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A final respect in red, as she requested

I will wear red for Mary on this, her funeral day,
This tumbledown wet morning
Hemorrhaging manure and mud,
Her small farm
Deep in nettles and rusted things,

Scented with cows’ breath.

The whine of wet dogs
Still haunt the hollow barn,
Roof tiles missing, sky winking.

The frog-squat of the ancient church,
The place to give her up,
Chilled mourners
Stamp impatient feet on the damp slate floor-
Not quite approving of her life

the manner of her death -

In this desolate space,
Sky washed, rain puddled,
An unsuitable place to make a living.

She said I knew her best,
Even as a child,
Her flute thin body and clamped down smile,
Her rough hands swollen with the prick of bees,
The making of honey,

The birthing of lambs.

I cannot wear
The colour of darkness
For Mary

Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
How was my language use?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Last few words: 
This poem came together through the comments of one friend just before she died ('you know me best, you decide') and our decision to wear red on her funeral day, and another childhood memory of a loved older woman's abandoned farm and the scents and smells of that place. It's an amalgamation of events, reality and memory.
Editing stage: 

Comments

Still editing this one, but feel nearly comfortable now...

Jenifer

author comment

Hi Jenifer, really really enjoyed reading this lovely crafted piece...so many figurative images...the best for me was, "the frog-squat of the ancient church".

Ells :)

thank you, Ells - very good to say hello...and to read your comments in the workshop. I'm thoroughly enjoying that, by the way. I am really happy with ' the frog-squat of the ancient church' but wasn't sure if readers would visualise it as I did xxx

Jenifer

author comment

You made me tear up as only good poetry does

She said I knew her best,
Even as a child,
Her flute thin body and clamped down smile,
Her rough hands swollen with the prick of bees,
The making of honey,

I could see her plain as day my Nana used to make honey I remember those hands

Brava

Love Jayne-Chloe

("Always and Forever") - (Never lose a holy curiosity.-Albert Einstein)

Jayne-Chloe, isn't that strange, I was talking about my Nana Price. She wasn't my blood, genetic Nana but was my true, loving older woman when I was little. Glad you liked it, thank you. Big hug.

Jenifer

author comment

Love the new title !!

Jayne-Chloe xxx

("Always and Forever") - (Never lose a holy curiosity.-Albert Einstein)

Oh thank you! (hug-hug-hug) It does feel better. Are you OK now? (No prying, just gentle concern)

Jenifer

author comment

I am feeling much better thanks knocked me around for a few days but they have me on some meds and they are helping heaps (((((hugs)))))

Jayne-Chloe xxx

("Always and Forever") - (Never lose a holy curiosity.-Albert Einstein)

It was! I was brought up there - I am so happy that I was able to catch the memory of it so that you recognised the place. A great place for poetry and magic, like Scotland too.

Jenifer

author comment

the more personal the better and this does it. the only suggestion i can think of is to expand on the title.
will be studying more of ur past works and looking forward to ur next ones.

nullus anxietas
t_f

Thank you and great to meet you. I was unsettled about the title as well so am having a bit of a ponder about it.

Jenifer

author comment

still not sure if this title fits - what do you think/

Jenifer

author comment

As it captured the essence of her in a strange way

i try to avoid one word titles since it suggests 'this is my only poem on this subject', plus there's a good chance it may alrdy be used elsewhere. and don't be afraid of making it long. it has to be as unique as the poem itself. so here's a few suggestions

'remembering Mary in red'
'a final respect in red as she requested'
'a beacon thru the black'
'for Mary to find me'
'i saved her a seat next to me'

I have finally gone back to this one and done some editing. Yes, with Beauregard, I love this title and sat with it for a while and would like to lovingly accept your revision. Thank you.

Jenifer

author comment

No Colour of Darkness? or Mary the Colour of Light?...just to make it punchier?

Like those titles very much! thank you

Jenifer

author comment

I read this earlier on this morning and liked it
very much, when I really like one I like to let it
sink in and then go back to it. The poem for
me is gorgeous, the new title gives the ending
away which I thought to be very good, the color
of red at the beginning was almost forgotten until
that haunting last line, I'd change the title again if
it were me.

some suggestions you could work with or even use;

The color of the day
Mary's last bright hope
She wanted a party

The title can expand the thoughts offered without
it making sense until after the read, isn't always
an easy task but well worth the thought process.

Richard

Dear Richard, I really know what you mean about titles of poems- I get so involved in the writing of the poem I would gladly name everything 'untitled'. As this poem was really about a woman called Mary who wanted us to wear red at her funeral even after her difficult life, I have returned the title to the name. it is her tribute, and maybe in time I can work it less subjectively and more poetically. Thank you so much for your comments.

Jenifer

author comment

you know, one of the great things about this place is all the learning: when I looked at your poem, poor shags, I thought what a brilliant title. And you and Richard themoonman are quite right. The title is a part of the process. I should think about that more, rather than spending all the time working on the poem and then dismissing the last part, the title-it gets in the way of completion. Thanks, Eph xxx

Jenifer

author comment

Love the red, a celebration of her life, and you know where ever she is she will be smiling. Good on you gal, we in our own beliefs are told of many things about places of joy run by unconditional love that are pure energy, yet each individual is unique, as one drop of water taken from the mightiest Ocean..
Loved the write a little expansion to give her more room would be lovely.
Yours Ian.T

.
There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

I have changed the title and it made me cry a little when I wrote it in,so maybe I can let this poem rest now. Thank you for your help, as usual.

Jenifer

author comment
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