in peace after a bad night :0) lol

Kerry O'Connor said...

Simply amazing poetry. I with Marian on the "What did I miss?" We toads like to be in on all the announcements pertaining to poetic achievements!!!

Vanessa V Kilmer said...

Yeah, that had impact.

Peggy said...

I like the way you rewrote this. It flows and reads better I think. It is easier for me to take in the meaning in the more compacted form.

Helen said...

My favorite is the first draft. I especially like the repetition of 'just for the noise.'

aspiritofsimplicity said...

I like the first one.

Brian Miller said...

there is a really cool rhythm to this....the hitching up the horse to drag the sun in, def like that...

i kinda like it without the repetition honestly....

Susie Clevenger said...

Both are great, but the first one really speaks to me. Great work as always!!

Debi Swim said...

I prefer the second but truly you can't go wrong with either. I just like the tightness, tenseness of it.

Fireblossom said...

I like the second version much better. I didn't think the repeated line worked, and your line breaks are better in the second one.

Grace said...

I enjoyed both but I like the first one ~ Congrats MZ on D'verse anniversary contest ~

Sioux said...

Sometimes if I'm not thrilled with a piece, I rearrange the parts. What about beginning with the 3rd and 4th stanza and see where that takes it?

If that really screws it up, don't curse me (too loudly).

manicddaily said...

Hi MZ - the first has a lovely music but the second more resolved, I thought. I certainly know what it is to get stuck - these honestly didn't look like it. There are certain lovely ambiguities in the first, but the resolved works well--

You could possible do away with the last line. The clock set by you has a certain power without the stopping, for the fact is that yuo are still revolving?

K.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

A fantastic write, any way you look at it. And......Boston Poetry Contest? Congratulations. They know good poetry when they read it!

Margaret said...

I think with taking out the word "just" it is more crisp - and the strong line of the "dead horse" just takes off.

...and I hate to say this, Ms. Boston Poetry Finalist, but I'm thrilled to imagine you having "fits" :)

hedgewitch said...

I liked the repeated line--gave it that dirge like feel as you move on to the dead horse...the second version is cleaner and less cluttered, though. The last lines are still a bit murky--not in meaning but impact--sometimes the simplest stuff is the hardest to get the way you want it. ...the clock you set/then stopped? maybe? Regardless--some luminous imagery in this one, MZ---good stuff.

grapeling said...

great, now I'm thinking about YOUR line breaks? :)

congrats on dVerse and Boston. Well deserved.

here's my .02, which in modern values, is worth less than nothing.

I swallow the last
of the birdsong, slow,
and shatter the cup
just for the noise
hitch up the dead horse
and drag in the sun
shooing stars away with what's left
of my voice.

(then the 2nd version)

Lorraine said...

I loved both the second was easier to know what you mean but i got the same feeling either way, you're such an awesome writer!

Susan said...

I liked the first stanza of the first. The 3-6 lines of the 2nd...I'm gathering that "i" is apollo/humanity as in ancient time, and "you" is God/humanity as in time as we know it. The clock makes me think of "1 minute to Midnight" and also the final room in Poe's "Masque of the Red Death" (and hickory dickory dock).
I like the repeated lines in stanza one because the second does what it says and echoes throughout the poem. Imagine preferring the sound of the shattered cup to birdsong!? That's a killer, a MZ staple to do what you say! O, the things that we carry if we would but admit the truth.

So that's how my mind flies, since you ask.

Other Mary said...

What cool images! I like the repetition of "just for the noise" in your first version, and prefer, "Then I hitch up the dead horse
to drag in the sun"

And when you "shoo the stars away", do you need to add "with my voice"?

Just some thoughts, but really a remarkable piece Mama Z.

Richard Cody said...

I favored the first one, though you may not want to hear that.

Hannah said...

My comment got eaten by the gremlins!

I enjoy all of the distinct imagery you used in this MZ!!

Kay L. Davies said...

Votes for both versions, and congratulations from all over the place...scarcely anything left for me to say, but I liked the second version better. Maybe only because it is shorter, and therefore more you, but that just might be the way I see you.
Doesn't matter. You are one damn fine poet, deserving of accolades from everywhere.
K

Ella said...

Congrats Mama Zen!!
Bravo this was vivid and so well done~ I like the second one better!
Tell us more-I'm intrigued!

kaykuala said...

Wonderful take MZ! Congrats on being chosen for the Boston Poetry Contest!

Hank

Myrna R. said...

I liked the second version best. It seemed to flow more smoothly. The words you chose and the mages are great in both.

chamomile sea said...

Your reworking was well worth it. The final version flows much better. I'm impressed with your commitment to getting it just right.