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The Demise of Rapha

dragging through the woodland,
trees creaking in the breeze
stifling heat
pressed his fading energy
his bones
heavy in his skin,
open wounds tapped by gravity
red drops followed his footsteps
and shade played tricks
with phantom-formed shadows
death awoke
and stood within
nature's white smoke
unzipped a blood-soaked
corpse cover
and Rapha slid in
eyes closed
slowly eased
from his body
he rose above the trees
and looked below
where cherry-colored birds
flew from their perch
he hovered above the earth
and when the sun set,
he fell asleep
on the hidden side of the moon

18 Aug 09

Rated 10 (8.4) by 5 users.
Active (5): 6, 8
Inactive (22): 1, 1, 3, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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(171 more poems by this author)

(6 users consider this poem a favorite)

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you've got quite a bit of motifs interlaced through your work, JK. i love it when poets do that. for instance, why do i get the feeling that the very last line is strangely connected to Inflicted Bloodmaker?

you're writing poetry when using its definition of layers. keep doing that. connecting your work without connecting them. or ... well.

regardless, a good piece. worth reading more than once. another trademark of poetry.
 — listen

Loved it. Really gorgeous writing.
 — Amaranth

Cool! I like it this time. 9
 — BxPR

thank you for your kind words
much gratitude
 — JKWeb

I'm glad you dig it
cool username by the way..
 — JKWeb

and by the way, thanks Amaranth
 — JKWeb

I'm glad you like the revamped version
 — JKWeb

Very much so. In fact on a second read I like it more so accordingly 10
 — BxPR

And thanks again
 — JKWeb

this is nice and smooth, JK ! i am amazed once again by your gift of prose!
 — unknown

Thank you unknown-
I'm glad you like it but must admit
I'm a bit confused about you mentioning 'prose'
but again, much gratitude...
 — JKWeb

Well done!
 — dwaynee

Thanks dwaynee-
I appreciate you reading and commenting
 — JKWeb

this is beautiful..i wish i had written it..lol
 — brother_sun

thanks brother_sun
that's quite a compliment
I'm glad you lie it...
 — JKWeb

* like
 — JKWeb

I might be wrong but I believe the word Rapha refers to the Old Testament lexicon "ghosts of the dead."   I like this very much, JK--you have a very distinctive voice.
 — PaulS

I got the name from a "cool names" web site and I liked it but
wasn't entirely sure of the meaning
you're definition seems to fit
thanks...much gratitude
 — JKWeb

 — JKWeb

JKWeb -- colourful dis-incarnation while birds fly as souls leave their nest  for the dark-side of the mOON -- nicely writ
 — AlchemiA

Death awoke and stood within nature's white smoke.... excellent... and how can I follow Al's comment here?... j.g. smiles, as cherry-colored birds flew from their perch...
 — goeszon

Thanks Virgil for the fave..
 — JKWeb

thanks for the fave and
the cool poetic comment
you could definately create poems from your comments..
 — JKWeb

J.G. goesZEN-
thanks for reading and commenting
much appreciated..
 — JKWeb

L7-10--my favorite lines in this piece.  I like the other-world quality that emanates from this write.  Nice form and line breaks.  Creative with a topic that can easily fall into cliche.
 — sybarite

Oh--and a well deserved number one placement!
 — sybarite

thank you sybarite-
I really appreciate
you reading and commenting
much gratitude
 — JKWeb

Too tactile and visual fo rmy tastes, but obviously a crafted poem in the sense of attempts to be descriptive, and of a well beloved tennis players no doubt.
 — Eloha

Aloha Eloha-
Isn't being visual and tactile part of what writing is all about?
anyway, thanks for reading and commenting...
 — JKWeb

a purple star in a field of dandies.

i have a ?/ though- "open wounds tapped by gravity" please help me to
understand what it is you are conveying. trapped may not be the word
you  want in this place (?)  maybe there is a word that could be better
suited? if it is trapped in gravity, then it is held in suspension? if it is forced
by gravity then it is not trapped? especially since the next line is; "and red streaks followed his footsteps" thus meaning there is not trapping. ? just a thought. Unless
it is you mean trapped in it's own atmosphere, but then still the second line does not work.

!!!Either way this is a poignant writing.
 — Liliana

thank you for reading and commenting-
if you notice, it isn't 'trapped' ...   it's 'tapped'
like draining...
at least that what I was going for
much gratitude...
 — JKWeb

Oh well - then that does change things, hahah so silly of me, i must get my eyes
examined, carry on.
 — Liliana

I think this would have more impact and immediacy if in the 1st person.
 — turboswami

I prefer to write in first person however-
I felt in this case that because the character perished, it needed to be written as is.  Either way, thanks for reading and commenting.
 — JKWeb

Much cliche'd:

"slow and steady"

"silently through the forest"

"sweet as honey"

God, the cliche's never end.  
 — cechaffin

any others cechaffin
so I can fix 'em?
suggestions please...
 — JKWeb

made changes, better?
 — JKWeb

Okay, after one more long, slow read, I find that I love this.  I have been trying to read with illusional punctuation but this is about breathing in short, gaspy breaths, not slow measures.  

