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Conscientious Objector, Retired

General Poetry - post, comment, review, critique
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Tim J Brennan
Posts: 553
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:59 pm

Conscientious Objector, Retired

Post by Tim J Brennan » Tue May 07, 2019 2:00 am

He walks past
the paint chipped chair,
an oil smeared t-shirt hangs
over the back, past a rust-speckled
iron gate, round his sleeping dog.

He comes to a half-shut door, dust
and lights play tricks; opens and grabs
a wrench then back, dog stretches,
rises, trots behind heels.

The shirt reads Give Peace a Chance

On the street, dust kicks up,
kids are skateboarding,
all dogs disperse.

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Tracy Mitchell
Posts: 931
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:58 pm

Re: Conscientious Objector, Retired

Post by Tracy Mitchell » Tue May 07, 2019 3:37 am

Hi Tim,

Welcome back  :)

I think I  like this poem -- it has an off-beat, eclectic sense to it.  I think I get the out and back sense of being an objector, then retired.  I'll have to read it some more in the morning.

Cheers.

T

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Tracy Mitchell
Posts: 931
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:58 pm

Re: Conscientious Objector, Retired

Post by Tracy Mitchell » Tue May 07, 2019 3:30 pm

This grows on me. 

I am still not sure I understand the dog and the dogs part yet.

T

indar
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Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:00 pm

Re: Conscientious Objector, Retired

Post by indar » Tue May 07, 2019 8:49 pm

He walks past
the paint chipped chair,
an oil smeared t-shirt hangs
over the back, past a rust-speckled
iron gate, round his sleeping dog.

He comes to a half-shut door, dust
and lights play tricks; opens and grabs
a wrench then back, dog stretches,
rises, trots behind heels.

The shirt reads Give Peace a Chance

On the street, dust kicks up,
kids are skateboarding,
all dogs disperse.

Hi Tim,

The writing is odd which causes me to wonder if I am missing something very subtle. The paint chipped chair sounds as if it was an action by the paint that causes the chair to be chipped or perhaps it might better read  "the chipped-paint chair" either way a hyphen might help. I still am uncertain about how much can be accomplished by a semi colon but "the light plays tricks; opens and grabs" reads to me as if that tricky light opened and grabbed. On the other hand is the intention to present inanimate objects with a fear-factor.

The wrench is certainly invested with all kinds of implied horror helped along by speculation on how one retires from being a conscientious objector. The dogs become predators---the hounds of hell as it were.

Not a poem one can love but one that raises speculation. 

Dave
Posts: 511
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:07 pm

Re: Conscientious Objector, Retired

Post by Dave » Wed May 08, 2019 1:28 pm

The strongest interest here is in two elements: the title, which as Indar indicates opens up the issue of what is being objected to and how can a person retire from that. Does it mean latent violence - the wrench?
The other related aspect is between what is shown and what is left not shown.

There are syntactical weaknesses, one of which is half addressed by Indar with her comma after wrench. I would add a verb before then back for clarity that this joins up with 'He comes to a half-shut door". Given the above-mentioned tension the explicit telling of what is on the shirt seems almost too obvious.
Interesting the dog joins the other dogs.

Tim J Brennan
Posts: 553
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:59 pm

Re: Conscientious Objector, Retired

Post by Tim J Brennan » Wed May 08, 2019 7:15 pm

Tracy: Thanks. Glad things in here are growing on you. LaMont was a guy who lived by us when I was a kid. He was an actual CObjector, a fixer-upper kind of guy who did odd jobs around the town. He lived by himself.

I kept the poem present tense anyway, only b/c I think it adds to things. And it allows me to follow my mantra: Always tell the truth in a poem. Then lie about it.

Indar: I like the hyphen. Thanks. The "wrench" seemed the right tool for him to reach for, given his background.

Dave: Thanks for the look. Glad you like the title.

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