Author Topic: Prose. Nightmare  (Read 1399 times)

Offline bowmore bill

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Prose. Nightmare
« on: September 30, 2009, 09:53:58 AM »
                            

                            Nightmare

Overhead, dark sullen skies are made darker by thick black smoke spiralling heavenward.
Fires burn brightly, showing scenes straight out of hell, as across the land the slaughter of the innocents begins in earnest.

Cattle their eyes wide with terror bellow their fear, as some inner sense warns of the impending holocaust.

With nowhere to run to and nowhere to hide none will be spared, neither the young the old or the newborn.    
The healthy along with the sick will fall pray to the gun this day.

From near and far the butchers gather,
Sharp metal spikes poke from gun barrels awaiting release, waiting to bite deep into living brains
bringing an even greater darkness than the black cloying smoke that blots out the sun.

Their crime, they fell victim to an unseen evil that crept silently across the land.
Crossing boundaries and barriers, entering and possessing each and every one of the cloven hoofed.

The smoke filled skies and burning fires serve to remind mankind of another holocaust.

Their own kind was herded like cattle onto trains, and in death camps an unseen killer crept into there midst.
Like the cloven hoofed, their bodies were piled high like so much rubbish waiting to be incinerated.
 
Then too smoke blotted out the sun, and black ash fell from the sky while music played.

A common bond links man and beast as their ashes mingle high above in the stratosphere, high above the killing fields.









Offline Tina

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Re: Prose. Nightmare
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2009, 10:44:38 PM »
Hey bowmore bill.......Nice to see this piece of writing again.    The analogy in this is quite clever.

It is interesting you put this in the poetry section as I thought this was a sort of prose microfiction (nonfiction).  By putting it here in Review My Poetry, I see where you wish to take Nightmare.

I think I'll start off what I like.....to each is own of course....but there are some lines after several reads that have become my favorites.

----Across the land the slaughter of the innocents begins in earnest.  -----part of me wishes that your poem begins with this, because its shocking and hard to turn away from, and is what I call pulling the reader in......

------Cattle their eyes wide with terror bellow their fear, as some inner sense warns of the impending holocaust.  -----I like this line because I used to work as a nanny on a farm when my son was small.   The family had a pig they were fattening up for a pig roast..................and the kids and I would feed it scraps of fruit and vegetables.  He would run towards us happy because he was getting treated.    Yet the day of his death....he knew, and was frightened.    Somehow he could sense that his time was near and was not going to pleasant.   So there is much truth to this line.

-----Like the cloven hoofed, their bodies were piled high like so much rubbish waiting to be incinerated.--------the analogy is very clever, and it implies waste.  Waste of life.
 
I like some of the natural imagery in here:  dark sullen skies,  fires burn brightly, black smoke spiralling heavenward, cloven-hoof. 

Whenever I read cloven hoof I think of the bible and you mention heavenward........I can't help but think of the idea of judgement day...........another sort of analogy in your poem whether you intended for it or not.---might have an effect on readers with a guilty conscience---lol!  I like it...not sure how the Atheist feel about that but for me....it works.

herded like cattle onto trains--very clever

Okay, so here are some lines that I consider telling---------when I read a poem I like to figure things out on my own-----I love little clues however, but telling almost makes it too easy and robs the reader of forming their own  picture in the mind's eye. 

--------showing scenes straight out of hell, -----to some readers, this isn't that hellish.......they want much more shocking imagery...so this might be a let down for some readers

---------as some inner sense warns of the impending holocaust.-----------as soon as I read holocaust, I automatically think of Hitler and concentration camps, so this telling is giving away information too soon.  You want to save this shock factor  for the very end------make the reader say HOLY SH*T   I never thought of this that way!  Yet this is the third line of your poem!

---------From near and far the butchers gather, --------here I want to see these butchers.  My idea of a butcher is the guy dressed in white at the grocery store with beef juice stains all over his bib!   who were these butchers? what do they look like?...............I would like to know......show me........using words----paint an image in my mind

----------------The smoke filled skies and burning fires serve to remind mankind of another holocaust.-------very much telling and repetitive


The line I am pondering----------A common bond links man and beast as their ashes mingle high above in the stratosphere, high above the killing fields.

