ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
This is today's freebie, inspired by a backchannel prompt from my partner Doug about his mother's family history.  It also fills the "familiarity" square in my 8-1-15 card for the As You Like It bingo fest.


"American Roots"


Francis Bieschke came
to America with dreams of
a place to put down roots.

He settled in Detroit, and
for the next five generations,
nobody moved more than
fifty miles away.

They became a clan,
neighbors scattered
across nearby blocks.

His descendants built
a house on Mitchell Street
where they watched the city
grow and peak and collapse
all around them.

It became a family joke --
"Some people have feet,
we have roots."

ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
This article succinctly explains why Israel is a danger to itself and others.

Based on this analysis, Avigail Abarbanel believes “Israel cannot be reasoned with”, that it “is a traumatised society and it is therefore very dangerous.” Applying family therapy models, she compares Israel to the abusive husband, the Palestinians to the abused wife and the United States to the enabling neighbor.
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
See an animated map of the slave trade.  If you pause the animation, you can click on any ship for details.

Around 2 million Africans died on the slave ships alone, and more before and after that.  Never forget.
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
 ... as unearthed by Nalo Hopkinson.  She's one of those writers who likes to do serious research for her F&SF novels.

I would like to add: the perception of stupidity, laziness, and clumsiness is not an accident or a random stereotype.  It is a misinterpretation  of the tactics for survival and resistance by slaves against their owners.  If the master thinks you're rebelling, you'll be punished or killed.  But if you can make them think you're unable  to do better, they're surprisingly easy to fool and will let you alone.  So slaves quite frequently wasted resources, broke or lost tools, dragged their feet, let the livestock out, stole food, and generally did everything they could, as discreetly as possible, to make the masters' lives less pleasant.  

Those strategies linger in poor communities today.  Why bust your ass when all the benefit of your labor gets creamed off for the benefit of people who hate you?  You'll never be permitted to earn more than subsistence wages, so you might as well do that with as little effort as you can possibly get away with.  Where there is no reward for harder work, you get passive resistance.

So when you read my writing about the slave descended cultures of the Americas and Caribbean, you can see many of the same roots.  It's often there in the language, the personal and community dynamics, the food, and especially the ways people deal with problems.  Each place is unique, with its own local culture -- Jamaica is different from Cuba and from New Orleans.  They're related through the common experiences of colonialism and slavery, yet distinct in local resources and historic events.  The diversity is beautiful.  As that plays out in my storytelling, you can see how people from different cultures might handle things like superpowers (Haiti is one of the bottom-ten countries for soups) or getting kidnapped by alien slavers (in which various black folks used their family lore to devise survival strategies).
ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
This is the freebie for today's fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] rix_scaedu. It belongs to the series Lacquerware, which you can find via the Serial Poetry page.


"silkbag"


silk bag encloses
programs woven by fingers
of old blind women

onnagata is
equally male and female,
role and performer

sensitivity
enables both of these things
to become themselves

* * *

Notes:

Haiku verses have a 5-7-5 syllable pattern.  Learn how to write haiku.

An onnagata is a male actor who plays female roles in kabuki theatre, historically a kind of genderqueer although not as often so in modern times.

ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
This poem came out of the July 7, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from LJ user My_partner_doug. It also fills the "mutation" square in my 6-1-15 card for the June Relationship Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
This poem came out of the July 7, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from LJ user Ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "reality is illusion" square in my 6-10-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Ng_moonmoth.

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ysabetwordsmith: (moment of silence)
Nicholas Winton has passed away.  He is best known for rescuing over 650 Jewish children from the Nazis.  

The real heroes rarely if ever think of themselves as heroes.  They may not even have a heroic job.  They may be facing insurmountable odds with insufficient resources.  They may be in danger if they're caught.  But they do what they can, and they focus on saving "that one."  This guy saved 650+ "that ones."

Megalodon

Jun. 22nd, 2015 10:47 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
Recently I got into a discussion with some friends that led to fun places.  Once upon a time, there was a species of giant shark called Megalodon.  They were legitimately terrifying.  They're probably extinct.  But the ocean is big and deep and we've barely dabbled in it, so there might still be some out there.  You don't really need to worry about them, though.  (Do not click with your mouth full ...)  This is why
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
This sounds promising.  Sacagawea will be played by an actual Native woman.  They also hired a bunch of consultants to cover all the tribes that will be featured, in pursuit of accuracy and respect.  This is how you do a good job of cultural representation.  Even if it doesn't turn out perfect I think it'll be really good, and they are certainly making concrete efforts.  If nothing else, it's making jobs for a lot of Native people.
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
This animation illustrates the mass deaths of World War II.

To absent friends.  To all the ones who weren't as lucky.  Those were the first toasts I remember learning as a toddler, from veterans.
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
This poem is from the June 2, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from Anthony Barrette. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
This poem came from the December 3, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from LJ user Fayanora. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] gingicat. This poem belongs to the series Glimpses of Minoa, which you can find via the Serial Poetry page.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the March 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] thnidu and [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fills the "humble pi(e)" square of my 3-2-15 card for the Pi(e) Bingo Fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
Widely known as the model for Rosie the Riveter, Mary Doyle Keefe has passed away.  Well, I guess the Pearly Gates will be kept in good repair.  This cultural icon helped women break into the working world.
ysabetwordsmith: Cats playing with goldfish (Default)
This is spillover from the April 7, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] mama_kestrel. It also fills the "phobias" square on my 3-16-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. Based on an audience poll, it has been sponsored by the general fund.

Read more... )

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