Treasure Island

Sonya Florentino

(Manila, Philippines (residing NYC))

Like Sentries (Plus Tanka Version Dedicated To Nora Olmedo)


There they were

Up there!

East West North South

Four birds on the roof

Holding my world together

One frayed afternoon


LIKE ANGELS (Tanka version, dedicated to Nora Olmedo)


There they were, up there

East West North South, like sentries

silent, on the roof

Holding my world together

Four birds, one frayed afternoon

* Tanka version was written after reading Obinna's comment

Submitted: Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Edited: Tuesday, June 07, 2011

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Comments about this poem (Like Sentries (Plus Tanka Version Dedicated To Nora Olmedo) by Sonya Florentino )

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  • Lillian Thomas (9/29/2009 5:52:00 PM)

    Both are very well-crafted, beautiful images. I guess I prefer the tanka by a little, because it gives it more context, it sets up a certain expectation that it certainly delivers. Now I'm going to have to get acquainted with Nora Olmeda's work. (Report) Reply

  • Yelena M. (9/5/2009 5:51:00 AM)

    Sonya, I love both versions of your delicate write. I agree with Sandra, the original one takes me a bit 'higher' in its expression. A beautiful birdy poem, thanks for sharing :)
    Yelena M. (Report) Reply

  • Sandra Martyres (9/4/2009 11:20:00 PM)

    Both versions are nice Sonya, but I prefer the Tanka one....perhaps because I like the discipline of the syllable count and besides as Karin says it helps add to the meaning of the piece.....Nice tribute to Nora's poetic prowess...10+ (Report) Reply

  • Karin Anderson (sorry can't vote or comment) . (9/2/2009 8:54:00 AM)

    Lovely to see your dedication to a fine poet Nora Olmedo. I prefer the Tanka Version as I feel the syllable count of Tanka gives the poem more substance and credence. However, if they were mine, I would be proud of them both Sonya. 10 love Karin (Report) Reply

  • nomad omnia (8/31/2009 6:17:00 PM)

    Hmmm, I like the spontanaeity of the first version, as if written in the moment. The second version feels more reflective. Again, great to see the same subject presented in different way - thanks Sonya. (Report) Reply

  • Sandra Fowler (8/30/2009 1:39:00 PM)

    I prefer the spare, elegant imagery of the original
    version. 'frayed afternoon' is especially compelling.

    As always,

    Sandra (Report) Reply

  • Naseer Ahmed Nasir (8/30/2009 11:13:00 AM)

    A mundane observation turned wonderfully into multidimensional poetry and then dedicated to a respected and humble poetess, well done Sonya!
    Love and Regards,

    Naseer (Report) Reply

  • Susan Jarvis (8/29/2009 1:05:00 AM)

    A superb and strangely reassuring image. I adore the 'frayed afternoon' of the final line - I've had a few of those! S ;) (Report) Reply

  • Sonya Florentino (8/27/2009 8:36:00 PM)

    Obinna, they were actually pigeons, just ordinary pigeons.. but they could as well have been angels (wearing dark sentry uniforms...?) (Report) Reply

  • Obinna Eruchie (8/27/2009 9:23:00 AM)

    I would rather say that the birds are doves, after all they represent peace and the Holy Spirit. More like peace in your life is secured by God's angels. Beautiful! (Report) Reply

  • Rakesh Bedi (8/25/2009 9:47:00 PM)

    Holding your word in all the four directions; like God send Angels, a very nice poem with a metaphysical vision between the lines! (Report) Reply

  • Patti Masterman (8/25/2009 8:10:00 PM)

    I know this feeling well. Just glad the birds were on guard duty. Pigeons, maybe? (smile)
    On Sundays, I like to say that the pigeons are in church (up on top all the roofs) . (Report) Reply

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