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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Smooth Operator


Dramatic Sky by Vera Kratochvil

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Smooth Operator




They sat
Two small children
In the gloaming dusk
One with a tongue peeking
From a corner in concentration
The other with empty eyes
Filling a page of hearts with color

They sat
Together each a single siblinged link
Imprisoned behind the chain 
Linked fence puzzling with pensive
Persistent crayons and pencils 
The essentials of the unknown recipe

To feed his signaled smile that they 
Were finally forgiven for causing 
The blossoms of beating
That rose on a cheek here
A thigh there 
a trace of unsucked blood on a tooth 


They sat in desperate dusk falling to night 
Together working toward his forgiveness
earlier that day they had dialed up
the Operator of Rage 
then summoned, now they worked 
with empty stomachs and cramped fingers, 
the table piled with stacks of sneers
Rejected submissions in this relentless
contest - 

Deadlining nightfall slowly pushing
possibility of the ephemeral prize
"Permission-To-Sleep"
Into the lengthening shadows
Slithering heavily on their shoulders as
They sat 













38 comments:

  1. wow... weird night/morning posting...last stanza of post disappeared - hadn't saved it elsewhere! ... rewrote as best as I could ... then spacing was off for another half hour of fixing and refixing - picture disappeared repeatedly... In the inimitable words of well known frustration... ARGHHH!
    :) Night all ...

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    1. Oh...I'm sorry Pearl...I really dislike it when things like this happen...it seems you did well to rewrite it...a striking poem always rich, your writing. Smiles to you, Pearl. :)

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    2. Hi Hannah - thanks for stopping by and the sympathy for a loooong night :)

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    3. Oh Pearl- the computer can be so infuriating! I think you did very well to stick with it. This poem breaks my heart...

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    4. For those who might wonder at the title ... the "Smooth Operator" speaks to the heinous imbalance of power and the misplaced grandiosity of an abuser who thinks that he is somehow "smooth" in being able to manipulate little children....

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  2. A haunting write. Gripped my heart a bit. A well-written piece.

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  3. Not a pleasant scene: the empty eyes worried more than anything. Sorry your PC was acting up.
    mine was too, but I write in Notepad just to be safe :-)

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  4. But you nailed it in the end. I'm glad I came back to read this half happy - half sad poem.

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  5. "puzzling with pensive/Persistent crayons and pencils"

    Great alliteration here.

    "The blossoms of beating/That rose on a cheek here/A thigh there"

    That's quite an apt and clever description!

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  6. The words "desperate dusk" and "stacks of sneers" twist this apparently sweet image of young children into a raw fear of just what is constantly happening to them. Those "blossoms of beating" seem like a regular occurrence. A tragic scenario.

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    1. Oh Gemma - thank you I think you really heard the children of this poem...

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  7. Pearl, you worked these words well to tell quite a haunting tale.

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  8. Awww... it is very sad. The bruises the red cheeks and thighs. Permission to sleep.
    All very touching

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    1. Sorry for the sadness - happy to have been able to touch you :)

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  9. I wasn't quite sure, but enjoyed the reading of your well written piece.

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    1. Hi Annell thanks for stopping - not sure of what you were not sure :)

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  10. You paint this so well. So horribly sad.

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    1. Ah Annette a painting I wish we're completely outdated! Don't know where this flash came from - delighted you stopped by.

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    2. ( that obviously was supposed to be WERE no contraction - blasted IPAD autocorrect slipped that one in!) :)

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  11. A very tragic and sad read - the imagery of children living in a state like this is a hard one. I know it happens - and always wish that it wouldn't be so. Powerfully written.

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    1. Thank you - you echo my sentiments on this horrific subject . Thank you for stopping by - will visit you as well :)

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  12. A powerful and haunting portrait... you captured their pain and fear and let me feel it... especially the part where they hope to be forgiven for causing what they're experiencing. That's what the kids believe, it's their fault. I also liked the weaving of the images related to writing... seeking acceptance, publication, instead of rejection... well done.

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  13. "Together working toward his forgiveness"

    Isn't it sad that is the way it is seen through the eyes of the children - as if they had done the wrong and need forgiveness.

    A powerful write that treats a terrible subject with dignity.


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  14. What a sad but wonderful write--a powerful write because it makes the reader see the children so clearly---at least for me--

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  15. You tell this story so well - the empty eyes, the colored hearts, the marks of the beatings, the feeling of having caused them (so typical of abused children), the lengthening shadows "slithering heavily" on their shoulders. Wow. You so nailed this!

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  16. A sad tale for sure, gut-wrenching and completely heart-breaking. Those last three lines will stick with me for quite some time.

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  17. Oh Pearl these computers can erase things in a blink. So sorry. You found the words or they found you. This piece breaks my heart. This mixing of childhood drawings and abuse- the contrast is stark and makes it all the more sad.

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  18. Thank you Serena -how delightful that you picked up the writing images as well as the childrens' underlying emotions -will be sure to head over to your site ... Thanks again for stopping by:)

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  19. This poem is chilling Pearl and has haunted me since I first read it (I've read it several times over now) - it leaves me a bit breathless with a lump in my throat ... the injustice, the striving to fix the unfixable ... ah children betrayed, my weak spot. Good, good writing.

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  20. Awww thank you Sharon - as you might have read up top - I had to reconstruct - I never know where these sorts of scenarios arrive from - was relieved to be able to retrieve - would be wonderful - if such events were pure phantasy . Thanks for stopping and commenting - deeply moved that these children touched you as they came to me

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  21. it is chilling what some children must go through...seems to be an adult deserving of a beating..though I am sure that is not the answer either... well done

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  22. Raw and powerful has turns of phrase that linger and grasp, despite complications you did exceptional Pearl

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  23. a sad and frightening tale of child abuse and neglect....oh the horror

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  24. The seeming play of words hide the pain, sorrow, and atrocity which made the irony so much more effective..

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