ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 ... is not new, is more solid than ever, but people still aren't listening.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the September 5, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Anthony Barrette. It also fills the "give to charity" square in my 7-1-17 card for the Winter Fest in July Bingo. This poem belongs to the Iron Horses thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Interesting tidbits from the newsletter ...

Protecting Pollinators
Minimize or eliminate use of pesticides in your yard.  In addition to being an environmentalist, I'm also cheap and lazy, so I use pesticides only as a last resort -- for instance, dealing with Japanese beetles that nothing will eat, or killing poison ivy.  I don't make blanket applications of anything, only spot-spray.  Also I won't buy nursery plants pre-treated with pesticides; they're often labeled for neonicitinoids, and I tell vendors why I won't buy those.  If I'm buying flowers, it's usually for the pollinators.

How to Attract Fireflies
I already do most of these things, and we have plenty of fireflies. But this caught my eye:

In some cases, “we still debate what constitutes a species,” says Eric Lee-Mäder, pollinator program co-director for the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. “Are two morphologically identical fireflies with different flash patterns two species—or one species with individuals speaking different languages? If we can’t answer that, how can we know how the insects are doing?”

I am now imagining some hapless alien trying to classify humans as species, based on things like color phase and communication, without being able to tell quickly and easily whether the groups are cross-fertile.  LOL

Generally, I count species as separate if they are unable or unwilling to breed with each other.  Sometimes they are biologically compatible but different cultures make their mate-selection methods mutually exclusive.  Back when most human groups were endogamous and people traveled less, a case could've been made on those grounds that humans were different species.  Of course, a look at human genetics indicates that different species don't stop them from fucking, and occasionally there are related species that are (at least sometimes) cross-fertile.  We have subsumed the DNA of at least two or three other hominids.

Now imagine the poor aliens finding that we have wiped out all the other hominids except for the bits left inside us, like the fossilized remains of parasitic twins.  Somewhere in the galaxy, someone is probably writing us as a natural-species version of the The Blob and submitting it to a horror magazine.



ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
This is today's freebie.


"Emergent Journeys"


The Northwest Passage was
the Holy Grail of explorers for centuries,
seeking an open-water route over
the top of North America.

In time, they discovered
that the arctic weather
locked the islands in ice.

There was no way for a ship
to get through with any reliability,
rendering it useless for trade.

But then the world began to warm,
and the ice melted, and the islands
shrugged off their white coats.

Suddenly, the Northwest Passage
glinted a thin blue beacon.

The ships began exploring again,
first a few, and then more of them.

Just as there are perishable truths --
things which used to be true
but have become false --

so too there are emergent journeys
following routes that used to be impassable
but have appeared out of the changing Earth.

* * *

Notes:

The Northwest Passage has a deadly history, but is opening up now.

Climate change and global warming have a stronger impact on the arctic area than on most other areas.

Many of the changes are bad, but not all are 100% bad.  Unless, you know, Canada declares war over everyone else trespassing in their sovereign waters.



ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Economy for the Common Good is an effort to make business perform better on sociological and ecological levels. While I'm not up to the intricate math of a full report and don't have employees anyhow, I do have a small business that is highly interactive and socially engaged. So let's see how that looks for PenUltimate Productions ...

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the June 6, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] gingicat. It also fills the "lifestyle changes" square in my 3-1-17 card for the Disability Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the Officer Pink thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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Lawn Craze

May. 26th, 2017 01:34 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a comic about the lawn craze.  Some further thoughts ...

It goes a lot farther back than postwar suburbs.  Lawns started as a status symbol among European aristocracy.

Advice to stop watering, fertilizing, mowing, etc. or to replace lawns with something else is great -- if it's legal.  In many areas it is not, and people are fined or even evicted for being unwilling or unable to keep their lawn in a manner pleasing to others. Such laws are bad for disability and bad for the environment, but those are things fewer people care about than power. Check the local level of tyranny before trying to solve lawn-related problems.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is spillover from the April 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from Anthony Barrette. It also fills the "Too Close" square in my 2-1-17 Love Songs card for the Valentines Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the March 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] sweet_sparrow. It also fills the "creative solutions to limits" square in my 3-1-17 card for the Disability Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Calliope thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem includes some touchy topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It has emotional upheavals, Vagary's continued stress over Calliope not wanting to do things with him, Calliope's continued stress over his closeness, tornado formation, interrupted therapy session, which triggers Vagary's abandonment issues, unexpected changes in superpowers, Calliope looming over Vagary, emotional suppression during an emergency, an emergency dispatcher doing a shitty job, negotiating with supervillains, stormchasing, exhaustion, crashing with friends at a weather station, and other challenges. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
New Zealand just recognized the Whanganui River as a legal person.  \o/

Totally happening in Terramagne, too, although I suspect it's earlier there.
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
Grand Prairie Friends has teamed up with Trails for Illinois to create new trails in our Warbler Woods land trust.  \o/   What we have now are a few deerpaths, parts of which are only marginally climbable for people without cloven hooves.

