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What Lightning Bugs Eat

Sitting in the room I despise,
learning chemistry,
my friend,
lab partner,
locker next to mine,
year book photo beside me
shattered the monotony,
like a bullet through glass.
My dear friend asked:
What do lightning bugs eat?
We all just laughed and stared.
My teacher ignored the humorous line.
But Brett was serious, he wanted to know,
for when he went fire fly hunting.
So his pet would not die.
Brett is dead.
February Twentieth Two Thousand and Four.
You turned the school into chaos,
something you have always tried to do.
You and I, the biggest slackers the chem teacher
ever saw
should have caught lightning bugs together
but we never got the chance.
We would have caught two,
one for me, one for you.
Because Brett, my dear friend,
Lightning bugs eat each other.

I stopped writing for a year and a half after he died.

23 Aug 05

Rated 8.7 (8.4) by 11 users.
Active (11): 2, 7, 7, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10
Inactive (11): 1, 7, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10

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1. Hello

2. you had me hooked up until
"Brett is dead.  16
Feburary Twentieth Two Thousand and Four.  17
You turned the school into chaos,  18
something you have always tried to do.  19
You and I, the biggest slackers the chem teacher  20
ever saw.  21
Should of caught lightning bugs together.  22
But we never got the chance.  23
We would of caugt two,  24
one for me, one for you.  25
Because Brett, my dear friend,  26 "

A. just in my opinion, it seems to literal - - - more straightforward and literal than poetry - - - but more than 1 have told me I don't know what the fuck poetry is - - - just the opinion of someone reading it with a naked eye - - - would try something esle than the straightforward telling for the end....

... on a side note... I had a friend end his times in high school..........he somehow attached himself to the song Zombie by the Cranberries...................every time I hear the song............frozen

tangent.............off the subject

all in all

a good read

 — fdostoev

hey, thanks man. i value your opinioin. i'm just not a very good writer. i'm sorry to hear about you friend.
 — bear

i really want to make this better. can someone give me advice on how to do such a thing, a think my friend deserves better than this.
 — bear

line 7 - did you mean monotomy?
line 17 - February
line 22 - "of" should be "have"
line 24 - caught

love the last four lines. i'm sorry about brett. i love fireflies, i have never seen any in real life. brett would be happy with this poem; it is very good, and the sentiment and memories are beautiful.
 — Lia

oh, god, maybe i shouldn't have been so presumptuous about your friend? i'm really sorry.
 — Lia

o lia, thank you for your wonderful comments. once again you have helped me. you weren't being presumptous. you understood the poem perfectly. i tryed to capture brett. other kids wrote poems as well, but they were shitty pieces about how everyone will miss him and we're all so sad, they didnt talk about him. you assuming that brett would have been happy with this just means you understood brett and the poem. thank you.

ps: where are you from?
 — bear

if you don't want to change line 22, at least change 17 and fix the typo. puh-lease?

read this, you might like it. http://www.poetry .tetto.org/read/16395/

i'm from australia. nsw, to be more specific. what about you?
 — Lia

COMMENT TO LIA-- i'd really like ur crit on my most recent poem- Blatancy. =)
 — MywrdsRmyAiR

haha, wouldnt it have been more effective to comment on one of my own poems? i'll check it out now.
 — Lia

Maybe. . . lol- i dunno. . .haha, too tired to think of something clever like that =)
 — MywrdsRmyAiR

oops, i thought i made those changes! my fault. i don't know what nsw means... i'm from the US... delaware to be more specific. there's no fire flys in australia?
 — bear

nsw = new south wales, the state i live in. i think there are fireflies in australia? i just haven't seen them, like i haven't seen snow :P
 — Lia

I love the concept.  Two friends, devouring each other but in a good way.  It isn't great writing but it's GOOD writing and the meaning is poignant, told from the heart.

Sorry for the loss of this unique and curious person from your life.
 — Isabelle5

Man, I liked it too. It could use some stanzas though, so it breaks it up a little bit. Especially right before the "brett is dead" line. It would hit much harder that way.
 — Doulos

snow is so much fun, i'm sorry lia. you have to catch lightning bugs and have a snowball fight.

thanks isabelle, i tryed to capture him and from your remarks, i think i did.

doulos, i'm glad you liked it. i will definetly think about putting a break before brett is dead.
 — bear

want to know where i would put line breaks? or do you want to do it yourself?
 — Lia

you know your suggestions are always welcome lia! lets here it.
 — bear

i would put them after lines 12, 15, 21, 25. but maybe not so much after line 25. but yes to the others. i know the stanzas would be very uneven, and if i hadn't read the poem before, i would probably complain, but i feel that those palces are the best places to both seperate ideas and create impression.
 — Lia

lia, once again, you have improved upon one of my poems greatly. i will make the changes suggested.  I heart you.
 — bear

one more thing: only keep the first sentence in the footnote. i think the rest detracts the emphasis on brett, and i don't think you want to do that, really.

