Harbour Height 1st edit
#1
Hug   (version 2)

Moulting 300ft in the air, I sniff out
sea brine, mollusc dust, sprinkled into —

and crashing against— the whisky glass.
Lit by candles on the restaurant tables

and lights already reflecting
on the harbour water, I zone in on the marina

decked out in miniature, people
across the swing bridge before amber

warnings flash in the half-dark.
I can’t make out eye colour, hairstyles,

bone structure this high, just purpose
in their walk, passing blurred berths

of tugboats that look like interlocking
plastic building-blocks. Wind-whipped

walkways should entail railings.
One person pauses, sensing he is

being watched, or smelling the mollusc
dust in my drink. Joining my table.




This was the first version:


Harbour Height


 
Through another window, the maritime
marina is decked out in miniature
 
where people hurry across the swing
bridge in ones or twos before amber
 
warning-lights flash in the half-dark.
I can’t make out faces this high
 
just the purpose in their walk
passing blurred berths of tugboats
 
that look like interlocking plastic
building-blocks, as if wind-beaten
 
walkways hereabout don’t lack railings.
Except one guy, who has stopped
 
or merely paused, and shakes my hand
seeing me watching from the 27th floor.
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#2
Hey Carl,
Welcome to the site Smile

I like what you're going for here. However, I do have some thoughts:


(03-28-2019, 05:01 AM)carl griffin Wrote:  Harbour Height -I feel like you should name this "Harbour Night" just because there is a slight sense of menace here that would support starting with a night image. Plus, your poem establishes the height aspect, so you don't need to say it outright.


 
Through another window, the maritime -Why "another" window? There was no mention of a first window, so maybe change to "my" or "our".
marina is decked out in miniature -I like the alliteration between this and the last line. I like the enjambment between "maritime" and "marina" because it emphasizes the sense of isolation in this poem.
 
where people hurry across the swing
bridge in ones or twos before amber -This stanza gets you where you need to go, but could use something to spice it up. Maybe a metaphor, or some other literary device.
 
warning-lights flash in the half-dark.
I can’t make out faces this high -I like the idea behind this line. I just wonder if you would consider exploring it more. What do the faces look like, even though the speaker can't identify who they belong to?
 
just the purpose in their walk
passing blurred berths of tugboats -Again, nice alliteration here. The way you go into detail for the tugboats is how much detail you should go into when it comes to the faces in the last stanza.
 
that look like interlocking plastic -This simile works for me because I can see what you mean in my mind.
building-blocks, as if wind-beaten
 
walkways hereabout don’t lack railings.
Except one guy, who has stopped -I don't know if "Except" is the right word here. Maybe something like: "Then one guy..." or "Unexpectedly, one guy..."
 
or merely paused, and shakes my hand -To me, this is the payoff for the poem, so it needs to be stronger. I sort of get what you mean here, but you need to play with the image more. Maybe something involving relating their eyes to shaking hands. This is just too abrupt to work on its own as an image. You need to expand on it. 
seeing me watching from the 27th floor.
Overall, I think you have a good first draft here, and I look forward to seeing where you take this from here.

Thanks for the read,
Richard
Time is the best editor.
Reply
#3
(03-28-2019, 05:01 AM)carl griffin Wrote:  high carl, welcome to the site. some thoughts on the poem. first off, after reading the first line, i'm left wondering what was going on through the other window, a suggestion would be to open with a couple of couplets about that. i really like the originality of the poem and that it's done in snippets.as though each couplet is a picture frame. that said i think you could use a little more show through imagery/simile than telling us about it as it unfolds. like the alliteration and the enjambment in places. i do think you could cut a few words and strengthen the piece by doing so. all in all an enjoyable read.


Harbour Height

Through another window, the maritime
marina is decked out in miniature good alliteration though it feels like you have 1 m to many is lines as short as you have here. good enjambment

where people hurry across the swing is [where] needed? and could you use another word instead of hurry
bridge in ones or twos before amber

warning-lights flash in the half-dark.
I can’t make out faces this high a good image would help this line no end. i do like how you tell us what kind of building you're looking from

just the purpose in their walk
passing blurred berths of tugboats two lots of good alliteration this couplet and this 2nd line works as an image.

that look like interlocking plastic
building-blocks, as if wind-beaten another good image though i wonder if [as if wind-beaten] could be better re-worded.

walkways hereabout don’t lack railings.
Except one guy, who has stopped is [except] needed as it doesn't read correctly as is. both lines don't read as connectable

or merely paused, and shakes my hand i want this line to work because i like the idea of the handshake over a long distance. a suggestion would be [to shake...]
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#4
.
Hi Carl.
Enjoyed the read.

I don’t find the opening that engaging, but it picks up from L6 and I’d suggest
beginning with that line. It would leave something like this:

I can’t make out faces this high
just the purpose in their walk

passing blurred berths of tugboats
that look like interlocking plastic

building-blocks, as if wind-beaten
walkways hereabout don’t lack railings.

