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Unread 05-21-2022, 02:13 PM
David Callin David Callin is offline
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Ellan Vannin
Posts: 2,766
Default Acumen 103

This appears, with one of my poems in it, for which I'm very thankful. I don't think I workshopped it here, for some reason. Perhaps it appeared during my sabbatical.

Here it is, anyway, for anyone that's interested ...

Out of the past

This is the doubtful hour. Shapes start
to flow into each other. Shades
creep out from under trees, where they've
avoided the dogmatic sun
all day, to gather with their friends.

This is the time of day when things
are seen to be believed. The light,
more diffident, obliquer, drops
its flat insistence on who's who
and joins us in the masquerade.

Now, if ever, I will meet
my father in his Sunday best,
with the light behind him, walking
out of those old photographs,
their cracked duns and ochres,

or - more disheveled - looking shyly
over his shoulder as he backs
a tractor out of some tight spot,
tinkering with a motor-bike
or posing with a euphonium

we never saw, likewise the bike;
nor do we recognise this farmhouse
with its sycamores and sorry
garden, or this pretty girl
who sits, smiling, in a hedge.
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Unread 05-21-2022, 02:23 PM
Ann Drysdale's Avatar
Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is online now
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Old South Wales (UK)
Posts: 6,068

A lovely poem and a prestigious placing. Great stuff.
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Unread 05-21-2022, 03:04 PM
Carl Copeland Carl Copeland is offline
Join Date: Apr 2022
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Posts: 197

This is just what I wanted to read this evening, David! I love how the concrete images in the last three stanzas are attenuated by “if ever,” “we never saw,” “nor do we recognise.” I did puzzle a bit over “are seen to be believed.” Could it be that if someone actually sees what “has to be seen to be believed,” then they see it to believe it?
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Unread 05-21-2022, 03:10 PM
Sarah-Jane Crowson's Avatar
Sarah-Jane Crowson Sarah-Jane Crowson is offline
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: UK
Posts: 1,335

Woohoo! That is a brilliant poem, David (it really is, it's evocative and lets me see people through the images, and is full of that aching sense of the hopes and dreams of the past).

And I agree with Ann, too. What a lovely venue to be published in!

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Unread 05-21-2022, 03:57 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: TX
Posts: 6,464

Just to join the chorus of praise. Molodets!

Thanks for posting that poem, David, it really was a treat to read, and what a gentle and generous homage to your father while you are at it. In his Sunday best.
A sidebar - I am intrigued by the girl in the hedge. I see you with old photos before you as you write.

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Unread 05-22-2022, 02:09 PM
David Callin David Callin is offline
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Ellan Vannin
Posts: 2,766

Thanks Annie, Carl, Sarah-Jane and John.

Yes, it's good to be accepted by Acumen. This is not my first time, but it's always good. (It is still a relative rarity.)


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Unread 05-28-2022, 12:33 PM
John Riley John Riley is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 5,336

A very good poem, David. It connects.
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