and also, the rest goes without saying, or at least, should go without saying for every poem on this site.
 — Lia

once again lia, you're right. changed. thank you soo much. i can't repay you.
 — bear

it's ok.

as a poet, you could repay me by commenting on some of my poems sometime. as a friend you could repay my by chatting to me on msn or something.

or you could just mail me cash. hehe
 — Lia

anyway, i didn't do that much, just pointed out a few typos and where line breaks would fit. i didn't even suggest the use of line breaks, that was doulos' idea.

the poem is yours, thank yourself for writing such a perfect poem to the meory of brett.
 — Lia

lia! i sent you an email. i will try and comment on you poems. i'm terrible at it, but ill try! and would love to chat it up with u. and as for sending you money, i dont have any crazy australian money, sorry!
 — bear

I love this.  I was thinking about it a few days after I read it.  I think it really stuck with me because you chose to write about such a specific memory like lightning bugs.  It was moving and funny, just like you would remember a friend.
 — HandsomeHerb

thank you so much. this is one of the most personal things i have posted, and i think you truly understand my friend after reading it.
 — bear

They don't eat bears
 — unknown

thanks for the insight, unknown
 — bear

this... this is stunning.
this makes me want to smile about your good times, and cry about the heatache.
very heatfelt. i can feel it too.
the punctuation, although almost awkward, makes it even better.
favourite, and really
 — gears

haha, correction ***** HEARTache, and HEARTfelt.
my mistake, i am a horrible writer *cough* :P
 — gears

shit dude, emotive stuff. i'm sorry. a very good tribute. well written, great imagery and sad as hell. nice poem.
 — emptyepitaph

First stanza - check the punctuation. I think that altogether, there are way too many commas, and the full stop at the end of line six is odd; the stanza begins with a statement which doesn't quite become a statement (basically, take out the full stop at line six, and leave the one in eight).

I wonder if line eight is an allusion to how Brett died? If so - very nicely done.

Stanza two has some serious punctuation probelms - give me a holler if you don't know anything about punctuation and want to sort it out.

This is a gimmick that works very often; insert maybe a title for the first section, and another for the second. It's just that the transition from line fifteen to line sixteen is too abrupt. I realise that it is meant to be; that one minute, Brett is alive and well, and the next, he's dead.

It's a great line transition, from Brett's concern for his future pet living, to Brett dying, but too abrupt. That's up to you, though; I just prefer my poetry to flow.

Something is wrong with line seventeen. Maybe it's the extreme capitalisation - a good statement or poem stands fine without the capitals, though I understand that you are trying to emphasise the date, but I think that line sixteen does that, fine.

I would advise against using a "you" so late into the poem, since Brett is not addressed by "you" consistently throughout the piece; in the beginning, he is "Brett", and at the end, he is "Brett" again. Either make it all "you", or all "Brett". Perhaps try two versions; one with "you", one with "Brett", and see which one you like better.

Apart from the small technical things, this is very well written. It is sad, without descending into being overly sentimental, which can sometimes ruin poems such as this. I've read some of your other poems, and I think that once you get the hang of polishing them off and tweaking your punctuation and grammar, you'd be a terrific writer. Well done.
 — wendz

thanks gears and thanks empty

wendz, thank you so much for the detailed critique. Can you help me with my grammar please? I have always hated it, but I need it. I want to teach English and what kind of teacher would I be with improper grammar. I would be most grateful if you helped me.
 — bear

I like the voice of this.
Lines 1-6, beautiful delivery.
Nice work.
 — Krttika

for lines 13-15, i have some varying suggestions.

But Brett was serious, he wanted to know
for when he went fire fly hunting.
So his pet would not die.


But Brett was serious, he wanted to know,
so when he went fire fly hunting
his pet would not die.

lines 20-23 could be the same sentence, so remove the full stops and capitals, and put a comma on L21

great poem, i've always loved this.
 — inutile

thanks, Krttika

thank you inutile, i made a change
 — bear

This is one of the sweetest, most beautiful things I've ever read. Thank you for sharing it.
 — abomination

thank you for reading
 — bear

I'm simply speechless. You can feel the emotion running through this, and although there are some poor word choices and a few things I'd like to see revised, the pure amount of feeling you've put into this is staggering. One of the few poems on Poetry Critical that holds deep meaning to the writer... thank you so much for sharing.
 — mixtapeboy

the last stanza is really interesting.  this is a nice tribute to your friend.  
 — jerotich

thank you all for reading this, it really does mean a lot to me
 — bear

I'm sorry for your loss. This is a good poem.
 — unknown

Thank you
 — bear

Great job Bear. You are a great poet by the way. Very, very skilled. Great poem as usual. Well, written. I stopped writing poetry after I started to date about two years ago. Then, when she asked me to write her a poem, I got back into it. Well written Bear. I like how you omitted the cause of death...it's not necessarily intrinsic to the poem. Sorry about Brett though. Sorry.
 — MrChris

Perfection, perfection, perfection Bear.

