Poetry Critiques

Are you ready to take your poems to the next level?

I’ve been writing and publishing poetry for over forty years.  My goal is to help you strengthen your writing so it captures the message that is in your heart.  I will study your poem line by line and make suggestions for improvement, such as deleting unnecessary words, adding clarity so others understand your message, and using imagery to make it become visual as well as auditory.  Can’t wait to see your work.

Starting at $10 for up to 150 words or send me an email with word count for quotes.  eaton_michael@hotmail.com.

Unforgettable moment

Shotgun Love

Judy was my first love
at age six a love so pure
I had no name for it.
We played show and not-tell
in the dirt underneath
my wood-frame home and
once were naked together
in a field of cotton with
stalks thinner than our
legs and boles whiter
than our small sexes.

We went to church on
Sundays and she once asked
what I thought of our being
naked and I said I knew
God didn’t like it,
but I did.

Mother ended our romance
when she heard of Judy
taking me into her parents’ bedroom
with the blinds dirty yellow and torn
where I was taking off clothing
but she wanted to show me
her father’s shotgun and
pulling the trigger blew
a hole in the wall, much
larger than my head.

Even if she had wounded me,
I would have forgiven her
because never again has love
smelled so much like gunpowder,
nor has nakedness been so loud.


This will not work for a Hallmark card

Dead Poets

Poets find their words.
Some call it childbirth
but it is more a marriage.

The words are their best friends
as in class reunions.
They are lover
caressed softly
before arguments,
the words shouting back,

Sometimes the poet listens,
sometimes not.

You don’t find poets,
contrary to popular conception,
sitting in gardens
amidst the pansies and posies,
nor lolling in classrooms
discussing iambic pentameter.

No, they are usually found
hanging from a rafter
overturned chair, broken whiskey bottle,
or brains blown out by shotguns,
someone else cleaning up the mess,
or heads sleeping in kitchen ovens,
seeping gas, doors taped tight,
so the children aren’t troubled.

But, not to worry.
The words are faithful,
will follow them to the grave.
A preacher will prattle an elegy
and an old acquaintance will
write an ode.


Wasted lives


Winnowing Time


Hunting season is open
children shooting one another
pockets full of pistols
all falling down
no need of plagues
silently flowing under doors
candy is dandy but
guns are much quicker.

In parks near the swings
backpacks stained with blood
in littered streets near corner stores
leaves violently torn from trees and
blown into gutters running red
blood ribbons on white prom dresses
babies tossed into commodes
white porcelain drowning pools
rocking ‘n rolling
shaking ‘n breaking
crying ‘n dying.

Death riding on a fingertip
bodies cheap as wads of gum
spat onto a hot sidewalk
smelling sweet and sugary
and everyone stepping around them.

Each one leaving a mother
who the next day
still cooks the meals
washes dishes
does the laundry and weeping                                                                           changes the stained sheets
on a wrinkled empty bed.


Alone time


Silence Is Quiet

When I attended the poetry reading
at William Blake’s
coffee house, no one
showed up;  drinking
my café latte’,
I rehearsed, under my breath,
reading magnificently
to a wilted white daisy
in a dirty green glass vase.

However lonely,
there were certain benefits:
no one to critique
or blow raspberries,
no anxieties, no stuttering,
no misreadings and
starting all over again;
imagining twenty appreciative
listeners, applauding loudly,
(no, make that fifty),
the music of one hundred
hands clapping, one hundred
trees falling in the desert
with no one to hear.