July 4th, 2012


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: "The Treasures of Marco Polo"

This poem came out of the July 3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired and sponsored by marina_bonomi.  It belongs to a shared setting in which Italy and China are allies.  You can read more about Marco Polo's journey online.  The villanelle is an Italian form of poetry.

The Treasures of Marco Polo
-- a villanelle

The silver belt of a Tartar knight,
A crate of stones that could burn like wood,
A woman's headdress, heavy and bright --

These Marco Polo brought as his right
From China to Venice as he could.
The silver belt of a Tartar knight

He earned as keshigten  in a fight,
The Khan's reward for what he withstood.
A woman's headdress, heavy and bright,

Once graced a princess, love of his light,
But then she died in her motherhood.
The silver belt of a Tartar knight,

It shone with his grief by day and night.
Their son stayed behind; the Khan made good.
A woman's headdress, heavy and bright,

It burned with regret, a precious blight.
They weighed his heart as no treasures should:
The silver belt of a Tartar knight,
A woman's headdress, heavy and bright.

silk road

Poem: "The Lost and Found Legion"

This poem came from the July 3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from marina_bonomi and has been sponsored by her.  It belongs to a shared world, The Silk Road Allies, in which China and Italy become close.  You can read more about the Roman EmpireRoman legions, and the lost legion online.

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Poem: "Revising History"

This poem came out of the July 3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired and sponsored by morrigans_eve.  The indriso form is a condensed sonnet, with several very flexible elements in its struture, ideal for short punchy poems that twist and turn.

Revising History
-- an indriso

There is a book made from a bodhi tree
And bound in horn from teeming bison herds
That holds the olden times for all to see.

With ink of martyrs' blood write out the words
And whatsoe'er you write will come to be,
The pots of bygone days restored from sherds.

Which past events would you revise, and why?

Which past events would you not  change, and why?


Poetry Fishbowl: Call for Themes

I've reached the end of scheduled themes for the Poetry Fishbowl project.  It's time to brainstorm some new themes!  These are a few that I've jotted down earlier, ones that I've thought up or people have suggested, to give you an idea what kind of stuff might be suitable:

* colonies & colonialism
* furry
* topian fiction (utopias, dystopias, etc.)
* memory
* where words live (libraries, bookstores, etc.)

What other themes would you like to see me write about?  Suggest them in a comment below this post. 

Later on I'll collect the suggestions and post a poll, probably on Monday.  The most popular topics will be added to the schedule for future fishbowls.  You can also help by linking to this post so that more people will see it.  Everyone is welcome to suggest themes.  Everyone will also be able to vote for them later; prompters and donors will get extra votes.

Poem: "The Charlady's Tale"

This was the linkback perk poem for the July 3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was originally hosted by dreamwriteremmy; thanks for taking care of that during the fishbowl.  There is 1 of 17 verses left which you can reveal by linking to the call for themes, the unsold poetry list, or a favorite poem from this session.  COMPLETED!  Signal boosters include: dreamwriteremmy, janetmiles, marina_bonomi, aldersprig, the_vulture, wyld_dandelyon, ankewehnerje_reviens

This poem came out of the April 3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from aldersprig.  It belongs to the Steamsmith series, and you can find the other poems in that series via the Serial Poetry page.

Note: Does anyone know how to create a little box-frame border around a group of words in LiveJournal?  In the original file for this poem, Maryam's newspaper ad is framed like that, instead of just with dashed lines.  Special thanks to rowyn and dreamwriteremmy for coding help to create the border around Maryam's ad. 

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Unsold Poems from the July 3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl

This fishbowl is SOLD OUT.  Thank your for your support!

The following poems from the July 3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl are currently available.  Poems 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

"Chromatic Shrift" -- 66 lines, $33 (Schrodinger's Heroes)  SOLD
The prompt about African and Aztec world powers meshed neatly with an established vector from Schrodinger's Heroes. "Chromatic Shrift" is a free-verse poem about an invasion of slave raiders from another dimension, and the unlikely allies found to help repel them. Very dark, creepy stuff.

"Di Yus of Im Tel" -- 40 lines, $15  SOLD
Of course I had to take the prompt about Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and I posited a very different life with her growing up on her family's holdings in Jamaica. The free-verse poem "Di Yus of Im Tel" (that's part of a Creole saying) deals with her awareness of different facets of Jamaican culture.

