The Carolinas Arms
#1
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The Carolinas Arms


You know the pub, its paint too worn
to welcome in the passer-by.
You know the street, the one that sank
beneath the city's rising tide.

You know the type that drinks in there,
each one as empty as a glass
and overflowing with despair,
you know, so you keep walking past.

Afraid to enter, meet their gaze,
for what you see might give you pause,
those grizzled things, discarded shells,
those Veterans of the Squirrel Wars.

Their baffles, spinners, cages, wires,
drawers full of grand master plans,
their Sun Tzu quotes, their certainties
that Nature must Submit to Man

all came to naught. All came to this
slow twilight at the long road's end
behind a blue and boot-kicked door
their sorrows drown, then rise again.

For their Romes burned and their Troys fell,
their Kassels, in the end, surrendered.
Each feeder filled came at a cost
they can't forget, so they remember

how it was they came to cross
the Washing Line, the Borders' Edge,
that Rubicon that led to woods
of squirrels nesting in their heads.

Above the bar an epitaph
in pokerwork, just seven words,
a sentiment as old as time:
What We Did Was For The Birds.




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#2
Hi Knot,

Nice poem. lots to like - I am a tiny bit confused about what the Squirrel Wars are? Excuse me if I am being stupid.

I thought the poem flowed very well. The only image that jarred with me was

You know the type that drinks in there,
each one as empty as a glass
and overflowing with despair,

I liked empty as a glass, but wasn't so keen on 'overflowing with despair'. It sounds cliched and overly descriptive and I think empty as a glass stands nicely on its own.
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#3
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Hi penned.


I agree with you about the 'overflowing' line, thanks for the push. How about
...
each one as empty as a glass.
That place has a reputation,
you know, so you keep walking past


afraid to enter, catch an eye
...
?


There are people, some of whom may be on this board (I point no fingers), who set out bird feeders only to find them raided by squirrels. Then, for reasons best left to a psychologist, they go to ever more extreme lengths to defend the feeders - these are 'squirrel wars'. (They're uncommon or garden obsessives). Hope that helps.


Best, Knot



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#4
(05-31-2020, 07:59 PM)Knot Wrote:  .
The Carolinas Arms


You know the pub, its paint too worn

to welcome in the passer-by.
You know the street, the one that sank
beneath the city's rising tide. (Good start!)

You know the type that drinks in there,

each one as empty as a glass
and overflowing with despair,
you know, so you keep walking past.

Afraid to enter, meet their gaze,

for what you see might give you pause,
those grizzled things, discarded shells,
those Veterans of the Squirrel Wars.

Their baffles, spinners, cages, wires,

drawers full of grand master plans,
their Sun Tzu quotes, their certainties
that Nature must Submit to Man (flows well)

all came to naught. All came to this

slow twilight at the long road's end
behind a blue and boot-kicked door
their sorrows drown, then rise again.

For their Romes burned and their Troys fell,

their Kassels, in the end, surrendered.
Each feeder filled came at a cost
they can't forget, so they remember

how it was they came to cross

the Washing Line, the Borders' Edge,
that Rubicon that led to woods
of squirrels nesting in their heads.

Above the bar an epitaph
in pokerwork, just seven words,
a sentiment as old as time:
What We Did Was For The Birds. (Interesting, I don't understand the squirrel wars aspect but I will read in the comments)

Overall there isn't really much to say about the poem, interesting though, and there is a lot of telling and not enough showing. Thanks for sharing.




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#5
I am with the squirrels, though the birds have it rough, as well. I, too, am empty as a glass, so I have drunk from this poem many times.
I appreciate the uneven rhyme scheme, but don't take my appreciation as an endorsement, as it may just be laziness on your part.
"pause/gaze/wars" are very cool slant rhymes, though "shells" doesn't seem to fit.
There's a lot to like in this one, so, Thanks!

A fan- though probably only temporarily.
... Mark
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#6
(06-06-2020, 07:31 PM)Knot Wrote:  .
Hi penned.


I agree with you about the 'overflowing' line, thanks for the push. How about
...
each one as empty as a glass.
That place has a reputation,
you know, so you keep walking past


afraid to enter, catch an eye
...
?


There are people, some of whom may be on this board (I point no fingers), who set out bird feeders only to find them raided by squirrels. Then, for reasons best left to a psychologist, they go to ever more extreme lengths to defend the feeders - these are 'squirrel wars'. (They're uncommon or garden obsessives). Hope that helps.


Best, Knot


This is better! Is it your intention to continue the repetition of “you know”. I guess it drives home the N awareness of their discomfort in the situation, but I think it becomes a bit laboured after a while. You could leave it out here, as a place having a reputation implies that the Narrator is aware of this already. 

The poem makes a lot more sense to me now that you’ve explained the squirrel wars, thanks  Smile


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#7
(06-12-2020, 12:42 AM)penneddown Wrote:  The poem makes a lot more sense to me now that you’ve explained the squirrel wars, thanks  Smile
You're welcome.  Still thinking about those "you knows"

Best, Knot


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