Something about your words...even when the poem isn't quite right, I still feel like I've seen some part of you. Like you put yourself into your poems. They are little windows and I couldn't admire that more.

This poem, in particular, is everything it should be.

 — musicwords

this is an extremely good poem, and i can guess it takes on real events, (duh), and im sorry about your friend brett. for those of you who have experienced loss, i think we all know how bear feels. if you havent had suck a loss yet, you have no idea of the pain. raw emotion. you have made a very nice tribute to your friend.

on a lighter note,

hey lia, ill send you some snow and some fireflys.

 — NathanSimms

thank you all very much for reading this and caring about my friend, it means the world to me.
 — bear

Okay first off I have to tell you that I love this, but I do have a few suggestions.

In the first stanza, do you despise the room or do you despise learning chemistry?  If, in fact, you despise learning chemistry you need to delete the comma at the end of the first line.

A suggestion for the second stanza:

But Brett was serious; he wanted to know,  
so when he went fire fly hunting,  
his pet would not die.

You need a comma after twentieth in L17.

I'm not sure I like the jump from talking about Brett to talking to Brett.
You should at least put a stanza break in there.
You should end L21 with a comma and uncapitalize L22 so that they aren't fragments, but one complete sentence.
The comma at the end of L24 might work better as a colon.
It might look funny, but you need a comma after Because in L26 (Brett is a noun-of-address).  Lightning doesn't need to be capitalized in L27.

It's a lovely poem, and I'm sorry to hear about your friend.
You did a great job.
 — fallinforyou

 — DeathShards

 — bear

really liked this except for the last 2 lines.
 — bleach

I disagree with the above poster; personally, I think the last two lines really make it. They're poetic, which is probably a good thing, all told.
 — jcameron

i agree with you, jcameron. the last two lines are my favorite. but everyone has their own opinion.
 — bear

this poem is overrated.
it is written with poor rhythm, form, and vocabulary. i could have written this when i was 13.

there is information in here the reader doesn't need. why do i care if he's your lab partner and his locker was next to yours? why do i need the date he died?

you include the fact that he was your lab partner, and the date on which he died, but you never once mention how he died.

nothing special.

 — unknown

 — bear

man, some peole are just dicks. I entirely disagree with the overrated comment, everyone has different strengths and weknesses. I think, for the most part, this is an excellent piece. I know how hard it is to write about someone after they're gone, and I've only recently come to terms with some of these things myself.

But something feels a little off. The last line is beautiful and striking, but when you flat out state that he's dead (16-19) it stick out of the poem like a sore thumb. The style is entirely different than the rest of the poem, and though it certainly hits you in the face, it doesn't do it with any of the subtlety or poignance of the ending of the poem.

I think you can say this without being so blatant. you don't need to spell it out for us, let the words convey the meaning without hitting us in the face with it.
 — WindingRhyme

I'm sorry about your friend.  But in regards to the poem, I like it.  I really do.  My only suggestions are in line 20.  In my opinion, "biggest slackers" and "chem" do not follow the mood. Perhaps something less specific to let the reader's mind continue the focus on Brett, rather than little details.
 — EdwardDurden

last line. (10)
 — listen

lines 20 - 23 should all be the one sentence? the periods hinder the flow.
still love this, and am still sorry for your loss.

nathansimms thanks for the offer.

 — inutile

oh, and the last line shouldn'e be capitalised. unless you like it that way, of course.
 — inutile

thanks lia. made the change to one sentence.
 — bear

sorry about your loss!!!
 — aforbing

I agree with the first post, Brett is dead is too abrupt. What I suggest is "brett, your death turned the school into chaos" what do you think? Also lines 13- 15 are too convoluted I suggest "but brett was serious he wanted to know, so he could go fire fly hunting. By the way I like this poem and I think the ending is great.
 — Tentative

I think the literal nature of the poem is refreshing given the usually euphamistic poetry surrounding such subjects. It makes the poem and the experience real and adds to, rather than takes away from the sense of loss.
Juxtoposing humour with tragedy so well is very impressive, not a talent many poets have. I think this is a well written tribute that echoes the thoughts and feelings of anyone who has ever experienced a tragic loss.

I don't know much about poetry, I just enjoy it, and this one's got my vote!
 — Vicky-Liz

this is awesome. I love how it is written about a tragic occurence it does not have the sullen and sad feeling of a death.  Beautiful!
 — wryan1331

 — bear

A nice little poem but not deserving of a top spot. It could be reworked to be a great poem, perhaps enough time has passed to do so.
 — unknown

yea, this could be reworked. any suggestions?
 — bear

I just hate it when a poem gets a top rating and someone comes onto the poem to say it doesn't deserve it.  It's rating by the group and if the group says top rated, by gosh, let the voice of the people stand!  
 — unknown

 — bear

After all this time, this still captivates me. Wonderful work.
 — wanderlusted