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It is half past five and all have arrived
dressed in finery of every kind; I see
emerald greens, and sapphire blues,
white diamonds, and opal gossamer creams,
iridescent teals with mat black hats,
that flow like the cocktails do.
They are bejeweled with gold trinkets
with a flurry of purple, reds, and pinks
that splatter their faces to masks.
These lovely old birds now relax and unwind
and speak through their tiny pointed, pinched lips
a chitter, a chatter with a high pitched flatter
in harmony with a story or two.
Discreet gossip is always at the top of their list
for them the highest level of significance.
After all, one can never do enough
to out-do another. They Prey.
These old birds know each other well
and their families do too, They flew
through their generations that way
with shared dinners, concerts, and children's play,
these are the ties that bind them to this day.
No one dares enter their crowd for fear of cruel
rejection. We may share a conversation, or ask,
all the time knowing we are outcasts en masse.

Their burden of discretion to hide their wealth
continues to fly further away. I wonder
what is it like to be their accoutrement?
Less worthy than a cheap broach or pin
but a good pet to share in their lair.
Only small gatherings and private parties
provide show time for these old glamorous gals
who intend to forever hold their distant pose.
For now, a flight to the Caymans will do.

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
How was my language use?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How does this theme appeal to you?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Editing stage: 


I like your language well enough although I'm always hungry for a surprise or surprises that will touch something unpredictable; so consider this review my idiosyncratic contribution I always want to be very clear that this is my very subjective and personal bias and further its only meaningful to me if it strikes a cord with you as well

There is nothing wrong with this poem except it is like a cameo where everything is manicured to point that renders this piece of little interest, at least to me
This write feels like a characterization of Stepford wives with out the narrative depth of pernicious social engineering ie a poem of wearable masks with no one inside them ie forgettable dead pan mannequins
So I guess my remarks go to the heart of what a poem needs to be for me and yeah color me weird

Here's what I think you should ask yourself

Do you want the reader to feel anything about these individuals
Are humans really this disambiguous like inanimate objects ie are they furniture , perhaps mere accessories , a splash of perfume furniture, cloths horses with a few tasteful bobbles and discreet earrings living only to be seen

Personally I think if I where writing on this subject I would exploit their exterior face to the world to exaggeration letting the reader in on their superficiality as women who are merely accoutrements of what they own and perhaps how they are owned reciprocally Is a poem an opportunity to strike the reader in someway of import

Do you really want to write poems that evoke a Way fair add and only pink things and if so can they be pinker ?

"My head a moon
Of Japanese paper, my gold beaten skin
Infinitely delicate and infinitely expensive".
I don't mean to be cruel but this is a workshop and as such to be honest I have trouble with your intensions
Best Z

I accept your critique of my 'critique' as a fresh new voice regarding my work, and from a male point of view as well. To say I found humor in the ridiculous is true, however, I did not think satire would cause anyone to "...have trouble with [my] intentions." The exaggerations were of superfluous caricatures, not specific people.
Thank you, Z, for taking the time to write your review
Regards, Marthalyn

~ Marthalyn

author comment

Fair enough Marthalyn and so in keeping with your intent of satire let me say it missed me and I missed it I will take credit for not reading your piece with more insight I simply did not catch the satire
It seems like a shared dilemma And also in only speaking for myself; to me satire needs bigger teeth I want to be bitten by the wit of it

I think poetry can be gender fluid There are all kindsa men and women and some potatoes in the bunch too
3 of my very favorite writers are a sissy and 2 women :) Plath Loy and Vuong

PS and thank you for managing my difficult review with so much composure It says a great deal good about you ;)
We all get taken to task here which is the point of a workshop if it is done in an honest and constructive spirit When I get occasionally raked over the coals I always consider the source
Its fair for you to consider me or others relevant or not to push back or not
The truth is it gets us thinking and for me it has supported improvement and I hope it remains so for you A penetrating critique or dialectic often spawns growth and friendships too
Best Z

Your direct honesty is appreciated. I agree that constructive criticism is the best tool for my own growth and I will always respect that approach toward the work of others.
Thank you for your update.

~ Marthalyn

author comment

might be a title. I like the idea of making this reunion of women seniors like a gathering of birds, and understand the obvious satire intended. You have created a visual scene we can relate too with this group of Southern Bells, Yentas, or the Mayflower club, but it is sometimes both a bit redundant and too telling for me (example: "These old birds know each other well/and their families do too" is just too much a statement) The aloofness and distance these "close friends" share and the subtle ways they "outdo" each other might be shown by example. This one did this, another did that, (with a husband, a maid, a child..) to show their characters.

Your distaste for their cliche behavior is apparent, and perhaps to consider "I wonder what is it like to be their accoutrement? " could be explored to let out the scream that's boiling inside you as you watch and consider this group.

But i think you're on to something, and dealing with a very relatable theme, with some nice description setting it up.

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

I like the title you have suggested simply stated, "The Birds", and it inspired a new title I also like, 'The Creature Birds'. You have intuitively understood my satire and my distaste for their shallow behavior. I agree I could have provided more exploration of what separates me from my 'Old Creature Birds' but perhaps I did not see the forest for the trees in this one. I was aiming for the ideology of the top one percent who have the most of everything and how rare it is to enter a group that keeps itself together through generations of the same. Alas, I have explained too much which means I have missed my aim. One last note: In my youth, I was forced to attend an all-girls preparatory school where I received a well-rounded but stressful education.
Thank you for your critique.

~ Marthalyn

author comment

that you showed them as they really are; empty shells behind their masks of opulence and still trying to appear as if there is something of substance to them. You may find that if you explore these old biddies a little deeper, that you can get to the heart of the matter. Let it out! Give them what they have coming. I look forward to the sharp wit I see you showing; just do more of it! ~ Geezer.

Please acknowledge critique and comments.
They are a vital part of our community!
Critique or comment today!

You have nailed it!
Thank you,

~ Marthalyn

author comment

we had emotes! A big thumbs up to you!
~ Geezer.

Please acknowledge critique and comments.
They are a vital part of our community!
Critique or comment today!

made my intent in this poem clear and easier to understand. My thanks to all who offered their critiques which helped me develop the process!

~ Marthalyn

author comment

what I like most about this poem is your power of observation, and your craftsmanship.


The most powerful reaction
of mind on mind
is transference of sight

"tiny pointed pinched lips" is glorious, describing birds or old ladies, both. "a chitter chatter with a high pitched flatter" is beautiful poetry as well. I love how you were able to capture the superficiality of exclusivity in this poem, especially showing how little anyone would want to be a part of such society, anyways, minus the fineries. "who intend to forever hold their distant pose." like ornate birds who we can never get too close to. I really enjoyed this little anthropomorphism.

I am pleased that my update was clear enough this time so that you readily understood the "anthropomorphism".
Thank you for your critique.

~ Marthalyn

author comment
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