View Full Version : Mississippi Churning

12-12-2014, 05:30 AM
The waters don't haunt me like the Big Blackfoot did Maclean.
Words don't linger, undiscovered, under ancient rocks
dreading their rise to the surface - dreading
what will be lost when they face their half-lives, once exposed
to oxygen and scrutiny.


ancient odes and tribal chants offer up
symbolic truths
in the form of skeletons dancing
....-silver by moon
....-gold by sun
and echo in a language too old to understand.

Hope rises like fish,
all heaving, liquid gasps and flailing arms
and stretches toward a sandy bank where young men stand
drinks in hand and watch it go
....to gulf
....to ocean

......Mythologies and cautionary tales bounce
......from the tips of their brains to the sharp cliffs
......of their tongues,
......about undertows, currents, lost things,
......and tall bridges.

Or maybe go north
to a town smaller
that feels more like home.

They are not anglers or contemplative men,

except they know that hope
-dashed itself on rocks,
splashed in their wintery eyes -
left them for a warm place
while they flopped on their backs,
caught their breath,
and purged their lungs
of a millennium's worth of wishes.

No four count rhythm can save their souls.

I am not haunted by wading canyon waters;
I am wistful by dangerous ones.

12-12-2014, 06:42 AM
You are a very talented poet!I love everything except the repetition of hope in the 8th stanza where I want another word.
I don't get all the references, but enough to enjoy the meaning.

12-12-2014, 06:48 AM
Another word would definitely be good there. I'll find one.

Thank you for reading and commenting, C.

12-12-2014, 06:54 AM
This is awesome and I hope you are submitting it!

12-12-2014, 07:14 AM

Just...wow. I really wish I could do that, Trish. Gorgeous.

12-12-2014, 07:17 AM
Considering 2 other word changes.

"Tips of their tongues" and
"Twinkling eyes":

Two cliches that need to be reconsidered (along with that second "hope". )

Alqays a work in progress.

12-12-2014, 07:17 AM
Aw. Thanks Mac!!

William Haskins
12-12-2014, 07:36 AM
stew, it's been a pleasure to watch your development over the years. you've developed an impressively light touch, which allows you to ebb and flow from sharp language to more ethereal delivery, akin to feather-wisps of paint against bold lines.

an extension of this is you have given yourself permission to change up tempo and temperament, which results in a poem that feels like a symphonic movement rather than a pop song.

enjoyed this piece a great deal.

12-12-2014, 07:42 AM
I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for the kind words.

Learning and practicing poetry here has been a true pleasure. Glad to be sharing the space with you.

12-12-2014, 06:36 PM
Well, CB, I got rid of my clichés, but can't seem to lose that second "hope". I'm not sure another word is appropriate. Still thinking on it. Suggestions are welcome.

I also played with my left margin indents.

12-13-2014, 04:57 AM
It wouldn't be right for me to crit just now - my head's full of shit & I can't seem to shake the stink - but I'm reading your stuff and hope to have something of value to share with you soon. Thanks!

12-13-2014, 07:04 AM
Stew, I love this. The imagery is wonderful, as is the cadence. I'll be reading this a few more times.

I'm not sure what your left margin looked like originally, but I like what you've got now. (I'm very fond of playing with my own left margin.)

By the way, FWIW, I vote for keeping the second "hope." Using it twice ties the stanzas together, which I think works. I do agree with your call on the two cliches you flagged -- what you've got now is better.

12-14-2014, 03:05 AM
Mag and Cass, thanks for stopping in to read it.

I appreciate it.

Thanks, everyone for the comments.

There's a link to the recording in my sigline of my reading of it, if you're interested in hearing it.

Matty lll
12-14-2014, 03:28 AM
That was really great! Wonderful stuff.

12-14-2014, 03:52 AM
Thank you!

12-15-2014, 09:58 PM
Wonderful Stew. I don't mind a cliché here and there used well.

12-15-2014, 10:45 PM
Thank you, Steppe!

12-15-2014, 11:15 PM
I enjoyed this.


12-15-2014, 11:59 PM
Thank you for saying so, Kuwi. :)