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Per Request

Last night’s SEP held some very old pieces. Laurie sweetly asked when she could expect me to unravel the conundrum left at the end of the post. I replied with today.

Somewhere in the M3 archives is the answer to the question, What do the numbers at the ends of the poems mean? No, there will be no link to the answer, as I am unwilling to search through the more than 12, 000 comments to find it. Each line of numbers represents the date and time (respectively) the poems were completed.

Over the course of the decades, I have memories of some which were not single day productions. These days, rather than test my memory any further, I merely make notes in Mantra’s notebook when a poem takes more than 24 hours to complete. The notes will make it easier to find the mood and the analysis when we use one of John’s creations.

Way Back Machine

To understand Wishes, we need to ride back two and an half decades. The poem was born in 1987.

Wishing Star

Have you ever seen a comet? Shooting stars are one of many astronomical events which capture imagination. The superstition of wishing upon them traverses centuries.

What happens when you see one, but have no idea what to wish? As the tail of the comet fades, you fumble for something, anything, to wish happiness into your life.

Thought intrudes. The moment is being lost because you are consumed by thoughts, conscious thoughts, rather than the dreamy whimsy of wishes. The thought is determined it is more important than the silly happiness of which you dream.

It demands your attention. Your heart backs up that intrusive thought by validating it with emotion. Together, they are callous to your inner child’s desire to wish and dream of bright futures and happy tomorrows. They burn up the portion of the mind capable of such wishful thinking.

Once the wish and the thought pass, you are left with the idea you should have wished not to be so burdened with thought. A moment of clarity appears which harkens to your logic. The wish never made can never be denied.

Wishes could just as easily borne the title Self Preservation.

A Small Jump

We are only going to jump a puddle to get to 1991. Deadly Thoughts got its name from readers who initially believed the poem was about suicide. Poetry may be in the eye of the beholder, but the writer was on a completely different wavelength.

…smoke swirls toward the light…

Before making a life-changing decision, one should always contemplate the long term ramifications of the choice, both for oneself and others. These are the questions of the middle stanza. Typically, they are associated with an end of life scenario and the making of a will. Hence, the speculation the poem is about suicide. Consider this one a mulligan.

From the writer’s standpoint, this poem is about ending a situation which has gone badly. The questions merely seek to assure no loose ends remain after departure. There is a wistfulness because some will be left behind.

The cigarettes and the melting of the candle serve no other purpose than to meter the time. The decisions of the poem do not hurry, but are carefully thought out before action can begin. To be safe, a good night’s sleep follows the decision. Things often look different in the morning.

As a personal aside, this poem was written in contemplation of ending an abusive relationship.

Deadly Thoughts would have been easily titled Plotting.

The Fly Over

Our time travel to the last poem brings us into this century, 2010, to be exact. Touch of Happiness brings a wry smile. The knowing of a secret, sweet memory only one other person knows.

The gifts left behind are the everyday cares, the favors, the work, all the things we offer to others. They are all the things which bring looks of concentration, those things to which we must pay attention.

In moments of happiness, our foreheads are smooth, our cheeks supple, our eyelids not wide, our lips curled just so into a grin. The soft look is one which bears no worries.

The offer to share the happiness is the embrace against which there is no intrusion. The entire rest of the world ceases to exist. Bliss envelopes the souls under a canopy of stars and cool moonlight.

When the dawn comes with its rose-colored glasses and claims of shedding the light of joy, the dream lingers on the mind behind the wry smile which has known just a touch of carefree happiness.

Touch of Happiness almost fits this one. While not one of the better titles, it is far superior to the outside-influenced, retrofitted titles of the other two poems.

End of the Line

I hope you have enjoyed our ride in the way back machine. Many thanks to the Aware Writer for letting us borrow it. If you enjoyed our trip, thank Laurie for buying the tickets. She was curious as to my take on the matter.


Did you get anything at all similar to the poetry analysis here? Have you reread the poems to see if you can see the author’s point of view? Are you having a good Memorial Day weekend?

© Red Dwyer 2012
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  1. Laurie

     /  May 27, 2012

    So my original interpretations were as close as I could get without living the events that wrote them. I’m pretty good if I do say so myself. On a side note, due to the nature of the relationship in one of them I have to say that I believe “Stand Your Ground Laws” should apply to abuse cases.

