June 6th, 2012


Poem: "An Amazing Carriage of Amber and Jade"

This poem came out of the June 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from marina_bonomi and wyld_dandelyon.  It belongs to The Steamsmith series, and you can read more about that on the Serial Poetry page.  Among the things I researched for this poem were amber, ambergris, cigar boxesjade, and the jade furnace.

This microfunded poem is being posted one verse at a time, as donations come in to cover them. The Steamsmith rate is $1/line, so $5 will reveal 5 new lines, and so forth. There is a permanent donation button on my profile page, or you can contact me for other arrangements. You can also ask me about the number of lines per verse, if you want to fund a certain number of verses.  So far sponsors include: marina_bonomi, janetmiles, Anthony Barrette, Shirley Barrette, general fund

141 lines, Buy It Now = $141
Amount donated = $88
Verses posted = 15 of 24

Amount remaining to fund fully = $55
Amount needed to fund next verse = $2
Amount needed to fund the verse after that = $8

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moment of silence, candle

Moment of Silence: Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury has passed away.  He was one of the most influential writers in speculative fiction.  Personally I found that his concepts usually exceeded his execution, but many writers I enjoy have listed him among their inspiration, so I'm glad he visited this little planet.

I am particularly grateful for the existence of his novel Fahrenheit 451, which is about book burning, censorship, and oppression.  I was deeply amused when a teacher responded to classroom censorship, and parents taking "objectionable" books off the reading list, by changing the assignment to Fahrenheit 451.

Poem: "The Ruby Lens"

This poem came out of the June 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired and sponsored by laffingkat.  It belongs to The Psychic Photographer series, which you can explore further via the Serial Poetry page.  Among the things I researched for this poem were ruby lasers and famous rubies.  Also, there's time travel involved, so the verb tenses are a little quirky in certain places.

Also: This urban fantasy/science fiction hera is smart and sassy, but not slutty.  She has one boyfriend, who is not a dick.  I've been missing this on the bookshelves and just noticed that, oh yeah, I've written some.

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Unsold Poems from the June 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl

SOLD OUT!  Thank you for your enthusiastic support.

The following poems from the June 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl are currently available. They may be sponsored via PayPal -- there's a permanent donation button on my LiveJournal profile page -- or you can write to me and discuss other methods.

The Poetry Fishbowl also has a landing page with full details about the project

"The Ceiling of Her Sky" -- 44 lines, $20 (Path of the Paladins)  SOLD
From the prompt about stars as gems, I wrote the free-verse poem "The Ceiling of Her Sky." It belongs to the series Path of the Paladins and features Shahana and Ari discussing cosmology and fallen stars. I've known for a while that this setting had a "solid" sky like that, and this seemed like a good opportunity to describe it.

"Crystal Clear and Otherwise" -- 26 lines, $15  SOLD
From the prompt about related vs. unrelated gems, I got the free-verse poem "Crystal Clear and Otherwise." It compares diamond and quartz, sapphire and ruby.

"Damascus Steel" -- 21 lines, $10  SOLD
The prompt "Damascus Steel" became the title of a free-verse poem about the features of this historic swordmaking technique.

"Feudal Chemistry" -- 11 lines, $10  SOLD
From the prompt about base metals I got the free-verse poem "Feudal Chemistry." It points out which metals do the real work in technology.

"The Girl Who Wanted Too Much" -- 70 lines, $35 (Torn World)  SOLD
Yes, time crystals count as gems!  I couldn't resist writing about their dangerous beauty.  The result is "The Girl Who Wanted Too Much," a Duurludirj poem about when the first barrier fell and united Stone Island with the majority of Tooth Island.  It's a cautionary tale about greed.

"Hearts of Stone" -- 40 lines, $15 (Schrodinger's Heroes)  SOLD
I like semi-precious stones carved into hearts, which is where the prompt about "heart-shaped stones" led me. The result is "Hearts of Stone," a free-verse poem about Ash and Alex visiting the Alpha Vector again. This time they discover the custom of giving stones to symbolize aspects of friendship. This poem belongs to the series Schrodinger's Heroes.

"A Jewel Beyond Price" -- 49 lines, $20  SOLD
Your prompt about the swordsmith and his daughter led to the free-verse poem "A Jewel Beyond Price." A rude rōnin demands a famous jewel to decorate his new sword.

"The Jewels That Fall from the Sky" -- 15 lines, $10  SOLD
I've seen extraterrestrial peridot, though it was sadly outside my price range. From this I got the free-verse poem "The Jewels That Fall from the Sky," comparing the versions from earth and sky.