Is this another war poem?  It could be any war, Civil War, Bosnia, Iraq, Viet Nam..
 — Isabelle5

cechafin, life is very much filled with cliches, every minute of every day, every birth, every death, all cliche.  We write what we know.
 — Isabelle5

I think that what messed me up about this is the title - perpetual means something that keeps happening forever.  It isn't really accurate, unless this is some Greek myth that I am not familiar with.  There must be another word to substitute for perpetual that would make more sense.  

You could just use forever in line 28...he fell asleep forever.  Not sure what you can do with the title but if you think of the Kennedy Perpetual flame, see what I mean?  Dying is not something that keeps happening, it's a once and done deal.
 — Isabelle5

Thanks for reading, comments, suggestions
funny you should mention the war theme...that's what it originally had but was writ with some problems so I revised.  I had 'forever' there originally but changed it.  I see what you mean so I changed back and also changed the title....better?
mucho gratitude...
 — JKWeb

I like the changes.  Very lovely, gentle writing.  
 — Isabelle5

keep reading this one.
and ya, tapped sounds much better
 — Liliana

JKWeb, you've made a fine poem -- watch out for the ignorati and their disdain claim of cliche' -- they'll maim you on the sharp edge of their little-rat-eye glance (literati) while making no real crit of it just to shake you up about it -- 'tis the arrogance of ignorance and this our hearts do know, that discriminating wisdom always shows the cracks in the poem, where the light would want to go --
 — AlchemiA

thanks Isabelle
for re-visiting and suggestions
 — JKWeb

thank you again

I appreciate you reading once more
 — JKWeb

thanks for re-visiting
I appreciate your comments that are always cool to read
much gratitude..
 — JKWeb

good images, don't like the rhymes
 — Salamander

It's fine that you don't like the rhymes
though I'm glad you like the imagery
cool username btw
 — JKWeb

The tropes are uneven, the death uneventful, the ending unsatisfying.
 — cechaffin

Does anyone know who the nasty newbie is?  Cechaffin
 — unknown

he rose above the trees  22
and looked below  23
as cherry-colored birds  24
flew from their perch  25
he hovered above the earth  26
and when the sun set  27
he fell asleep forever  28
on the hidden side of the moon
and i love the cherry colored birds, can you eat em?
 — unknown

if you say so...
 — JKWeb

unknown #1-
good question...
I like your 'nasty newbie' comment
made me laugh
thanks !
 — JKWeb

unknown #2-
thanks for reading
and for the nice comment
I wouldn't recommend eating the cherry colored birds !
 — JKWeb

great story j,
i enjoyed it very much,
i love the unfolding of it.  it does read more storylike, but that is ok.  

still, i do think there are many areas that could be tightened, and it's
mainly just plain language.  not really changing the poem at all, just maybe omitting some things like 'nearly spent' 'going hushed'  'fading energy'  ...you can make simple changes to better your poem without changing the content at all.  working on visuals for 'visuals' then realising there is no need for lines like 'his bones 'felt' heavy' this is speculation, kind of like what i've said before.
you could omit 'and' in L10.

this is ONLY an example of what i mean:

he hushed his (dead) legs   (dead is almost too much to give away)
as they creaked in the breeze-
the woodland heat
sinking heavy in his bones

nice job!
 — jenakajoffer

thanks jen-
for having a look at this one..
I will have to give some thought
to your suggestions and crit--
you have an exceptional eye for these things...
 — JKWeb

 — unknown

Still love this.  Every time I see the title, though, I get sad since my man baby's name is Rafael and I call him Rafa!
 — Isabelle5

Thanks for reading and nice short comment.
 — JKWeb

Thanks for re-visiting.  The good news is that the spelling is different.
 — JKWeb

Ah cherry colored birds!
 — ghost

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.  Much appreciated.
 — JKWeb

i like this one a lot........taking one from death into the afterlife, from walking toward death to rising above it........a perfectly natural progression and great images to support your ideas.
 — Tandisol

Thanks for reading.  I'm glad you like it.  
 — JKWeb

some edits
 — JKWeb

I like the changes you've made Web still one of my favorites of yours...
 — brother_sun

thanks brother_sun for excavating this from the back-catalog.
 — JKWeb

great write....i enjoyed
 — marlboro