I would like to mention that there are those who are not aware of the slaughter of cattle in England and the reason for it........you may need to put in a clue.  Some may argue that the cattle killed was for  public and farm animal health...............however, the way it happened was certainly of a hellish and holocaustic nature.

IF I have any more thoughts I'll let you know.   And please feel free to disagree with me--------I'll not be offended.

oh, and another thing.......I just thought of .........you might for starters put shape to your poem.......sometimes that opens up a creative thought for the poet.

randolph

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Re: Prose. Nightmare
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2009, 04:49:03 AM »
Hi Bowmore Bill,

Thanks for posting this, the themes here are interesting. The 'herded like cattle' analogy is nothing new (usually the connection is with slaughter in abatoirs), but the wider comparison you make here with massive culls of diseased animals is one I haven't encountered before. I do have a few reservations about the content though.

Firstly, I think some of your phrases are unnecessary. For this to function as a poem, I would like you to be less explicit. If you can find ways to hint at the connections you're examining, instead of spelling them out, this might make for a better reading experience because you'll add to the atmosphere and tension. So I would lose phrases like  'reminds us of another holocaust', 'herded like cattle', 'death camps'. Finding less obvious ways to incorporate these aspects will compliment the analogy.

I also feel I need to take issue with some of the imagery. I like the picture you're building up here - the smoke and fire and whatnot - but I wonder if the descriptions are a little too plodding. For instance 'thick black smoke spiralling heavenward', 'nowhere to run to and nowhere to hide', 'bodies piled high' - the first is a perfectly legitimate description but it doesn't do you justice, the second and third are cliches and you should try to find alternatives or take them out altogether. I suppose what I'm looking for as your reader is more arresting language.

Finally, just a point of style - I think you can tighten up the prose by removing some of the filler, elements like 'neither the young, the old or the newborn' for example. 'None shall be spared' is sufficient and packs more of a punch on its own.

I hope this is useful in some way. I enjoyed the piece and I think you have the ability to take this much further. I would agree with Tina that to progress the piece as a poem it needs a 'shape', a structure - and imposing one may help you to trim away some of the cliches and find more innovative ways of describing your subject matter.

Good luck with it.

Randolph
« Last Edit: October 06, 2009, 04:55:14 AM by randolph »

Offline bowmore bill

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Re: Prose. Nightmare
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2009, 05:40:54 PM »

Hello again Tina, this is a terrific piece of dissection, I really mean it in the nicest possible way
thank you very much. Will look at it again and see what can be done to improve it.
Hey bowmore bill.......Nice to see this piece of writing again.    The analogy in this is quite clever.

It is interesting you put this in the poetry section as I thought this was a sort of prose microfiction (nonfiction).  By putting it here in Review My Poetry, I see where you wish to take Nightmare.

I think I'll start off what I like.....to each is own of course....but there are some lines after several reads that have become my favorites.

----Across the land the slaughter of the innocents begins in earnest.  -----part of me wishes that your poem begins with this, because its shocking and hard to turn away from, and is what I call pulling the reader in......

------Cattle their eyes wide with terror bellow their fear, as some inner sense warns of the impending holocaust.  -----I like this line because I used to work as a nanny on a farm when my son was small.   The family had a pig they were fattening up for a pig roast..................and the kids and I would feed it scraps of fruit and vegetables.  He would run towards us happy because he was getting treated.    Yet the day of his death....he knew, and was frightened.    Somehow he could sense that his time was near and was not going to pleasant.   So there is much truth to this line.

-----Like the cloven hoofed, their bodies were piled high like so much rubbish waiting to be incinerated.--------the analogy is very clever, and it implies waste.  Waste of life.
 
I like some of the natural imagery in here:  dark sullen skies,  fires burn brightly, black smoke spiralling heavenward, cloven-hoof. 

Whenever I read cloven hoof I think of the bible and you mention heavenward........I can't help but think of the idea of judgement day...........another sort of analogy in your poem whether you intended for it or not.---might have an effect on readers with a guilty conscience---lol!  I like it...not sure how the Atheist feel about that but for me....it works.

herded like cattle onto trains--very clever

Okay, so here are some lines that I consider telling---------when I read a poem I like to figure things out on my own-----I love little clues however, but telling almost makes it too easy and robs the reader of forming their own  picture in the mind's eye. 

