February 10th, 2012

paladins

Donors: Bonus Poll for "Grit and Grace"

This is one of two bonus polls relating to the poem "Grit and Grace" from Path of the Paladins.  Current donors may view and vote in this poll, and NOT in the other one I'm going to post for everyone else.  It's uncommon for me to encounter a Schrodinger Uncertainty state in my writing, but it happens occasionally, and I thought you folks would have fun shaking the box to see whether live or dead things will fall out of it.

The poem "Grit and Grace" features two bandits attacking Ari while Shahana is gathering firewood, intending to rob the camp.  Ari flings hot grits into the shorter man's face and bashes the taller man over the head with the hot frying pan.  Shahana hacks the taller man behind the knee with a hatchet.

What becomes of the two bandits after they flee the camp?  You decide!  Donors will be voting on the taller bandit, while everyone else votes on the shorter bandit.  Polling will be open at least through Saturday morning.  If the answers are clear then, I'll close the polling; otherwise I may leave it open a little longer.

Poll #1817988 Donor Bonus Poll for "Grit and Grace"
This poll is closed.

The taller man with the bashed head and hacked knee:

dies and is never heard from again.
2(28.6%)
lives and is never heard from again.
0(0.0%)
lives and returns to trouble our heras.
3(42.9%)
lives and repents of his sin, returning to surprise our heras.
2(28.6%)

If this man lives, he:

has little or no disfiguration.
1(14.3%)
has moderate disfiguration.
0(0.0%)
is now hideous to look upon.
0(0.0%)
is not only hideous but also lamed.
6(85.7%)


paladins

General Bonus Poll for "Grit and Grace"

This is one of two bonus polls relating to the poem "Grit and Grace" from Path of the Paladins.  The general audience (excluding current donors) may view and vote in this poll, and NOT the other one in the donor-locked post. It's uncommon for me to encounter a Schrodinger Uncertainty state in my writing, but it happens occasionally, and I thought you folks would have fun shaking the box to see whether live or dead things will fall out of it.

The poem "Grit and Grace" features two bandits attacking Ari while Shahana is gathering firewood, intending to rob the camp. Ari flings hot grits into the shorter man's face and bashes the taller man over the head with the hot frying pan. Shahana hacks the taller man behind the knee with a hatchet.

What becomes of the two bandits after they flee the camp? You decide! Donors will be voting on the taller bandit, while everyone else votes on the shorter bandit. Polling will be open at least through Saturday morning. If the answers are clear then, I'll close the polling; otherwise I may leave it open a little longer.

Poll #1817990 General Bonus Poll for "Grit and Grace"
This poll is closed.

The shorter man with the burns:

dies and is never heard from again.
0(0.0%)
lives and is never heard from again.
1(8.3%)
lives and returns to trouble our heras.
4(33.3%)
lives and repents of his sin, returning to surprise our heras.
7(58.3%)

If this man lives, he:

has little or no scarring.
3(25.0%)
has moderate scarring.
5(41.7%)
is now hideous to look upon.
1(8.3%)
is not only hideous but also blinded.
3(25.0%)

neutral

Poem: "Birthquake"

This poem came out of the February 7, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired and sponsored by laffingkat.


Birthquake


The earth squeezes the bears out of their caves
like a mother giving birth.  They blink,
bleary in the pale spring sunlight,
already hungry though there is little to eat
so early in the year.  Long claws
rip open rotten logs and
pink tongues scoop up the grubs,
leaving behind a little raised garden
just waiting for seeds to land.

The sky wrings itself out,
shedding rain from clouds
and birds from their long migrations.
Wings swoop and wheel in midair,
a courtship of color and grace
bursting forth into song.
They are driven to fly their hearts out,
to carol the forest full of plaintive notes,
to take twig in beak and weave nests
to hold the fragile, sky-blue eggs.

The river runs down the mountains,
white with snowmelt and spring rains.
It carries the flavor of the season
out into the ocean where the salmon suddenly
remember the distant creeks of their youth
and turn shoreward, seeking
that unique, elusive taste.

Land and sky and water
writhe their way back to life
after the long winter,
drawing the animals outward and upward,
into and through each other,
a dance trembling with delight
for all that is yet to become.

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February 7 Fishbowl Is SOLD OUT!

The February 7, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl has SOLD OUT!  Woohoo!  *happydance*

The general fund currently has $35 which you will get to distribute among the open epics.  There will also be a mid-month series fishbowl.  I'll get those polls up presently.

"Grit and Grace" is complete, with some fun discussion underneath in the comments. There are also two polls to decide what happens next, one for donors and one for everyone else.

Thank you all for being such an awesome audience.
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Poem: "Tinned Kitties"

This poem came out of the February 7, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from Anthony Barrette and sponsored by Shirley Barrette.  Their cat Patches is not a relaxed traveler.


Tinned Kitties


They crouch on their fluffy towels
and yowl through the sides of the cat carrier,
gnawing at the bars on the front
and poking their paws through the air holes.

The tinned kitties do not like car trips,
have never liked car trips,
and will no more change their minds
than a leopard will change his spots.

In this confined space, sounds are magnified,
and it is not so hard to recall that
their leonine relatives shake the African savannahs
with air-shattering roars.

neutral

Poem: "Truth in Theory and Practice"

This poem came from the February 7, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from janetmiles.  It was sponsored by Shirley Barrette.  Reality is what remains after you try to disbelieve it ...