Except one guy, who has stopped
or merely paused, and shakes my hand

seeing me watching from the 27th floor.


- Confused by ‘as if wind-beaten’, ‘as if’?
- Afraid I’m not quite getting the ‘shakes my hand’ but I like the moment of
connection between strangers.
- I don’t have a problem with ‘except’ but ‘or merely paused’ seems redundant.
Is there any real expectation
that he is going to remain there permanently?
- If N ‘can’t make out faces’, how can the ‘one guy’ see N ‘watching’?

Best, Knot.


.
Reply
#5
Hug   (version 2)
 
Moulting 300ft in the air, I sniff out
sea brine, mollusc dust, sprinkled into —
 
and crashing against— the whisky glass.
Lit by candles on the restaurant tables 
 
and lights already reflecting
on the harbour water, I zone in on the marina
 
decked out in miniature, people
across the swing bridge before amber
 
warnings flash in the half-dark.
I can’t make out eye colour, hairstyles,
 
bone structure this high, just purpose
in their walk, passing blurred berths
 
of tugboats that look like interlocking
plastic building-blocks. Wind-whipped
 
walkways should entail railings.
One person pauses, sensing he is
 
being watched, or smelling the mollusc
dust in my drink. Joining my table.
 



This was the first version:

Harbour Height



Through another window, the maritime
marina is decked out in miniature

where people hurry across the swing
bridge in ones or twos before amber

warning-lights flash in the half-dark.
I can’t make out faces this high

just the purpose in their walk
passing blurred berths of tugboats

that look like interlocking plastic
building-blocks, as if wind-beaten

walkways hereabout don’t lack railings.
Except one guy, who has stopped

or merely paused, and shakes my hand
seeing me watching from the 27th floor.
Reply
#6
hi carl. what changes you made work for me specially getting rid of 'except' the first couple makes me think dog and it carries with me through the poem. if it is about a pet then i'd like to see that thought continued throughout the poem if it isn't then this will always be a shaggy dog story for me. Smile a suggestion would be to lose Moulting and out on the first line.

(03-30-2019, 04:00 AM)carl griffin Wrote:  Hug   (version 2)

Moulting 300ft in the air, I sniff out
sea brine, mollusc dust, sprinkled into — are you a dog?

and crashing against— the whisky glass.
Lit by candles on the restaurant tables

and lights already reflecting
on the harbour water, I zone in on the marina

decked out in miniature, people
across the swing bridge before amber

warnings flash in the half-dark.
I can’t make out eye colour, hairstyles,

bone structure this high, just purpose
in their walk, passing blurred berths

of tugboats that look like interlocking
plastic building-blocks. Wind-whipped

walkways should entail railings.
One person pauses, sensing he is there's a thing about the way this line ends, it's very zen-like and it works.

being watched, or smelling the mollusc
dust in my drink. Joining my table. is [joining my table] needed? i think dust in my drink works well enough on its own.



This was the first version:

Harbour Height



Through another window, the maritime
marina is decked out in miniature

where people hurry across the swing
bridge in ones or twos before amber

warning-lights flash in the half-dark.
I can’t make out faces this high

just the purpose in their walk
passing blurred berths of tugboats

that look like interlocking plastic
building-blocks, as if wind-beaten

walkways hereabout don’t lack railings.
Except one guy, who has stopped

or merely paused, and shakes my hand
seeing me watching from the 27th floor.
Reply
#7
[quote="carl griffin" pid='245121' dateline='1553716891']
Hug   (version 2)

Moulting 300ft in the air, I sniff out                      This line describes the adventure sport rather than some kind of decadent fantasy: I presume
sea brine, mollusc dust, sprinkled into —               the taste  of the ocean permeates and breathes life into each percussive image.   The word "spray" is already implied.

and crashing against— the whisky glass.
Lit by candles on the restaurant tables                     However: the word "intoxication," although implicit, must help the drawl and syncopation, since it is a word out of step, or, at                                                                                   least, out of sorts

and lights already reflecting                                  This reverie helps to show the skill of the poet through the haze of recognizance  
on the harbour water, I zone in on the marina       

decked out in miniature, people                            Well-stated and well-positioned designation of Lilliputian ratio, Jonathan Swift drinkin' Captain Morgan or Morgan Stanley
across the swing bridge before amber                   Amber is a well-chosen tone, hue for the scene that you are setting,

warnings flash in the half-dark.
I can’t make out eye colour, hairstyles,                  Yet it's still important to you, which is remarkable

bone structure this high, just purpose
in their walk, passing blurred berths                      A kind of convergence in nautical terms of simultaneous embarkation and earthly departure

of tugboats that look like interlocking
plastic building-blocks. Wind-whipped

walkways should entail railings.
One person pauses, sensing he is

being watched, or smelling the mollusc
dust in my drink. Joining my table.                          A compelling moral tone, the congress of fraternal drinking, the joint satisfaction of infinite mutual understanding
plutocratic polyphonous pandering 
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