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The Smoke of Evening Fires

The Smoke of Evening Fires

Lord, how many times have I climbed this hill?
the road seems stonier, steeper. How can that be?
I’ll rest here a while,
watch the low sun trail shadows
over the rich bottom lands
and the white church beyond the bridge.
The shouts and laughter of children
from the river, rise soft on the evening air.

It should be a better harvest for us all this year,
spring came early, the blossom
thick and white as dancers’ petticoats.
The hives rang with bee-song.
I should have had good bottom land by the river
not this stony hillside where nothing fat will grow.
I should have had good bottom land,
rich black earth, groves of olive,
vines, rows of lemon trees,
a flock billowing like a cloud down the hillside.
I could have been rich,
drank each night in the taverna,
laughed, sang to the bouzouki,
wept for the troubles of lovers,
given candles to the church.

I might finish the wall this year,
get a young back to help.
It is no work for an old man.
Two sons dead in the war,
a third gone away somewhere, hah,
do I have a grandchild? who knows?
who would have such sons?

The time we caught the stallion in the salt marshes,
his mane and tail draggled with mud,
his hooves flailed and punched the air
nostrils flared, teeth bared,
the shrill cries of him, he screamed like a woman,
my sons tight on the ropes,
how we laughed, hah, such sons.

The stew smells good, rich,
thick with meat and herbs, oregano, black olives
the sweet breath of new bread.

I am weary.

It is my daughter who waits for me now
sets bread on my table
simmers stew over the heart of her fire
brims the jug with retsina but my bed is empty,
my blankets cold and my legs ache in the night;
only the moon shares my pillow.

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?
Last few words: 
I like this poem on a personal leveland can identify with the fictional voice.
Editing stage: 


A heartfelt welcome to neopoet, i'm sure you will enjoy the help and comments. And take part in helping others that you read. Again i say welcome. I have read your poem, and on first reading i would say there is plenty to work with. Personally i would move a few words round and take some away altogether, but i will hold back and see what some of the others comment. Regards Roscoe..

Roscoe Llane,

Religion will rip your faith off, and return
for the mask of disbelief that's left.

This poem brought to me. Loving daughter, weary climber, unfinished business
Well done

First off welcome to Neopoet.
This piece seems to be a cant sleep reminisce as we do when we are old.
Then, the last piece about your Daughter, as if she was preparing a table for you as you journey on, as if she has gone before, I hope this interpretation is wrong at the end.
We have several Poets here from the UK now I am up in Leicestershire and an old Avionics Engineer.
Hope to see more of your writes later, Yours Ian.T

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

I like the voice, the story, the images, the calm
whether it can be tightened up, I don't know.
It read so smoothly to me, it wouldn't need much , if any.

reminiscent of the mood and setting from the film "far from the madding crowd" if memory serves me well, and that is meant as a big compliment on this piece.
I enjoyed this poem very much



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