- 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?
Who sits by the furnace
to stoke the fires of civilization?
Someone always has to be ready
to give the shovel talk --
if you fuck this up, I will bury you SO deep.
Who stays in the control room
of the engine of creation?
Someone has to keep an eye on things,
wiping grease from the gauges,
activating the safety valves to release pressure
before the whole thing explodes.
Who reads the instruction manual
for Spaceship Earth?
Someone has to pay attention to
the monkeys and the wrenches,
track the changes over time,
and update the captain's log.
This is the anarchivist's job,
as forgettable and essential as the black gang,
weird beast lurking in the basement,
half-scholar and half-hoodlum,
the one who writes warning signs in spray paint,
the one who cooks without a book,
the one who cuts family ties during a plague
and breaks into libraries to steal books
just before the whole building burns to the ground,
the one who carries the toolbox
that everyone prays will never be needed again,
but always is.
This poem came out of the September 4, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by janetmiles.
Also, understand your rights and responsibilities. Regarding box #1, see the first amendment. Regarding box #2, register to vote and beware of voter suppression. Regarding box #3, support the fully informed jury. Regarding box #4, see the second amendment. People lie about this stuff; don't let them get away with it.
Civilization is made of law and order,
not just laws and orders.
It is each citizen's responsibility
to use their rights wisely;
to respect others and not diminish them;
to prioritize needs, virtues, and ideals;
to begin with the most rational and civil options
for solving problems and then move down the list if necessary.
This is the list.
If something seems wrong,
first use the soap box.
Evil flourishes when good remains silent
in the face of wicked deeds.
Dare to speak your truth.
If the leaders are doing wrong,
then use the ballot box.
Vote for the ones who will do the most good,
or failing that, the ones who will do the least harm.
If the laws are wrong,
then use the jury box.
Refuse to enforce unjust laws,
and insist on justice whether it is popular or not.
If all else fails,
then use the ammunition box.
Sometimes the people must take
what rights their oppressors will not give willingly.
Freedom comes in these four boxes --
soap, ballot, jury, and ammunition --
to be opened in that order
and it isn't meant to stay sealed in any of them forever.
This poem came out of the September 5, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from siege, aoife, janetmiles, the_vulture, and DW user jjhunter. It has been sponsored by janetmiles. This poem belongs to the series Path of the Paladins, and you can explore that further on the Serial Poetry page. Also, this finally connects the dots enough to unlock "Strike Twice," a poem about Johan that I wrote earlier. He gets himself into such situations, Johan does.
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The following poems from the September 4, 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 nbsp;with full details about the project.
The linkback perk poem "Alone in the Bee-Loud Glade" is now complete.
"Branches and Actions" -- 26 lines,
From the prompt about sabotage, I got the free-verse poem "Branches and Actions." It looks at layers of options and outcomes regarding the lumber industry and the environment.
"Cheques and Balances" -- 117 lines,
The prompt about claiming rights led to the free-verse poem "Cheques and Balances" in The Steamsmith. Maryam's father proposes a whole new level of responsibility for her, but it's not going to be easy to claim. That makes her stop and think about her qualifications and ideals.
"Coils and Brass" -- 53 lines,
From the prompt about mothers and daughters, I got the free-verse poem "Coils and Brass." Maryam and her mother Sarah discuss family history and how it influences their lives, as Sarah fixes Maryam's hair.
"Hrafn's Nest" -- 100 lines,
Your prompt about Hart's Farm responsibilities inspired the free-verse poem "Hrafn's Nest." Auduna visits Hrafn's study and learns about all the recordkeeping that he does to keep the farm organized.
"Purist Rights" -- 76 lines,
Your prompt about "Purist Rights" became the title of a free-verse poem in Torn World. Bai and his teacher discuss the difference between rights and responsibilities for citizens, and how that affects people who aren't citizens.
"Stacking the Deck" -- 128 lines,
Stephen Laird shared a spooky glossary about temporal engineering and how it could break reality if people aren't careful with it. This led to "Stacking the Deck," a free-verse poem in Schrodinger's Heroes. Ash and Alex discover that other people are messing around with spatiotemporal forces.
"The Strength of Starfire" -- 138 lines,
This combined with several other prompts to inspire the free-verse poem "The Strength of Starfire" in Path of the Paladins. Shahana pushes Ari to learn how to light up a fallen star without help, which leads to a discussion about rights, responsibilities, power, and authority.
"Voter Expression" -- 21 lines,
EXTRA: The publication of "Fraying Bonds" has unlocked a previously written poem in Path of the Paladins.
"Strike Twice" -- 194 lines,
Johan crosses paths with a band of slavers and winds up with a whole new complication that he desperately does not want.