June 8th, 2012

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Poem: "A Jewel Beyond Price"

This poem came from the June 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by siliconshaman and sponsored by rix_scaedu.  A rōnin  was a masterless swordsman; some were honorable mercenaries, but many were just thugs and Japanese literature often portrays them as villains.

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schrodinger's heroes

Poem: "Hearts of Stone"

This poem came from the June 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired and sponsored by the_vulture.  It belongs to Schrodinger's Heroes, an archive of material about the imaginary fandom of an apocryphal television show which features quantum physics and interdimensional hijinks.


Hearts of Stone


Before things get serious enough
for pink and white handprints on a wall
or silver rings on each other's fingers,
there is another custom.

It is quieter, not given
to a single day of dramatic celebration,
so it takes Ash and Alex
a while to stumble across this one.

Ash is the one
who first spots a display,
her eyes accustomed
to seeing the small details.

Amethyst for wise advice.
Carnelian for focused attention.
Hematite for steadfast calm.
Jade for good fortune
.

Lapis lazuli for intuition.
Moonstone for acceptance.
Rose quartz for harmony.
Turquoise for truth
.

Alex is the one
who figures out the meaning,
her quick wits flicking through
the possibilities to the purpose.

"These are friendship tokens,"
she murmurs, a long finger stirring
the heart-shaped stones.
"They say what your friend is to you."

Ash does not hesitate
to pick out a white moonstone for Alex.
Alex takes her time
choosing a turquoise for Ash.

When they leave the Alpha Vector
and return to their own home,
they carry those two carved stones:
souvenirs, symbols, statements.

Among the stones in the bowl
of the little bubbling fountain
in the common room,
they leave their hearts side-by-side.

Karavai

Poem: "The Girl Who Wanted Too Much"

This poem came out of the June 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from ellenmillion and sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  This poem features the Duurludirj, or Stone Teeth People, whose culture discourages greed; the article on Tifijimi town mentions the Miser's House monument.  The poem also shows the beautiful but dangerous time crystals that are a distinction of Torn World as a whole.  Knifeshells are a local delicacy similar to razor clams.

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Poem: "The Jewels That Fall from the Sky"

This poem came out of the June 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from minor_architect.  It was sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  The gem peridot really does appear in pallasites.  You can also read about mafic rocks.


The Jewels That Fall from the Sky


Peridot grows in the ground,
gem-grade olivine of vivid green
found in mafic rocks such as basalt
and ultramafic rocks such as dunite,
crystallized out of the quickest lava.

Peridot also falls from the sky as
the hidden verdant heart of pallasite,
a stony metallic meteorite
with jewels embedded in
a nickel-iron matrix.

These brilliant baubles
have danced around the sun,
symbolizing patience and vitality,
at last touching down on Earth
as a reminder of unexpected treasures.

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Poem: "Damascus Steel"

This poem came from the June 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from morrigans_eve.  It was sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  Explore the history of Damascus steel.  Oh, and for fans of haikujaguar, this is the metal used in the swords for House Laisrathera.


Damascus Steel


It was not purity but impurity
that lent strength to these swords,
ingots of iron with carbon
traced in tungsten and vanadium.

Folds upon folds ran through each blade,
rivers of darkness and light
shimmering like moonbeams on water.

Stronger and sharper than plain steel,
these edges bent without breaking,
cut without dulling.

Say that history found and lost a treasure,
say that Greece and Syria exchanged hidden wisdoms,
say that the broken god of the forge came down
and showed men how to make something imperfect
that outperformed anything perfect.

Say what you will, but remember,
once there was steel finer than silk fabric
and all the science of our latter days
cannot uncover its making,
only let us marvel at the tiny features
that enclose its secrets like so many walls.

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Poem: "Nuclear Empowerment"

This poem came out of the June 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from kelkyag.  It was sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  Read more about atomic batteries.


Nuclear Empowerment


Rare metals are twisted into atomic batteries,
using emissions from a radioactive isotope
to generate electricity, a power source
useful in long-term applications
such as spacecraft and pacemakers,

half-life quietly keeping time
with the heartbeat of the universe.

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Poem: "Swords of a Singular Age"

This poem came from the June 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from DW user night_mare (aka morrigans_eve).  It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  This poem is about what happens when a newly forged sword is quenched in different types of blood, so if you dislike gore, skip it and read the other poems from June. 

