A call-out to child authors (ages 8-12) from the Pacific
The fading voices of our ancestors: languages under threat

The red cigar seller

Boy all in redCAROLINE EVARI

An entry in the Crocodile Prize
Kina Securities Award for Poetry

Boy all in red
And a red in his hands
Coins clatter in one pocket
Notes slumber in the other

“One kina red! One kina red!
He chants as a song
Up and down the sidewalk

His feet stationed on alert
His body cautious
To the coppers
And the rangers
Those that attack you in surprise

This red brings danger
He had escaped many times
His eyes watch the road
As his mouth continues to chant

“One kina red stap!”


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Caroline Evari

Thanks a lot Michael. I have saved your alternatives. Just what I need.

Philip G Kaupa

Good one!...Thanks Michael.

Michael Dom

It's my pleasure to share stuff I've picked up while writing, Philip.

I should add that what Caroline has written is free verse, whereas my alternative was directed towards structured verse.

Caroline's voice in this poem is good for the free verse form. I don't suggest that she change this particular poem, only to consider the alternative.

But knowing how to create structured verse will improve writing skills (word choice, definition and connotation, placing, grammar and line structure etc) so that you know when to bend or break the rules properly.

For more and better tips check out this link: http://www.wikihow.com/Become-a-Successful-Poet

Philip G Kaupa

Michael my Poet, thanks man! great thoughts I acquire from your eleboration. Indeed a poetry lecture.

Phil Fitzpatrick

I thought it was good too Michael. Publishable material.

Michael Dom

Oh, 'sales' should be sellers. :-)

Michael Dom

I really like the observation of the street seller - everyday human drama.

The kick off stanza is good, nice alliteration for 'coins, clatter' and diction for 'clatter' and 'slumber'. Inspiring.

Alternatively to make the verse 'spit' I thought:

Red jacket, unshod, street kid (using imagery)
With packet a' Pall Mall Red
One pocket a' clattering coins
One pocket a' slumbering notes
Eyes rocket thru milling crowds

Also I'm liking very much: 'His feet stationed on alert', but thought alternatively:

Fleet feet stationed on alert
Brown body cautious - taut -
For blue coppers and
Yellow rangers - streets fraught -
With sudden violent ends
To smoke sales, caught red handed

Which leads to your next line...

'This Red bRings (Real) dangeR'.

Internal rhyming may not be so important for your voice in this poem, nor the assonance and consonance in my alternative verses (jackET, packET, pockET or R the line above).

Assonance, alliteration and consonance are the building blocks of verse.

This poem may not be intended as verse, but then again it might gain something from it - and not necessarily equal numbered verses either.

I'm glad to read you again Caroline. You have good skill.

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