Truth in Theory and Practice


Soot settles on tree trunks,
darkening the forest until
the white moths stand out and are eaten.
Charcoal wings cling safely in dim crannies.

Forests turn to suburbs;
wolves and dogs and coyotes
come together in the summer heat, breeding
new hunters for these strange cement trails.

The climate warms, and winter
loses its ability to drive the Canada geese to and fro;
they settle down in borrow pits and parking lot drains,
honking at traffic and demanding treats.

Evolution is truth,
not merely in theory but in practice,
busily going about its work all around us
whether we notice it or not.

neutral

Poem: "The Earthborn"

This poem came out of the February 7, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from siege, moonwolf1988, aldersprig, jenny_evergreen, and meeksp.  It has been sponsored by Shirley Barrette.  You can read more about otherkin online.


The Earthborn


We are all related --
the earthborn, ocean-blooded life
that has arisen on this world.

Though humans may walk on hind legs,
some of us remember what it is
to run fast on four feet through an ancient forest
or soar on wide, fine wings
through the open vault of the sky.

Hidden within the opera singer
lies the spirit of a wolf,
as insubstantial and fragrant as smoke.

The sandcat is there in the soldier
who slinks through a foreign desert
spilling a river of silent blood.

In the victim who curls up and waits
until the assailants grow bored and drift away
is the resilient wisdom of the possum.

The dancer's grace is sinuous,
supple as a snake,
not bounded by mammal bones.

Insults slide off skin as thick
as an aardvark's hide, proof against stinging ants,
as the geek digs blithely for hidden insights.

Some of us are awake to our other-selves,
still carry skills born of former bodies,
see beneath our monkey skins
to a common truth:

we are otherkin,
all related,
yet each uniquely gifted.

neutral

Poem: "Changing Nature"

This poem came from the February 7, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from whuffle.  It was sponsored by Shirley Barrette.  I like to think of humanity as the part of Gaia that can plan consciously.


Changing Nature


It is human nature
to desire to change things,
as it is nature for the world itself
to change.

To see the rabbit kit dragged in by the cat
is to consider what will happen
if we intervene or do not intervene.

We may think in terms of one rabbit or one cat,
one personal choice, and yet
this is but one iteration
within a larger pattern.

We learn to reach out or to withhold
based on what we observe in our choices --
what lives, what dies,
what feeds or goes hungry,
what struggles or flourishes
in our presence or our absence.

The shape of our passage through the world
is written out in the species
that remain wild or become domesticated,
survive or go extinct.

We transform the landscape
and the ecosystem --
and subtly, unknowingly --
even ourselves.

It is the nature of all that is
to change into what will be.

It is the destiny of humans,
beyond blind nature,
to change knowingly.

howl

Poem: "The Wolves of Yellowstone"

This poem came out of the February 7, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by Anthony Barrette minor_architect, and moonwolf1988.  It was sponsored by Anthony Barrette. 

I have followed the Yellowstone wolf restoration all along, and I'm thrilled by its success.  I recommend the scientific summary "Ten Years of Yellowstone Wolves" for an overview of their impact on the ecosystem.  You might also like to read about keystone speciesYellowstone is one of the national parks my family has visited, and it really lives up to its reputation; go there if you can.


The Wolves of Yellowstone


We did not realize how much of the puzzle
had gone missing until we replaced
this grizzled gray piece.

Once again wolfsong rose
like the trembling mist of the hot springs,
awakening the lazy world of Yellowstone.

Though seldom seen,
their presence was felt everywhere,
influence as invisible and powerful as the wind.

The wolves ate the elk,
who grew more alert
to the returning danger.

The tender young willows,
once devoured by elk,
began to flourish.

Bears and foxes thrived
on the tattered carcasses
left by the wolves.

The shifting of elk and willows
began to entice more songbirds
to nest along the riverbanks.

The trophic cascade continues,
slow regrowth of an ecosystem
with its keystone species finally restored --

the cathedral's arch is stable now
above the pillared trees,
the chorus a glory of thin gray voices.

calvin and hobbes

Homicidal Psycho Jungle GoH (Part 2 of 4)

This piece of Calvin & Hobbes  fanfic is part of the Asexy Valentines Festover on the Dreamwidth community asexual-fandom.  I've also done an art swap, so you can see the adorable illustration by Erin Ptah (DW user sailorptah) on my LJ scrapbook or the artist's Deviant Art page

Read part 1.

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Generally Sponsored Poetry Poll for February 7, 2012

The February 7, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl has sold out of poetry.  So, you get to put the $35 in the general fund into the open epics.  "The Morose Mascot" (The Adventures of Aldornia and Zenobia) needs $26.50 to be fully funded.  "The Godfather" (Fiorenza the Wisewoman) needs $23 to be fully funded.  Pick which one you want to finish, and the remaining amount will go toward the other poem.  I will check this poll Saturday evening.  If there's a clear winner, I'll close it then; otherwise I may leave it open a little longer.

Poll #1818141 Generally Sponsored Poetry Poll for February 7, 2012 Fishbowl
This poll is closed.

Which open epic do you want to finish?

The Godfather
10(58.8%)
The Morose Mascot
7(41.2%)