In the Plains of Venezuela

On some dark and lonesome road,

While walking home, I saw a faint light off in the distance.

I walked closer and saw a man with a heavy load

And I offered him assistance.

He was dressed all in black,

Save for the coat on his back

Which was brown.

He turned and said nothing.

While he dragged a shovel

With his hand wearing a wedding ring.

I asked if it would be no trouble to tell me why he was out here digging.

He said, “Here lies everything I loved about Maria…

With her included.

Had she not erred like she did, my sweet Maria,

Perhaps her life may not have been concluded”.

Frightened, I turned around with a chill

To that dark and lonesome road.

I looked over my shoulder again, against my will

To see the disappearance of the load.

The man was also gone,

Like a dream Foregone.

 

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1 Comment so far

  1.   jenny abeles on October 25th, 2011

    This has some potential to be a very creepy, very affecting poem, Richard. I enjoy how certain elements–the road, the stranger–are so universal and almost fairytale-like, and yet the title places us somewhere quite exact in the real world. This tension is unsettling and causes an emotional dissonance in the reader, I think.

    Some of these lines are not as poetic as they could be, and I think that maintaining a poetic formality will help achieve an uncanny effect. Here’s an example of poetically formal lines:
    He said, “Here lies everything I loved about Maria…

    With her included.

    Had she not erred like she did, my sweet Maria,

    Perhaps her life may not have been concluded”.

    Nice! Here’s an example needing sharpening up in order to have the same effect:
    He was dressed all in black,

    Save for the coat on his back

    Which was brown.

    Why not “He was dressed all in black/ Save for the brown coat on his back”?

    The last couplet also needs work, begging for a a more fantastic rhyme than “gone/foregone.”

    This has potential! Keep working on it!

    Oh, by the way, your critique of Sam’s work is entirely too brief! She deserves more advice and more specific feedback! Look at Rachel’s critique of Billy, or Saadya’s critique of Candice, please, for examples of what’s expected.

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