"The Divided States of America" -- 36 lines, $15  SOLD
From the lengthy description of American fragmentation came the free-verse poem "The Divided States of America." It's a long description of wars and secessions, with an unexpected winner at the end.

"A Harmony of Hominids" -- 47 lines, $20  SOLD
For hominid cooperation, I wrote the free-verse poem "A Harmony of Hominids." It's kind of a love poem about how two species fit together with their complementary traits.

"Listening to God" -- 94 lines, $94  SOLD The Arc of Joan)
Your prompt about a different branch of religion gaining precedence meshed nicely with something from nether-Earth, not in the Steamsmith series but something earlier. I want to cover how the Church of England became more influential than the Holy Roman Church, and that really starts with Jeanne d'Arc and the British victory over France -- which is also a story I'd like to tell.

So "Listening to God" is a free-verse poem about Jeanne meeting three saints in a lonely field, and what she thinks about the weird things they have to say. Being yourself in a world where that threatens your life can be very scary. Because nether-Earth poetry takes more time to write, this is priced at $1/line.

"Manifest Diversity" -- 34 lines, $15  SOLD
Given a history without large nations, I went with "Manifest Diversity." This free-verse poem explores how things would develop without the meme of expansionism, creating a whole different social structure.

"Matters of Business" -- 22 lines, = $10  SOLD
From the prompt about Puritans in Australia, I got the poem "Matters of Business." It's written in unrhymed tercets, and it explores what might happen if people discovered a surprisingly good cultural match in the gendered division of labor.

"The Migration at Wounded Knee" -- 76 lines, $38  SOLD
From your prompt about Wounded Knee I got the free-verse poem "The Migration at Wounded Knee." A little history, a little shamanic quantum physics, and an outcome that nobody had really thought through.

"One Man's Renaissance" -- To be released after "An Amazing Carriage of Amber and Jade" is complete SOLD The Steamsmith)
I took Leonardo da Vinci into the Steamsmith setting, which runs to earlier inventions than our timeline. Maryam Smith muses over some of his accomplishments and compares them to her own progress. "One Man's Renaissance" is free verse.

"Port Kennedy" -- 20 lines, $10  SOLD
From the space race prompt I got the poem "Port Kennedy." It's written in unrhymed quatrains. President Kennedy avoids the assassination attempt and guides the space program to greater achievements.

"Slow and Steady" -- 42 lines, $20SOLD
From the prompt about the Challenger, I got the poem "Slow and Steady." It's written in unrhymed sestets. The premise is that humanity cooperated on space exploration instead of turning it into a race.

"the war engine" -- 24 lines, $10 (Lacquerware)  SOLD
The prompt about the lacquerware military computer got me thinking about my_partner_doug's love of wargames and how playing a scenario can teach better stragegy. The result is "the war engine," which is written in haiku verses. It shows the effect of a military computer on the dawn of the Edo period.

Read "Dusting Off the Green Speech" Part 1

If you are a Torn World supporter, you can now read Part 1 of my story "Dusting Off the Green Speech."
Unafari helps plan the costumes for a Trefoil Dance performance.
Also appearing in this story are Unafari's coworkers Malem and Ranathera, her friend Licensing Inspector Katorsh, and Omorth who is an asexual no-gender Trefoil dancer. 

Part 1 can be sponsored for $53 or 53 Torn World Credits. Part 2 has been written and approved; it will appear presently.

If you like this story and want to see more like it, please consider sending me credits or karma through Torn World's crowdfunding options.  Not a Torn World member, but still want to support the work? I have a permanent PayPal button on my LJ profile page.

Poem: "The Voyage of Columbus"

This poem is spillover from the July 3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired and sponsored by Dreamwidth user Thnidu, a new participant in the fishbowl project.  The form is something I made up on the spot.  The first two verses are iambic pentameter quatrains (the first half of a sonnet) because Columbus was Italian.  The last two are haiku because he sailed east.  You can read about his historic voyages online.

The Voyage of Columbus

Columbus sailed from Spain with ninety men,
Two caravels, a larger slower rig,
Provisions to go forth and back again,
And stacks of maps and notes that were quite big.

The route was long and dangerous asea,
With storms and sharks and scurvy all at hand.
At last they spied some seagulls winging free
And followed them.  The lookout shouted, "Land!"

humble fishermen
welcomed Columbus to the
islands of Japan

tea! silk! spices! pearls!
Columbus was quite thrilled with
his discoveries