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The Musings of Chairs

On the screened-in back porch that looks out
over a well tended garden of flowers,
I imagine two chairs deep in conversation.
They speak in silence over a small metal table—
an altar for conversation,
usually reserved for dissecting dreams
and committing little murders
with tongues as keen as a hunter’s blade.
But there is no malice in the musings of the chairs;
they are two old soldiers
from long forgotten wars
reveling a halcyon existence.
They speak to the beauty of flowers:
how the petals of bee-balm explode
from their stiff stalks
like fireworks on the fourth of July;
how the radiant faces of sunflowers glow  
like the faces of cheerful children;
how the black-eyed-susans keep a sharp-eyed vigil
over everything.
They converse long into the night;
words float between them on waves of silence
as they ponder the perfection of the stars,
counting all the lucky ones.
They talk about the creatures of the night,
listening to the voices of little kingdoms
working in harmony,
listening to the music of the earth,
while a pair of yellow sandals,
resting beneath the table,
begin to shuffle in rhythm to a song
we so often fail to hear.

3 Apr 08

Rated 9.3 (8.6) by 3 users.
Active (3): 10
Inactive (9): 1, 1, 8, 8, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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 — nisetru

drop L 9, you already have your metephor in the line above, you don't need two,  and a surgean's scalpel is not murderous like you said in L 7
 — joshcoops

Can you drop line 9?  You said it so clearly in line 8.

What an interesting poem, the silent thoughts of old chairs.  I'm so glad you didn't mention all the bottoms they've know, I was sort of dreading that.

Very good writing.  
 — Isabelle5

Thanks, nisetru, for your comment and rating.
joshcoops and Isabelle, I can clearly see what you mean about line nine--it is now history.  Thanks to both of you for the help.
 — PaulS

This is very beautiful and lightly done. Stanza 2 is very effective.
I love the calm, reverential tone - it feels reminiscent of Oscar Wilde's fairy tales, if you've ever read them (" The Happy Prince" etc, partiuclarly lines 21-24. )

Line 12 Do you mean "revelling in a halcyon existence"? Something's not quite right as it stands.

Lines 13-16 Beautifully done.

I like this a lot. Well done.
 — smugzy

self-serving delusional
 — unknown

i think you can drop the 'like' in line 10 to 'they are two old soldiers' and make it a fact.
 — raskolniikov

Smugzy a raskolniikov:  Thanks for reading and for your insightful critiques--I'll certainly think about the suggested changes.
 — PaulS

I thought there an uplifting quality to these words. They gave a good feeling in the reading, despite the 'humans'. Loved the finale.

P :0)
 — unknown

Thanks for the comment unknown.
 — PaulS

a small edit made as suggested by raskolniikov.
 — PaulS

: )
 — fractalcore

Thanks for reading fractalcore, and for the comment.
 — PaulS

i was going to try to describe how i would like it better if it were less poetic.  but then i noticed a hatchet solution-

i think the chairs of which you speak
would agree to kill the first 12 lines.
nothing lost.  so much gained.

love the ending.
 — gnormal

Thanks for the crit gnormal.
 — PaulS

this poet is very verbose
 — unknown

but stingy with comments for others,
i've noticed.

oh well
better than the
"nice poem" dudes
 — unknown

What you say may be true--I'm new here and just feeling way around, but when I do make a comment I don't hide behind the unknown moniker.
 — PaulS

a nice softly lit, hazy thought put into some very fairly well constructed verse..

enjoyed reading this
 — Mongrol

Thanks for reading, Mongrol, and for the kind words.
 — PaulS

Nice one :-)
 — pickles

Very nice.  Chairs can't go anywhere and these two have long ago accepted their fate. Not like two shiny young kitchen chairs. These chairs, wise and content like an old married couple right before one of them gets seriously ill. Enjoying each others company and their surroundings. And although you haven't included it, I'm sure they have had a light moment, chuckling over a memorable behind or two.  I love these chairs Paul. Nice work.
 — mitchl

ahhh words to a music only the heart can hear -- wondrous!
 — AlchemiA

Thanks for your kind comments mitchl and AlchemiA.  The chairs in question were rescued from a junk yard, so I can just imagine how many "storied" behinds have rested in them.
 — PaulS

Wouldn't it take a poet to decipher the thoughts shared between two chairs?  I would cut L's 29, 39 & 31 and just go from L28 directly to L32.  The yellow sandals just appear out of nowhere and begin to shuffle around, thus taking the emphasis from the chairs.  Of course, this is only my opinion.  I love this though either way, Paul!  :-)
 — starr

I forgot to mention also that if you decide to delete the aforementioned lines, you should delete the comma too (at the end of L29.)  Again, this is only a suggestion.  I think you're doing just fine, lest this poem wouldn't be on the Recent Best list.  :-)
 — starr

Thanks starr.  As for the disembodied yellow sandals, I view them as an extention of the chairs--they've been under the table for so long they have taken on the personality of the chairs so to speak--they begin to see the world as the chairs would.
 — PaulS

starr:  I see from your bio you live in Southern Maine.  I guess that sorta makes us neighbors--I live in Southeastern New Hampshire.
 — PaulS

I don't normally say this word in reference to poetry, but...

Beautiful.  This is what the muses wish to inspire but merely dream of.
 — Aziel

Wow! Now I'm blushing--thank you for the wonderful comment Aziel.
 — PaulS

very original title with a quite original poem to follow.

my only concern is why you didn't capitalize they in line 25; i am sure it was on purpose, just am wondering why? style makes sense, but i'm sure you have your reasons.

anyway, everything else was done perfectly, with a good message. and that title ... have to like the title for sure.
 — listen

amazing and perfect
 — Ananke

Thanks, listen.  "They" in line 25 should be capitalized. I'm surprised no one, including myself, noticed it till now--nice find; thanks again.
 — PaulS

Thanks, Ananke, for the comment and for reading.
 — PaulS

 — unknown