adventures in dysthymia

Monday, April 21, 2008

CLIFFS, take 2

Having given some thought to the poem I posted yesterday -- and poetry of that sort in general -- I'm thinking it might be better presented as a prose poem (or flash fiction, if you prefer). Yes, it was laid out in rough metric form but that's not really integral to the piece and may well have limited it somewhat. So, here is 'Cliffs' reshaped (with only a couple word changes)....


'A bear's been here,' he said, pointing to the torn pine, but even at eight I knew enough to suspect my brother of having snuck up here, sometime before I woke, and using his hatchet. Still, I kept a watchful eye as we climbed slowly, the path growing steeper among the trees, up to the cliffs, the sandstone terraces, the vultures' apartment house.

I would watch them from my wood-framed window, the little bedroom at the back of the farmhouse, leaning out to see them rise, soar from the rock ledges, into the summer sky. You couldn't really see them from the top of the cliffs, though, even if one were foolish enough -- or had a negligent brother -- to edge out to the edge and look over.

No doubt it wasn't as far down as I remember but it would have broken my eight-year-old neck, all the same. The vultures would surely have approved.

Stephen Brooke ©2008

I'm thinking some of my older poems of a similar sort might also benefit from being rewritten as prose pieces. I'll see about it...when I have time.

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