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outside the window,

an ocean of poppies,

red like denial.


she watched them day-in-day-out,

from sunset to the first shards of sunlight

which crept through their stems

and reflected the underside of their petals.

from this she saw veins, a tiny network of

lines like join-up-the-dots,

a motorway map

thin like emotion.


dadd went to war and

mummy left.

poor Bessie in her night-gown, begging

why won’t you love me mummy?

But she gave no answer, left an empty house behind.


now she’s there amongst soldiers

in a field of blood and flowers, dancing,

dancing like she had nothing left.

childrenfamilypoempoetpoetrysoldierswarworld war 2world war two



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Charlotte Henson

Sun 3rd Jul 2011 13:24

hey, thanks for the feedback guys :)

Cadacus, you are right in thinking this is a first draft - it's one of those i have a fondness for and so will probably end up with something stupid like ten drafts.

no to red like denial? fair enough. what sort of thing would it be better substituted with? a different simile or get rid altogether?

and Andy, i doubt very much that there will be a further...the large proportion of my poetry is character-based, so often a character gets written about once then left, but i do treasure them all :) especially the character from Sugar, i love her a bit too much for my own poetry xD

and yes, you're right, fields of blood is a little cliché, which normally i try to avoid, but i really couldn't think of an alternative. i wanted the red, but a painful red and something physical to embody pain, and blood was pretty much the only thing that sprung to mind ^^;

<Deleted User> (8730)

Wed 29th Jun 2011 11:18

I see poppies in fields and I think of war and death and love...

<Deleted User> (8730)

Wed 29th Jun 2011 11:17

I cried when I read this. I have just writtenn two poems called World Peace and Patriotic Blues in a similar vane. I have also written Forty Four which shopuld be on heere. The others aren't yet as I only wrote them yesterday.....

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Andy N

Tue 28th Jun 2011 08:13

Really enjoyed this Charlotte, but i'm in the same boat as Antony here with the 'Red like Denial' bit as it is perhaps a little over-done... However, there is some really good stuff in this for example 'From sunset to the first shards of sunlight' because of shards.

i would like to know more about the main character however - whether this would be a longer piece or a series of pieces, i'm not sure but i would like to know more..

Keep em coming. A x

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Antony Owen

Mon 27th Jun 2011 16:27

On a positive note I could see you striving to translate the images into the context of a poem. At times it works such as light immluminating the stems and the image of veins.
Where it doesn't work are lines like 'red like denial' and 'dancing like she had nothing left' for me these don't conjure up a thought process as they are full stop images and not provocative. Images like field of blood are often used and obvious and I can see you are experimental and gutsy in creating images. As a draft there is lots of positives and I myself spent a lot of time drafting my collection of war poems but keep distilling the images and remamber that drafts offer more possibilities.

Good Luck.

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Julian (Admin)

Mon 27th Jun 2011 09:51

I find this really powerful, Charlotte, as it certainly sounded last night at the Middleton Write Out Loud. Thanks for sharing this.

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