Death Imagined: dVerse MTB

Photo: Victoria Slotto

Photo: Victoria Slotto

I’m hosting this week’s dVerse Meeting the Bar, asking our community of poets to consider what they can do to liven up a poem in their archives, a poem they are not happy with, with a focus on imagery. I wrote this poem, “And Before I Die” in 2009 and posted it on my blog in September of that year. I guess I was okay with it back then, but today, it falls flat–though I like the concept.

 And Then, Before I Die

I see the vacuum,
upright in the
corner of the room and
understand my work
remains undone.

I catch my lover’s
glance, stretch
out my hand but
words I try to speak
remain unsaid.

Outside, our world is
chilled and tumbling snow
covers earth.
I close my eyes and hope that
whatever lies ahead, my hope
remains unshaken.

Here is the revised poem, titled anew and amended with a bit more sensory detail. I feel it needs some tightening but is a bit richer for sensory detail. I’ve tried to include all 5 senses. I appreciate feedback. Is it too wordy?

Death, Imagined
a Revision of a 2009 Poem: And Then, Before I Die

There’s my upright vacuum, waiting across the room.
Spindly webs hang from valences while dust motes dance
in silver light bursting through gauzy curtains,
settle on the window sill and dresser.
My world smells musty, tastes dry.  My work here remains undone.

In the corner, my husband sprawls in his worn chair,
folds in on himself, head buried in gnarly, arthritic hands.
Words, trapped in my mind and throat, cry for me to speak them.
I open my mouth, emit emptiness.

Outside, our winter-washed world shivers
under its velour blanket of tumbling snow.
Inside, doubt hammers at every truth I hold dear.
I close my eyes, wrap my hand around my beads,
touch the wear, born of daily use, reach out to hope.
In a distance, I hear (or imagine) birdsong.

The pub doors open tomorrow, Thursday, at 3:00 PM EDT.

Quaking Aspen–dVerse Meeting the Bar

Quaking Aspen, fall foliage

Quaking Aspen, fall foliage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yellow leaves flutter,
surrender to autumn’s dance,
burnish the blue sky.

Branches stretch out,
tease a foraging quail,
toss gold to the wind.

Before Edit:

I took this from my writing note book. The lines I’m underlining here were strike-through’s. I usually write the first draft in pencil and do some editing as I go along in a very messy, unlined sketch book.

Autumn leaves flutter,
surrender to autumn’s dance
Fall leaves fluttering
in the wind like coins of gold
burnish the blue sky.

Branches stretching out
tease quail
to tease a foraging quail
toss gold leaves to the wind.

Linked to dVerse Meeting the Bar where the prompt today is Editing. I’m hostessing this week and hope you’ll stop by for a draft of poetry!

I’d like to invite you to stop over and read Lorna Lee’s Interview of me. Lorna is a delightfully talented, extraordinarily funny blogger who Lorna’s Voice blog serves as a therapeutic break in a busy day of writing. Oh dear, look at those adverbs. Well, she’s earned them.