poetry critical

online poetry workshop

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Welcome to Poetry Critical, an online poetry workshop. To post your own poetry you'll need to create a user id by typing a name and password in the box above and hitting 'New User'. If you just want to critique or jump into the discussion, however, you can go ahead and get started!

Random Poem:


The stifling heat held the city under siege into a second week, but there was a cavalry of thunderclouds on the horizon. Tonight was the night. Soon it would be over, one way or another, for another year or so, anyway. His friend called before his shift to wish him luck. If he saw the lights later, then it would be all right. He hoped that the rain would hold off till at least a few minutes past midnight. He put on his jacket and got into his car. Together, as one, they slowly climbed the winding single-track road to the summit, the tarmac glinting in the full moonlight. Far below the city slept. At the top he turned round. Thousands of shimmering orange lights. There was hardly a sound, only a breath of wind. He was angry, yes, but not suicidal. He wanted to live so much it ate away at him. He checked his watch. Time. He wiped his hands and his brow, put the lights off and the car into gear.
That morning, she had got up as usual. She had gone through the motions and tried all the usual places, but it had seemed that her friends were avoiding her. She hadn’t blamed them. As the sun had collapsed on another long boring summer day she had blagged the car from her brother, and had gone for a drive, nowhere in particular. She had stopped once she was far enough from the city and had got out. She had stared up at the moon sadly, for what had seemed like hours. She hadn’t been able to see a way out, or how things could ever have changed. Maybe she was just stuck in a rut, but it was one that she couldn't be bothered trying to get out of. She had been woken from her trance by the sound of distant midnight bells. She had got back in the car, tears in her eyes.
Seventy, accelerating down the flat summit approach, braking late, round the first corner, the hair on the back of his neck on end, tyres on the limit, foot back on the floor, two left-handers at ninety-five, then, eyes closed, counting, hard on the brake, into the chicane, dust sliding under the token barriers over the edge, back up to a ton, another hard right-hander, another screeching chicane, and then, lights on, down into the city and back under the speed limit.
There had been no skid-marks on the road, just the useless broken barrier. Down below in the trees there had been a trail of twisted metal. In the pale morning light, fluorescent coats had scoured for detail, suddenly attentive, then gone. No big mystery. The official report had contained a lot of ambiguous phrases like ‘no noticeable mechanical failure’ and ‘nothing to suggest coronary attack or seizure’. Unwritten, was that one unmentionable word, which the inquest verdict had confirmed. No-one had understood. No-one had ever really seemed to understand her at all.
He started breathing again. The mobile rang. He pulled up outside the flat and hit OK.
"Welcome back” he said. “You feeling..."
"Oh yeah, I'm feeling... I'm... I'm good."
"You know that.... one day...." the voice trailed off.
"Don't we all." As he climbed the stairs the thunder broke and when he woke at noon it was all a distant memory, buried somewhere far back in his mind. The air was fresh. He went for a walk, to the top of a hill, through a deserted oak forest with a single evergreen pine. He could see movement in the distant city, as people went about their business. He turned and faced into the summer breeze. He smiled. It was indeed a beautiful day.
It had been three years since his sister's suicide, and he still couldn't forgive himself. Just lending her the car, not even noticing that something was wrong. Each anniversary he drove to the top of the hill, and on the stroke of midnight raced down willing himself to survive. To stay alive.

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