ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the August 1, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] peoriapeoriawhereart. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.


"Humanwatching"


Frond and Whitechin crouched
in the brush, watching the interlopers.

Are you sure they're intelligent?
Frond asked as she watched one
relieve itself far too close to its nest.

Yes, we're sure, even though they
are small and they can't mindtalk,

Whitechin replied, scratching his ear.
They're not animals. They use tools.
They seem to communicate.
We just don't know how.


What are you studying now?
Frond wondered. The humans
were so strange, it could be anything.

Their eating habits, said Whitechin.
See, now they are packing up to leave.
This whole time, they have not eaten
anything out of the forest. We don't know
where they're getting their supplies, but
it's not from here. So they're no threat to
our food supply, no matter what people say.


Oh! That one's brown! Frond exclaimed
as a large male came out of their tent.
I've never seen a brown one before.
I thought they were all pink.

It was weird how their skin showed.
They hardly had any fur at all, only on
the tops of their heads, and sometimes
the males had more on their faces.

Yes, there are brown ones,
Whitechin said. See how the young
are halfway between their parents' colors?
They actually have quite a range, from pink
all the way to black. I have even seen
a rainbow-armed human, although
some people say they don't exist.


I wish I could see that, Frond said.
You make them sound so beautiful.
What are they really like?


Like red-winged blackbirds, only
the color can be in small patches or
all the way from wrist to shoulder,

Whitechin said. They're very scarce,
though. Even the brown ones rarely come
this far north. The pink ones roam farther.


Can we follow them? Frond said
as their rolling den pulled away.

No, said Whitechin. You know
better than to bother the wildlife.
We can examine their nest now
that they have abandoned it, though.
Come help me -- and watch out for
the scat, some of them aren't
careful about their leavings.

So Fern followed Whitechin
into the abandoned human nest,
eager to see what they could find.

The humans weren't always
good neighbors, so it was important
to know as much about them as possible.

* * *

Notes:

Sasquatch have been sighted across a wide range, with the densest concentration in the Pacific Northwest.

Red-winged blackbirds appear in much of North America.

Here is a typical rainbow-armed human.

American demographics are highly influenced by location. This dotmap shows that there are more white people in the north, with black, Asian, and Hispanic populations farther south. Unequal wealth contributes to this, because many people can't afford to travel. The poor and homestuck are disproportionately people of color.

Waste disposal is a concern in camping. There are instructions, but many people have never read those or seen them demonstrated. The results are obvious and unpleasant.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-03 04:55 am (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
LOLOLOLOL You little sneak! I was totally E.T. until *after* the end of the poem proper!

:squish: I'd threaten revenge, but that was too much fun!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-03 04:56 am (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
(And I had already finished my Kona with Hawaiian sugar... no keyboards were really in danger... ;)

Re: Well...

Date: 2017-08-03 04:58 am (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
Hee hee hee

Re: Well...

Date: 2017-08-07 03:27 am (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
I was thinking super-intelligent grizzly bears.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-03 03:23 pm (UTC)
thnidu: Lucy bright and bold. Lucida Bright font, boldface: backslash, small-o, slash: YAY!! (yay)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
Me too. At first I thought the humans were on another planet, as explorers or a colony. Then the kids showed that it wasn't exploration. The rainbow arms strongly suggested Earth, now, and the red-winged blackbirds and the skin-color distribution confirmed it. And I was still thinking aliens, maybe a small exploratory colony, till I got to the notes. VERY nice unfolding of information.

>Frond in the first stanza is Fern in the penultimate.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-03 04:56 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
Ahhh. Lovely.

It's nice to think that the human species isn't completely devoid of interest or good qualities, despite the tendency to concentrate filth.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-03 04:57 am (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
Occasionally they write poetry, or give hugs!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-03 04:58 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
:squish: And make rainbows.

*hugs?*

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-03 05:01 am (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
*HUGS* I miss your face. And your hugs.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-03 05:03 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
*hugsback*

I need to figure out a trip to Seattle! Saturday would probably be a good time for me to talk it over with S.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-03 05:12 am (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
Yes please!

Re: Yes...

Date: 2017-08-03 07:39 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
Perhaps the faeries also engage in human (and currently-humanoid) watching.

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2017-08-03 05:01 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
The smaller juvenile-but-not-infant humans are particularly adorable, I think. Like kittens. But they can be very noisy - more like seabird-colony levels of vocalization and milling around.

:)

I can put up with being this species-shape but I wish we'd pay a few million more visits to the clue dispenser.

Delighted that being here gives me the opportunity to talk with you and read your writing, though.

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2017-08-03 07:38 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
*hugs offered*

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2017-08-03 06:23 am (UTC)
across_space_and_time: A galaxy of white and yellow stars scattered across a green backdrop (Green Space 2)
From: [personal profile] across_space_and_time
>> The smaller juvenile-but-not-infant humans are particularly adorable, I think. Like kittens. <<

After seeing two four-to-six year olds and a kitten in the same(ish) set of rooms, I can confirm. They play the same way.

- Rook

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2017-08-03 07:38 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
:D

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-03 10:43 pm (UTC)
kyleri: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kyleri
...alas. Humans.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-08 12:29 am (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
I just reread this, enjoying it just as much as the first time, maybe more because now I can visualize it right from the start...and right, from the start. :-)

I had a thought the other night, though. Are the sasquatch deaf? If they aren't, surely they hear the communicative calls of many kinds of animals other than humans, and probably understand them much better than we do. And they should also be able to hear our communicative sounds and infer their general purpose, if not the specific meaning of any one utterance.

Frond is still Fern.

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