--------showing scenes straight out of hell, -----to some readers, this isn't that hellish.......they want much more shocking imagery...so this might be a let down for some readers

---------as some inner sense warns of the impending holocaust.-----------as soon as I read holocaust, I automatically think of Hitler and concentration camps, so this telling is giving away information too soon.  You want to save this shock factor  for the very end------make the reader say HOLY SH*T   I never thought of this that way!  Yet this is the third line of your poem!

---------From near and far the butchers gather, --------here I want to see these butchers.  My idea of a butcher is the guy dressed in white at the grocery store with beef juice stains all over his bib!   who were these butchers? what do they look like?...............I would like to know......show me........using words----paint an image in my mind

----------------The smoke filled skies and burning fires serve to remind mankind of another holocaust.-------very much telling and repetitive


The line I am pondering----------A common bond links man and beast as their ashes mingle high above in the stratosphere, high above the killing fields.

I would like to mention that there are those who are not aware of the slaughter of cattle in England and the reason for it........you may need to put in a clue.  Some may argue that the cattle killed was for  public and farm animal health...............however, the way it happened was certainly of a hellish and holocaustic nature.

IF I have any more thoughts I'll let you know.   And please feel free to disagree with me--------I'll not be offended.

oh, and another thing.......I just thought of .........you might for starters put shape to your poem.......sometimes that opens up a creative thought for the poet.

Offline bowmore bill

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Re: Prose. Nightmare
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2009, 05:54:37 PM »

Hi Randolph, thank you for commenting, yes i always tend to go into overkill
with descriptions, i guess i'm not trying to build up tension, rather i try to recreate the atmosphere
and imagery i see in my head as i'm writing.
These are images that were brosdcasted on tv a few years back during an outbreak of bsc in england
I tried to marry the burning of the diseased cattle with what went on in places like Auswich and other
death camps run by the Nazies during world war 2.
Will go over it again and try to incorperate som of your points.Thanks agai...Bill
Hi Bowmore Bill,

Thanks for posting this, the themes here are interesting. The 'herded like cattle' analogy is nothing new (usually the connection is with slaughter in abatoirs), but the wider comparison you make here with massive culls of diseased animals is one I haven't encountered before. I do have a few reservations about the content though.

Firstly, I think some of your phrases are unnecessary. For this to function as a poem, I would like you to be less explicit. If you can find ways to hint at the connections you're examining, instead of spelling them out, this might make for a better reading experience because you'll add to the atmosphere and tension. So I would lose phrases like  'reminds us of another holocaust', 'herded like cattle', 'death camps'. Finding less obvious ways to incorporate these aspects will compliment the analogy.

I also feel I need to take issue with some of the imagery. I like the picture you're building up here - the smoke and fire and whatnot - but I wonder if the descriptions are a little too plodding. For instance 'thick black smoke spiralling heavenward', 'nowhere to run to and nowhere to hide', 'bodies piled high' - the first is a perfectly legitimate description but it doesn't do you justice, the second and third are cliches and you should try to find alternatives or take them out altogether. I suppose what I'm looking for as your reader is more arresting language.

Finally, just a point of style - I think you can tighten up the prose by removing some of the filler, elements like 'neither the young, the old or the newborn' for example. 'None shall be spared' is sufficient and packs more of a punch on its own.

I hope this is useful in some way. I enjoyed the piece and I think you have the ability to take this much further. I would agree with Tina that to progress the piece as a poem it needs a 'shape', a structure - and imposing one may help you to trim away some of the cliches and find more innovative ways of describing your subject matter.

Good luck with it.

Randolph
Hi Randolph,

Offline drab

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Re: Prose. Nightmare
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2009, 08:36:23 PM »
Hello bowman bill,
Loved this, but it reads more like a short story. IMO it needs to be condensed and requires many more breaks. Having said that, there is so much to compliment here. Man's inhumanity to man and the creatures we consume (or sometimes kill to enhance our libido, as if) is a story that demands to be told and retold. The comparison between man and animal is thought provoking with strong imagery.
Well done
Rev. drab
To live, with gentle but cunning deceit, and accept the consequences, is the destiny of every man.