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Poem: "ongaeshibanashi" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "ongaeshibanashi"

This poem belongs to the "Origami Mage" series, and you can read the other poems in that series by visiting the "Serial Poetry" page on my website.  It was inspired by a prompt from thesilentpoet, who wanted to read about Japanese folklore.  It was sponsored by marina_bonomi.


ongaeshibanashi


origami mage
has grown up hearing these tales
of kindness repaid

kirigami mage
has grown up on sad stories
and witty stories

other girls at school
tell ghost stories, greed stories,
tales of long ago

origami mage
listens to all the stories
then picks which to keep

kirigami mage
wonders why no one weeps or
laughs at her stories

other girls at school
look at them funny but watch
their clever fingers

origami mage
tries to teach her rival to
tell a new story

kirigami mage
fumbles unfamiliar plot
and gives up too soon

other girls at school
whisper behind their hands
a story unfolds

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Current Mood: busy busy

18 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
aldersprig From: aldersprig Date: May 4th, 2011 01:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Ooooh..... *hugs the young kirigami mage*

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: May 4th, 2011 07:18 am (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

Bumpy ride ahead.
aldersprig From: aldersprig Date: May 4th, 2011 12:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

Yeaaaaah. This... sort of explains things.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: May 4th, 2011 07:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

It's a good early glimpse of the school and how things start to go wrong, and why, I think. The more I look at this poem and its comments, the more details come clear.
eseme From: eseme Date: May 4th, 2011 02:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Beginnings of the rivalry.

I also feel sad for the kirigami mage. It sounds like the other girls at the school started this, and origami mage tried to prevent it all.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: May 4th, 2011 03:13 am (UTC) (Link)

Well...

Whenever you throw together a bunch of kids, somebody's going to wind up on the bottom, especially if they're from different places. Sometimes the most talented ones float to the top, other times not so much. And even the best social skills take time to grow in. I'm still not sure what turned it so devastatingly personal for them, but yeah, social context is not helping here.
thesilentpoet From: thesilentpoet Date: May 4th, 2011 02:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Love this. I'm so glad it was sponsored!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: May 4th, 2011 03:04 am (UTC) (Link)

Yay!

I'm happy to hear that.
From: angela_n_hunt Date: May 4th, 2011 03:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

*does little happy dance*

I love these so much.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: May 4th, 2011 03:41 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I'm glad you like it.

The fishbowl is still open for prompts too.
From: angela_n_hunt Date: May 4th, 2011 03:42 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

*goes to scrape out change jar*
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: May 4th, 2011 04:01 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

Leaving prompts is free. Reading poems is free. You only need money if you want to sponsor something or leave a general donation -- which is always welcome, but not required.
From: angela_n_hunt Date: May 4th, 2011 04:53 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

Yeah, wanted to donate this round. :)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: May 4th, 2011 04:56 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

Donations make the crowdfunding world go 'round!
marina_bonomi From: marina_bonomi Date: May 4th, 2011 12:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Beautiful!
It feels to me like the origami mage wanted to help but the kirigami mage felt she was set-up for a rather spectacular fail, poor girl!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: May 4th, 2011 07:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

That's a large part of what happened. They're both following their nature, but don't mesh well at this stage. And the adults are not doing a good job -- if they're even trying -- of helping kids from different backgrounds learn how to get along fluently.

Hrm, looking at this, I'd guess this is one of those mage-schools that trains people to perform as individuals rather than teams. So that's going to be frustrating as heck to someone as gregarious as the Origami Mage. There are both communal and individualistic aspects to the culture. I'll have to keep an eye on balancing those.
marina_bonomi From: marina_bonomi Date: May 5th, 2011 12:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

It would be really interesting to see the two former rivals work as a team when their rivalry gets resolved, could it be some sort of local crysis that precipitate it? Or maybe some sort of necessary coooperation is the key to the final resolution of the rivalry?

Just thinking aloud here, of course.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: May 6th, 2011 05:44 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

>>It would be really interesting to see the two former rivals work as a team when their rivalry gets resolved, could it be some sort of local crysis that precipitate it? Or maybe some sort of necessary coooperation is the key to the final resolution of the rivalry?<<

I'm not sure exactly how the ending will work out, although I have some ideas. The later poems in the series -- and you've seen a couple that most other people haven't yet -- show inklings of cooperation or at least related efforts. There may be more of that. I can't see farther ahead than the reconciliation point, though, so I don't know if there will be a 'teamwork' poem after that.

*ponder* What do you know about the spiral plot pattern that's popular in Asian storytelling, or the hero's journey of an Eastern contemplative hero? I'm working on what I know of those things but I'm sure there's a lot more out there that I've never encountered. It might help figure out plot points like this.
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