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Poem: "The Matchsmith's Challenge"

This poem came out of the June 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from stonetalker.  It was sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.


The Matchsmith's Challenge


It was always a challenge
to match gems and metals.

Diamond was fussy
and would only go with gold.

Sapphire preferred silver
and outright clashed with copper.
So did amethyst.

Copper was best for
smoky brown garnets
and the burnt orange tanzanites.

Emerald was a favorite,
the life of the party,
always willing to pair up with anyone --
gold or silver or copper.

Forgotten on the wall,
quicksilver fluttered up and down
with the temperature,
enclosed by the quiet clarity of silica.

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Poem: "Crystal Clear and Otherwise"

This poem came from the June 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from catsittingstill.  It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  Read about diamond and quartz, sapphire and ruby.


Crystal Clear and Otherwise


Diamond is an allotrope of carbon,
resistant to impurities
except for traces of boron or nitrogen,
and therefore usually clear.

Quartz is made of silicon–oxygen tetrahedra
which invite the inclusion of other minerals:
iron for the violet of amethyst,
titanium or manganese for rose.

Diamond and quartz
may look similar when clear,
yet their crystal matrix
and their contents diverge.

Sapphire consists of aluminum oxide
tinted with traces of 
iron, titanium, copper, or magnesium
typically yielding shades of blue.

Ruby consists of aluminum oxide
tinted with traces of chromium
creating red hues.

Sapphire and ruby
look nothing alike,
yet both of them are
types of corundum.

It is the structure,
and not the color,
that defines true nature.

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Poem: "The Myth of Amethystos"

This poem came out of the June 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from mdlbear.  It was sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  You can read about amethyst and the myth online.


The Myth of Amethystos


Once there lived a young woman
who desired neither men nor women.
Not even the determined wooing
of Dionysus himself could turn her head.

When Amethystos went to pay tribute
to the temple of Artemis,
Dionysus fell upon her in drunken lust
and pulled the clothes from her body.

Amethystos prayed to Artemis
for protection, and the goddess
turned her into a statue
of clear impregnable crystal.

Stricken by remorse,
Dionysus wept over the statue
and poured the last of his wine as libation,
and the stone turned the violet of wisdom.

Since then, the stone called amethyst
has stood for the virtue of chastity
and it is said to protect against intoxication,
Artemis' final rebuke of Dionysus.

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Poetry Fishbowl SOLD OUT!

The June 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl has SOLD OUT! 

Woohoo!  You are all made of awesome.  Thank you so much.

Okay, I'll make this quick because we have errands to run.  All donation goals have been met; there will be a bonus fishbowl.  I'll get back to you on timing.  All poems have been posted and the newest epic updated.  There's also another verse in "Signs Along the Way" so that only needs one more linkback; you can recommend any of the poems you like.  
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Female Heroes

This article argues a need for more female heroes in adult literature. Okay, I'd enjoy that. But I couldn't help laughing at this part:

And, more importantly, there are certain types of characters who are practically never written as women. Captain Jack Sparrow. Ford Prefect. Loki. Jonathan Strange. Gandalf.

Out of those five, two of them -- Captain Jack Sparrow and Loki -- are arguably or canonically genderqueer.  Heh.
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Generally Sponsored Poetry Poll for June 5, 2012

This is the generally sponsored poetry poll for the June 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  You have $61.50 to spend.  Everyone is eligible to vote in this poll.  I will leave it open until at least Saturday evening.  If there's a clear winner then, I'll close it.  If not, I may leave it open a while longer.
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Free Epic Poll for June 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl

The June 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl met the goal for a free epic.  Everyone is eligible to vote in this poll.  I'll keep it open at least until Saturday evening.  If there's a clear winner then, I'll close it.  Otherwise I may leave it open longer.

There is a bunch of other activity current or planned, so I'm spreading out the different series across polls.  Here are your options for this poll...

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Half-Price Poetry Poll for June 5, 2012

The June 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl met its goal of $300 so you get a half-price poetry sale featuring one series.  Everyone is eligible to vote in this poll.  I'll leave it open until at least Saturday evening.  If there's a clear winner then, I'll close it.  Otherwise I may leave it open a while longer.

There are a bunch of activities this month, so I'm spreading out different series across them.  Here are your options for this poll ...

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