It's like a little piece of Terramagne.  :D  I am especially charmed to see someone else recognizing that in order for humans to value and protect something, they have to know it and love it.  That means getting them in contact with it.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This bonus fishbowl had a theme of "nature" and focused on standalone sub-epics. I worked from 12:30 PM to 5 AM, so about 14 hours and 30 minutes, allowing for breaks. I wrote 20 poems, all on Tuesday. \o/

Participation was lively, with 26 comments on LiveJournal and 65 on Dreamwidth. You can thank new prompter [personal profile] pronker for the second freebie.


Read Some Poetry!
The following poems from the January 24, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl have been posted:
"Fantastic Adaptations"
"Fishing for River Monsters"
"A Forest at War"
"The Hanging Gardens of Babel"
"Into a Relationship"
"Lost and Never Looked For"
"The Might of the Mountain's Crown"
"Not a Desolation"
"Not So Black"
"owl feathers"
"Second Nature"
"The Secondhand Panjandrum"
"The Smell of Purple"
"Still Growing Strong"
"wisteria shade"


Buy some poetry!
If you plan to sponsor some poetry but haven't made up your mind yet, see the unsold poetry list for January 24, 2017. That includes the title, length, price, and the original thumbnail description for the poems still available.

All currently sponsored poems have been posted. There were 8 donors this time: [personal profile] capriuni, [personal profile] redsixwing, [personal profile] zianuray, [personal profile] mdlbear, [livejournal.com profile] daisiesrockalot, [personal profile] janetmiles, and [personal profile] kyleri.


The Poetry Fishbowl project also has a permanent landing page.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is from the January 24, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] kyleri and [personal profile] nsfwords.  It has been sponsored by [personal profile] kyleri.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the January 24, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It also fills the "herbs" square in my 11-1-16 card for the Fall Festival Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.

Well, I almost made it through a fishbowl with all standalones. I got about two-thirds through this poem before I looked up urban agriculture and hit some gorgeous images I recognized as Terramagne-Paris. But I did keep it to sub-epic size.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the January 24, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] thnidu. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.

Warning: This poem contains rude political humor, ad hominem attacks, and anti-Republican sentiments. No likie, no readie.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem from today's fishbowl has been inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] mdlbear.


"Second Nature"


A volcano rises above the waters,
making a new island of smoking stone.

Coming from the crowded sea,
seaweed and coconuts,
fish and shellfish, crabs and birds,
bird-hunting fishermen all arrive.

Uh-oh! The volcano erupts again!

After the smoke clears,
life rebuilds its second nature:

hana aloha.

* * *

Notes:

Volcanic island formation is a violent process.  Examples of new islands and massive eruptions on older islands helps scientists to understand how species colonize them.  The process of colonization and speciation means that many species in Hawai'i live nowhere else on Earth.

This poem is written in the style of Hawai'ian poetry.  A hallmark of Hawai'ian poetry is repetition, which takes its particular form from the constraints of a language with relatively few phonemes. Partial echoes such as sea/seaweed, fish/shellfish, and birds/bird-hunting are typical of this pattern. Litanies of plants, animals, places, names, etc. also appear in many poems and chants. Nature in general plays a primary role in most traditional Hawai'ian poems.  Check out this Hawai'i Poetry Guide.

Among the letters of the native Hawai'ian language is the 'okina, or glottal stop. It does not appear in the English alphabet, and appears very rarely in English at all -- it is usually left out even with borrowed words. "Uh-oh" is one of the few native English words to incorporate a glottal stop, which helps give this poem Hawai'ian flavor.

Hana  means work, and aloha  means love. Thus, hana aloha  means love work. Originally it referred to a love spell. More recently I have seen it used in a more romantic context, for couples events intended to build a healthy relationship or couples therapy intended to repair a damaged one.  Hana aloha  is the craft of making connections.

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