    • Red

       /  May 27, 2012

      I agree SYG should apply to abuse. In some jurisdictions, it does. Unfortunately, sometimes SYG means certain death. Too many laws protect abusers from the punishment for their crimes and penalize the victims for being victims.

      • Amen to that Red!

        My father could have been stopped, but the law protected him and as an adult I cannot repay his many kindnesses because the law, yet again, protects him.

        It does not stop his many death threats though and, unlike him, I have to keep a wary eye out for danger.

        If he SHOULD kill me as he has so often promised, then the law will protect him again and hopefully lock him is a secure unit until his demise.

        If not, then I have no doubt it will be all my fault that he spends a significant time in prison.

        Love and hugs!

        prenin recently posted..Saturday – the Eurovision FinalMy Profile

        • Red

           /  May 27, 2012

          Evasion is the most effective solution. It is a shame the bullies end up with the playground, but the alternative is far less desirable. {HUGZ} Red.

      • Laurie

         /  May 27, 2012

        Ideally SYG would end in death for the abuser. Yes, you read that right and you know me well enough you know I make no apologies for it.

  2. Great trip way, way, back! Good job, Red!

    • Red

       /  May 27, 2012

      …he says without leaving his link in the Green Room…

  3. Thanks for the explanation of the poems.

    I guess we see in them what is darkest in ourselves.

    I attempted suicide – long story – only to survive and end up on medication for the next fifteen years.

    I guess that’s why I saw in the poem that she was killing herself.

    Thank God I am ‘way past pain and well into bitter and angry! 🙂

    Love and hugs always!

    prenin recently posted..Saturday – the Eurovision FinalMy Profile

    • Red

       /  May 27, 2012

      Bitter and angry is far better! {HUGZ} Red.

      • Laurie

         /  May 28, 2012

        I didn’t see suicide or death anywhere……which one? What image did I miss??

        You know this is addictive, I’m supposed to be working to catch up sleeping most of the day.

        • Red

           /  May 28, 2012

          Some people never ask the questions from Deadly Thoughts unless they know they are going to die…soon. The explanations I got were that the smoker was just delaying the inevitable. She said goodnight as a farewell and the sleep was actually death. I blame it all on far too much Shakespeare.

          • Laurie

             /  May 28, 2012

            The last thing I remember of Shakespeare was murder, and the movie version of Romeo and Juliet made Juliet look more like a slut than a love struck child…….I’m still not getting death or suicide from those images…….a tapping foot, pacing a floor, tapping fingers on a table……nope no death.

          • Red

             /  May 28, 2012

            Hollywood is all make believe, even when they start out with make believe. I promise, the movie was nothing like the play…and I have even seen plays which were not like the play. Shakespeare wrote to kill people off (generally show his disdain for the royalty). Since he is the “great bard” (for the same inane reason Stephen King is the king of horror…whatever), many people believe all poetry is “supposed” to reflect his penchant for the bizarre, incestuous and homicidal.

            Me? Not so much. Asea was for more suicidal than these were, but who knows?

          • Laurie

             /  May 28, 2012

            well those are the images that popped into my mind anyway

          • Red

             /  May 28, 2012

            Hence, why I like your interpretation.

  4. A very good posting Red
    and as for Memorial Day
    I think that every day is of
    the same thoughts…

    We will not forget them…

    Have a sweet Monday Red 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

    • Red

       /  May 28, 2012

      I would hope so. For me, there is no way to put it out of mind. I hope you are having a great afternoon.

  5. Which explains why I liked Deadly Thoughts, Plotting is a good name.

    Your poetry sets stakes in the ground.
    Valentine Logar recently posted..Spare a Job, Brother?My Profile

  6. Your poems are intriguing and more so since poetry is not my forte. I felt lots of darkness.

    The first one didn’t. I felt it was someone trying to hold on to something–the wish–but being indecisive and wishing for a better one, never happy about the choice.
    Tess Kann recently posted..Old Bird, New Tricks. . .My Profile

    • Red

       /  June 3, 2012

      Funny you should say that…before I let Mantra out of the lantern here, I had been convinced by quite a few of the “in crowd” my poetry left more than a lot to be desired. As is my way, I blew off the criticism and kept writing. Opinions are like belly buttons…but I appreciate yours. It is gradu-free.

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