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JANUARY LEAF (January contest)

Western Classic

Just as the day begins to break
on the day after new year's eve
I disregard every old ache
to find a place where I can breathe.

Not many miles down a wooded road
my boots crunch through a heavy frost
on the way to where I can unload
to where old worries can be tossed.

And there it is, the old oak stump
where I've rested many times
not on a hill just a small hump
where trees are draped by muscadines.

This place brings to mind the years past
and I silently review them all
especially the year just passed
like echoes of a coyote's call.

Then while I sit and memories play
a single leaf from a tall tree
twirls as a breeze blows it away
like a long forgotten memory.

And as it passes out of sight
the rising sun blinks wakening eye
making me in, its new light,
think how quickly life goes by.

Free Verse

In the dawn of the new year
before the sun opens its eye
despite the aches of all the years
I set out on a quest.

I go toward a favorite place
an almost hill with a handy stump
among a copse of ancient oaks
draped with ropes of muscadines
and memories of the past.

A past which I slowly replay
with close attention to the one just passed
which echoes in my aging thoughts
like a near coyote's lament.

And as I sit a lonely leaf
from high atop a water oak
looses then it twirls away
like an almost forgotten memory.

Then dawn lightens to full daylight
bringing thoughts back to the now
as this new dawn flashes into sight
and another year is gone somehow.

Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Last few words: 
I'm aware that free verse ain't my forte
Editing stage: 


I like the western classic a little better, it rhymes but keeps all the meaning intact. This place you write about - I don't have a memory of any physical place like that, but it describes very vividly a place in my mood that I visit occasionally - when I go reflecting on things - I get the same emotion your poem evokes. I'm curious, which version did you write first?

I suspect about everybody has this type place either in the real world or in their mind. I am fortunate to have an actual place to retreat to. This might not be as good as it sounds though. I went there about a week ago on a cold day, sat on a log which was leaning on its stump an soon was on my back looking at the sky....damned log dumped me lol.
Rhyming poetry being my forte I wrote the rhyming version first but did so after considering using free verse as first version. i appreciate your time to drop in for a read.

author comment

This place brings to mind the years (past)
and I silently review them all
especially the year just (passed)....(hurried away fast.) maybe BUT I AM NO CRITIQUE tho' u know

the ear cornered words
may need a finer resolution
so I thought.....
to dare in my inventive
not creative venture

and then I am a corpse
what a copse

Just a little quickie I dashed off for the contest.As to corpse/copse....better the former than the latter lol........stan

author comment

in this contest
I shall abstain
all quickies
going down the drain
on main lane

Really enjoyed these two. I think they are a good contribution to the contest and I appreciate that even your free verse shows restraint in the form, with mostly stanzas of similar line lengths and amount of lines. It's usually easy to tell when someone who sticks with free verse is trying to venture to structured form and vise-versa, but in your case I think it's a positive thing.

One small critique: the second stanza of the structured version feels a little forced in the final rhyme with "tossed". Not sure if its because my brain is telling me "toss/tossed" is slang in some regions of the world for wank, or if it is because I usually think of "leave behind" when it comes to worries.

I don't really have a good suggestion for it, since I'm no rhymer, but I hope me pointing it out might spur some inspiration if you decide it needs revision.

Good luck with the contest,

Advocates Coordinator

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The thing which brought this poem back up was the very word you find issue with. The original wa "lost" but i thought maybe lost would be better lol. Appreciate the visit and feedback

author comment
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