"The Matchsmith's Challenge" -- 18 lines, $10  SOLD
From the jeweler prompt I got the free-verse poem "The Matchsmith's Challenge." It describes the finicky tastes of gems in relation to metal settings -- and one example of a metal set within a mineral.

"The Myth of Amethystos" -- 20 lines, $10  SOLD
The prompt about amethyst inspired the free-verse poem "The Myth of Amethystos." A young woman turns to stone to escape a lustful god.

"Nuclear Empowerment" -- 7 lines, $5  SOLD
From the prompt about atomic batteries came the free-verse poem "Nuclear Empowerment." It describes tiny, beneficial applications of nuclear energy.

"Of Pearls and Nonpearls" -- 15 lines, $10  SOLD
The prompt about irritants reminded me of the Láadan word for nonpearl. This led to the free-verse poem "Of Pearls and Nonpearls," about how things turn out differently depending on the type of attention paid to them.

"Stones, Like Souls" -- 25 lines, $10  SOLD
While searching for references about the symbolism of stones, I stumbled across an article about the Jewish custom of leaving pebbles -- instead of flowers -- on graves. So I wrote the poem "Stones, Like Souls," about the meaning of these grave gifts.

"Swords of a Singular Age" -- 34 lines, $15  SOLD
The prompt about quenching in blood inspired the free-verse poem "Swords of a Singular Age." This is very dark fantasy about how different types of blood can affect a sword's temper and how that eventually went terribly, horribly wrong.


Plans and Goals

Sometimes it helps to talk out the things you want to do and the projects you want to work on, and get cheers for stuff you've finished.

  • What are some of your upcoming plans and goals?

  • Are any of them things you'll need help with, and if so, what kind of help?

  • What are some plans/goals that you have recently completed?


Poem: "Of Pearls and Nonpearls"

This poem came out of the June 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired and sponsored by janetmiles.  The featured terms come from the womanlanguage Láadan, constructed by Suzette Haden Elgin (ozarque).

Of Pearls and Nonpearls

A pearl is a thing of beauty
built up layer by layer
inside the shell of an oyster
until all is smooth again,
and the word for that is nem.

A nonpearl is a thing of ugliness,
built up layer by layer
within an unenlightened soul,
a festering hatred to which one pays attention,
and the word for that is ranem.

Both begin with an irritant,
but the results are very different,
so when you are making things
consider whether you are
adding layers of treasure or torment.


Poem: "Stones, Like Souls"

This poem came out of the June 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It has been sponsored by janetmiles.  While surfing the net to research another poem, I stumbled across a reference to the Jewish custom of leaving stones upon a grave.  It led to this poem.  Here's a link to the Hebrew language in case you're not familiar with it.

Stones, Like Souls

Where others bring flowers,
the Jews bring stones.

These are laid upon each grave,
etched with a name
or the letters taf, nun, tsadi, bet, hey
or both.

The abbreviation stands for the phrase
"Teheye nishmato tsrurah b'tsror haChayyim."
"May his soul be bound up in the bounds of eternal life."

Yet tsror  also means "pebble,"
a historic reference to shepherds
carrying a sling full of pebbles
to keep count of the sheep in their flock.

It is a silent prayer for G-d
to hold the departed soul in G-d's own sling,
counted as part of that vast eternal flock.

Flowers wither;
life fades.

Memory is a mountain
made of many pebbles
and murmuring sand;
and love is bedrock
that no amount of time can wilt.

When all else has passed away,
stones, like souls, remain.


Poem: "Feudal Chemistry"

This poem came out of the June 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by rix_scaedu and sponsored by janetmiles.  You might enjoy reading an article about base metals.

Feudal Chemistry

The base metals include those
which oxidize easily, such as
iron, nickel, lead, zinc, and copper.
These form the foundations of our technology.

The precious metals
of gold and silver
are used primarily for adornment.
They don't even underlie the economy anymore.

In chemistry, as in feudalism,
the commoners do all the work
and the nobles are just there to look good.

Clockwork War

Poem: "Confusion to the Enemy"

This poem was written outside the Poetry Fishbowl project, inspired by a blog conversation about handicapped characters particularly with viva_la_topknot.  It belongs to The Clockwork War series, and you can read more about that on the Serial Poetry page.  Here's the article I referenced for traumatic brain injury.

This is the linkback perk for the June 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was originally hosted by dreamwriteremmy.  Linkers include: dreamwriteremmy, janetmiles, stonetalker, wyld_dandelyon, catsittingstill, and meeksp.  Thank you all.

We're finished with this one, yay!  However, if you want to link to the unsold poetry list, there are still 3 verses left to reveal in "Signs Along the Way" from last month.

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