February 8th, 2012


Poem: "Grit and Grace"

This was the linkback perk-poem for the February 7, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It came out of the January 3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from minor_architect, siliconshaman, siege, rhodielady_47, kelkyag, and haikujaguar.  It belongs to the Path of the Paladins series, which you can explore further on the Serial Poetry page.

This poem is now complete!  You can reveal the last two verses by linking to a specific poem from this fishbowl.  Signal boosters include: marina_bonomi, siege, janetmiles, meeksp, zianuray, the_vulture, wyld_dandelyon, mdlbearmorrigans_eve

Once all the verses have been posted, you'll get a chance to help decide what happens next.

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Poem: "Iconoclysm"

This poem came out of the February 7, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from siliconshaman.  It has been sponsored by minor_architect.  (You might also like my article "Totems, History, and Evolutionary Complexity" which includes a mention of Mammoth.)


They move in us,
the spirits of extinct species,
the totems-that-were
before our time.

Tyrannosaurus rex
screams defiance at the ruthless stars,
refusing to lie down and die,
crushing disbelief beneath a shower of stones.

Woolly mammoth
bugles after the retreating ice,
reminding us that the world has changed before,
will change again,
forever fluid beneath our feet.

Passenger pigeon
spits messages in our faces
whether we pay attention or not.

Thylacine smiles a Cheshire smile
and disappears into the Outback,
leaving no clear note of departure,
only a secret gift for those who would be hidden.

They are icons of the cataclysm,
examples of what can happen
even to powerful species --
we too are mortal.

They move through us,
pulling against swift current of time,
uncaring of the risks or the costs,
demanding that we serve them with our attention
that they may live again in our books and movies

and perhaps, someday, our labs.


Nature in Children's Books

This article mentions a drop in nature as portrayed in children's books.  However, I've seen other articles about a shift in buying patterns, such that old classics are more popular than recent releases.  Maybe that will help counteract this trend.

When I write for children -- I've done some poems and a few stories -- I generally aim for a sense of wonder.  I find nature fascinating, so it's common for me to pick that as a theme.  "Your Friend the Stick" appeared in Nature's Child  ezine last year.  I'd like to see more people using nature, not as a preaching point, but just as a place to explore.

Hard Things

Life is full of things which are hard or tedious or otherwise unpleasant that need doing anyhow. They help make the world go 'round, they improve skills, and they boost your sense of self-respect. But doing them still kinda sucks. It's all the more difficult to do those things when nobody appreciates it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our accomplishments and pat each other on the back.

What are some of the hard things you've done recently?