ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the June 2014 Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] alexseanchai. It also fills the "exhaustion" square in my 6-10-14 card for the [community profile] fanbingo fest. This poem has been sponsored from the general fund, based on an audience poll. It belongs to the Antimatter & Stalwart Stan thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.


"Islands and Bridges"


Everyone is an island,
but people can learn
to build bridges in between.


Bully Boy and Plucky Girl
are always fighting,
but he understands
that the rougher she is,
the tougher she makes him look.

When she is standing on tiptoes,
straining to reach a board to hit him,
he grows a few extra inches
to tip it into her grasp.


Antimatter and Stalwart Stan
do not really understand each other --
their experiences and personalities
are so different in so many ways --
but that's okay, because they're learning
how to stretch across the gaps.

They push themselves
through the exercises,
Antimatter trying to get
into shape for the first time,
Stalwart Stan getting back
into condition after an injury,
flopping down on the mats together
with their fingertips just touching.


Fortressa goes out to break up
a party at a frat house,
and comes home with a bad mood
and fresh dents in her battlesuit.

Socket helps her pry off the armor
and beat it back into shape,
then afterwards they fall asleep
on the ratty couch in the garage,
and it feels good just to
be there for each other.


Sometimes the bridges are sand,
or swaying ropes, or steel, but always
they connect over the open water.

Powerful visuals

Date: 2014-07-21 02:39 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
They're such simple, sketch descriptions, but the overall effect is wonderful.

Just gorgeous.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-07-22 08:05 pm (UTC)
lynnoconnacht: Little bear holding a heart with the text "Sending love to you" (sending love and hugs)
From: [personal profile] lynnoconnacht
So pretty... I love the tactile concept here too. ^-^ It's a very powerful one and it meshes really well with the little scene sketches you've got.

I think it'll take a lot of work to make me like reading about Bully Boy and Plucky Girl, though. Bully Boy just makes me want to run far, far away. ^-^; (I'm sorry. He just frightens me.)

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2014-07-24 10:06 am (UTC)
lynnoconnacht: A brown-haired girl in a gingham dress looking at the viewer over her shoulder. (Default)
From: [personal profile] lynnoconnacht
However, it matters that someone is right there to oppose him; Plucky Girl greatly limits the amount of real harm that Bully Boy is able to do.

Except the harm to Plucky Girl. And would that really teach him how to treat other people who can't do what she does? And what if Plucky Girl's influence falls away for some reason? There are so many ways things could get exponentially worse.

What he needs a good talking-to by an older superhero.

I think he'd also need a more constant role model than just a single talking-to, however good it is. One talking-to might not do a lot against the messages he gets from just about everything else around him. And longer the talking-to doesn't happen, the more work it'll be to sort him out.

(It's curious. I've read so many nasty and horrible characters, but very few have set off my flight instincts as strongly as Bully Boy has. *hides behind Stan and Lawrence*)

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2014-07-24 11:13 am (UTC)
lynnoconnacht: A brown-haired girl in a gingham dress looking at the viewer over her shoulder. (Default)
From: [personal profile] lynnoconnacht

tries the reply-via-email Apologies if anything gets messed up, I've never done this before.

/Well, that would be a problem. Someone else would have to deal with him. The damage quotient would probably get a lot higher./

You see why I'm poking it. Plucky Girl is just one person and while what she's doing is undoubtedly helpful, it's also in no way sufficient to really improve the situation. It only takes a single element changed to slide it into something immediately very dangerous and precarious, rather than the low level pressure society has on them now. Growing up might well constitute some of those changes.

//Agreed, all around. There just isn't a cohesive system in place to deal with stuff like this./

Unfortunately. And the systems we do have tend to favour fostering his behaviour rather than teaching him something different. I really hope that's changed somewhat for the better since I was at school.

/I think I'm flattered.//

It was a compliment on your skill at writing characters, yes. ^_^ (Though admittedly it helps that he reminds me of kids I grew up with.)

//You could, of course, prompt to throw him in front of a bus or something if you dislike him./

I highly doubt threatening him with violence would solve anything, there or here. (Unless it's a cluebus, perhaps.) He's just a messed-up kid (who really scares me) at this point.

//Gods, at this stage of respective development, either of them would break Bully Boy to //bits//. Not so much physically, but socially. It'd be the record that breaks the record player./

That's no good... I'd expect Lawrence not to be too great on his own given his experiences growing up, but I had the impression Stan had some experience with teaching kids and dealing with them. I am sad. If it'd worked that could've been a good experience for all of them.

Edited (Ack. *fixes formatting on proper computer*) Date: 2014-07-24 11:21 am (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-07-21 03:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] janetmiles.livejournal.com
I like this one; I like the images of bridges people form.

I think there might be one typo, though?

Antimatter and Stalwart Stan
do not really understand each other --
their experiences are personalities
are so different in so many ways --
but that's okay, because they're learning
how to stretch across the gaps.


Should it be "their experiences and personalities / are so different in so many ways"?

Thank you!

Date: 2014-07-21 07:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>> I like this one; I like the images of bridges people form. <<

Yay! That's good to hear.

>> I think there might be one typo, though? <<

Fixed.

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