ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
This poem came out of the July 21, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "Rosa Parks Day -- December 1" square in my 7-1-15 card for the Winter Fest in July Bingo. This poem belongs to the Schrodinger's Heroes project.

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ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
This poem is spillover from the January 6, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] janetmiles and [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "first library card" square in my 12-30-14 card for the Rites of Passage Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Schrodinger's Heroes project.

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ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
This is the freebie for the March [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] alexseanchai. It also fills the "Nobody Knows" square in my 2-1-17 (Love Songs) card for the Valentines Bingo fest.


"The Enigmatic Egg in the Hidden Land"


George Dowling went to Egypt
expecting to dig up statues of dogs
and instead dug up a god.

To be sure, Anubis was
wearing the statue of a dog
when George dug him up,
but he was still a god.

Anubis yawned and stretched
and said, "That was a nice little nap,"

and George dropped his shovel on his foot.

"This is impossible," George said.
"I am an atheist. Gods don't exist.
"Nobody knows that better than me."

"Learn to rise up out of the enigmatic egg
in the hidden land," Anubis advised him,
then trotted away into the desert.

George wanted to wave it all away
as a symptom of sunstroke, but
Anubis remained stubbornly visible
and verbose on the survey video.

Grudgingly, George put it up
for peer review as part of his report
on the progress of the dig.

Plenty of people tried
to replicate his results, but
Anubis remained just out of reach
and nobody was able to confirm
or disprove the existence of deities

until Catherine Carmichael
came running out of the dunes
swearing that a statue of a cat

had turned into Bastet.

* * *

Notes:

"Learn to rise up out of the enigmatic egg in the hidden land."
-- Egyptian proverb

In case you're curious, that's a recommendation for spiritual enlightenment.  It refers to the cosmic egg popular in many world religions, and a nickname for Egypt, home of many gods.  I don't know if anyone has mentioned that in modern times, though.

The ancient Egyptians made many statues of dogs and cats.

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: (Fly Free)
This is today's freebie, inspired by [livejournal.com profile] my_partner_doug.


"A Bridged Right"


The Civil Rights Movement
included many moments of courage,
water drops that cut the new course of a river
running from underneath old bridges.

On March 7, 1965, black people
marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge
over the Alabama River in Selma
to demand voting rights.

Police attacked them with
tear gas and billy clubs, sending
over fifty people to the hospital.

It was named Bloody Sunday.

Outrage fueled further efforts in
activism, contributing to the passage
of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Droplets became a flood,
and abridged rights became
a bridged right.

* * *

Notes:

Today is the 52nd anniversary of Bloody Sunday.  Never forget.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... wasn't a real estate deal.  It was an agreement between empires about who got to commit genocide in a given area, without challenge from other empires.  The legal repercussions of this continue today, as for example, using violent force at Standing Rock to trample people's rights yet again.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is spillover from the February 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by [personal profile] zianuray and [personal profile] mirrorofsmoke. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... with the successful launch of 104 satellites from a single rocket.  That's almost three times the previous record, 37 from Russia.  Cluster rockets are fantastic tools.  \o/

Cloves

Feb. 14th, 2017 04:59 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 This article has many pictures of clove plants and fresh-picked cloves.  I knew they were flower buds, but did not know they were such a bright pink-and-green when fresh!
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the February 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] daisiesrockalot, [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, [livejournal.com profile] wyld_dandelyon, and Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "You've Got a Friend" square in my 2-1-17 Love Songs card for the Valentines Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the Aquariana thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Definition of a feminist: a woman who won't shut up when she's told to.

Note that the letter from Coretta Scott King has received far more attention after the censorship than it would have if simply entered into the record as intended. Furthermore, at least four male senators quoted from that letter too. The people with penises were not censored.

What to buy this week to poke a bigot in the eye: "Nevertheless, She Persisted" swag in various shapes.  Are you selling any?  If so, advertise it here.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
As I've been developing storylines with characters who have a wide range of self-destructive behaviors (Shiv, Cassandra, Keane, Turq, etc.) I've looked over many resources and talked with readers who have previously or are currently struggling with similar issues. I'm particularly interested in what helps, what doesn't, and what makes matters worse. Also, I'm aware that Terramagne-America handles a lot of things in community which have only clinical resources in local-America, or more often, nothing at all.

What I found was this totally awesome place ...

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I found another discussion about the Rhysling Award controversy I mentioned earlier.  "A Speculative Kerfluffle" quotes several sources, including my post.  Woohoo, people read it!  \o/  The exploration of issues is quite thoughtful.

This led to an interesting survey on "What is speculative poetry?"  

Notice that there is consensus regarding the core (science fiction, fantasy, etc.) but not the fringe (surrealism, metaphor, etc.) of the content.  In particular, I call your attention to the splatter of opinions about tropes, metaphor, simile, analogy, and other literary devices.  Why is this so important?  Because people argue over whether something is literal or figurative.  I've watched this happen: "Well, the coffin is clearly a metaphor..."  "No, I meant what I said.  The vampire is in a coffin, floating through outer space."  Doesn't get much more speculative than that, does it?  Except when people don't believe you.  0_o

Now add the fact that cultural interpretation of symbols will vary widely  across cultures, and one culture may have highly speculative connotations while another does not.  Frex, the snake.  A basic emblem of lies and death in Christian lore, the snake is a sacred embodiment of the Goddess and transformation (due to shedding skin) in Pagan lore.  So for Pagans, it's more speculative because we'll think of shapeshifters, magic, and life/death/rebirth.  Christians are likely to count it only if they also  count religion/cosmology in general as speculative or they equate snakes with the Devil sufficiently to land it in the angel/devil subgenre that many folks consider speculative.


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Doorstop Twat has attempted to ban Muslims from immigrating to America.  The ACLU is fighting back and won a stay, although it remains to be seen how courts will respond. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is from the January 24, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] capriuni.


"Lost and Never Looked For"


The Great Dismal Swamp
spans the coastal plains of
Virginia and North Carolina.

It consists of murky water
and mud, bald cypress and
dense, endless thickets.

Before the Civil War, it gave
refuge to escaped slaves,
a place where one could get
lost and never looked for.

Some say it is named for
the way that tannins in
the shed leaves of oak trees
have dyed the water
the color of dark tea,

others for the tense clouds
of vicious, biting insects.

Few people want to go there
and see for themselves.

* * *

Notes:

The Great Dismal Swamp is one of a few places which sheltered a civilization of escaped slaves.  Part of the area has since become a National Wildlife Refuge.

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 prompts from [personal profile] alexseanchai and [personal profile] alatefeline. It also fills the "liminal time" square in my 11-1-16 card for the Fall Festival Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
For some months, the Science Fiction Poetry Association has been squabbling over the definition of speculative poetry, what qualifies as "speculative enough," and in a slightly overlapping discussion, the name of the organization and whether it should say something other than "science fiction." I and several other folks experienced in poetry and small organizations have pointed out that trying to force your pet definition on other people will consistently start arguments and frequently cause people to leave.

Now it's Rhysling Award nomination season, and the officers rejected a poem for not being speculative enough. Said poem was originally published in a speculative magazine, Strange Horizons -- which means the author, the editors, and the nominator all thought it was a speculative poem. But their opinions are irrelevant; the poem is excluded from consideration because someone else doesn't think it's speculative enough, people in a position of power that allows them to dictate other people's actions.

Predictably, this happened. Here is the poem, "I Will Be Your Grave."

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