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TWISTED HINT (formerly untitled)

One hot spring day not many years past,
not so many as to have labeled me young,
but enough to have still been steady of pace
I grew restless within abode's walls
and set out on a quest.

So in my old truck I went
(Not my old red one, this one was gold)
down almost every type of road.
Hectic four lane highway, two lane blurry asphalt
through a few small towns
bypassing a sleepy southern city.
Finally a country road
which became gravel.
My kind of road.

There was this particular spot
I had driven past last fall
which at the time I had no time for.
But now I had a plethora of time
to see
what wooded secrets within
might be.

So I exited the truck and air conditioning
breaking out in instant sweat,
but heat is the second name of piedmont
South Carolina once frosts are gone.

Off through the mysterious woods I went
mainly brooding pines but scattered copses
of ancient hardwood trees randomly mixed in.

Expectations of nothing
for these are notional forest lands
where men only visit now
for decades
and decades
........a Long time.
No abandoned fading roads
no crumbling chimneys or stone foundations.
Not even washed out terraces.

Just woods perchance going down hill.
So down I followed
eventually to a low bluff above a lazy stream.
The bluff top made for easy walking
so I followed it and watched the sun
sparkle off accompanying creek.
Seeing last year's buck rubs here and there,
causing some spring squirrels to scold me
and keeping eyes peeled for snakes.

Then I saw it.
Drooping from either side of an aged cedar
trapped within years of growth
( likely more years that I had accrued)
Barbed wire,
The old kind made of twisted metal strapping.
Barbs stamped in not woven on.

So.. the last remnant of a fence.
and I looked both ways but saw no more.
Just this one tree holding onto the past
Telling me
its secret
that even in such a remote place
there are tales to be seen
by those who look.

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Last few words: 
A semi-rare free verse from me as I get my mind off of surgery on Monday
Editing stage: 


So I think your surgery is today. Wishing you a speedy recovery and as little pain as possible!

I very much enjoyed your free verse, Stan. It is like an epic, a hero's quest, in free form, which I find to a great way to combine the old and the new, and of course since it comes from you the more classical elements are well-done, seemingly effortlessly.

I would like to mention that the I think the poem could use a little polishing when you are able again and a little more attention to the poetic elements (particularly the imagery, I think) would help as well, because the poem does sound a lot like a story of prose with stanzas instead of full sentences.

for example:

down almost every type of road.
Four lane highway, two lane asphalt
through a few small towns
bypassing a nondescript middling city
I think the poem would greatly benefit from the middling city not being nondescript, but instead described with some unique and intriguing images. Same with the roads. Visually or texture-wise or smell-wise or sound-wise, what makes the different types of roads worth mentioning? For me the best part of going for rides when I am the passenger is looking out the window and seeing the sights, enjoying the scenery, especially in places where it might not seem like there is anything special out there to see, like in the city or long stretches of seemingly-empty highway, but finding that little thing out in the distance that is nice to look at. 
Same with the descriptinon of the woods and creek. It was as if you just listed the types of trees like the types of roads, but I know there is so much more that could be said about what your senses were experiencing there, or else you wouldn't write about because it wouldn't have been memorable. 
Hope this helps! Thank you for always taking us on a journey alongside you!

Advocates Coordinator

Critique, don't comment.

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# weeks out of surgery and pain meds still making me less than sharp. I Do intend to improve this and will begin by giving it a title lol. And later on I'll keep your ideas in mind when I sand the roughness off this......stan

author comment

Kelsey has already commented elaborately on this ....i think this may be one of the few poems you have written in free verse instead of your preferred structure rhyme which is your forte...this perhaps is your only poem without a least for now...I am sure there will be a title for this soon..

raj (sublime_ocean)

Yes I seldom post untitled poems and until now I've not taken too long before deciding on a title. So with that in mind I will now shake my addled head and see if a decent title falls out.....stan

author comment
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