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Poem: "Building Where We Are" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "Building Where We Are"
This is the linkback perk poem for the October 1, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl.  If you link to the fishbowl, make a comment and include the URL to reveal a verse of this poem.  If you link on different services, you can get multiple verses.

This poem came out of the September 2013 Creative Jam.  It was inspired by a prompt from Dreamwidth user Perfectworry.  It also fills the  "Miles from anywhere: geographical isolation" square on my card for the Ladiesbingo fest. It belongs to the Schrodinger's Heroes project.

All verses have been posted.  Linkers include: janetmiles, technoshaman, DW user Chanter_greenie, freshbakedlady, siege, DW user Sylvaine, siliconshaman


"Building Where We Are"


The Teflon Tesseract
lies in the middle of nowhere,
a vast ring of hallways and tunnels
54.1 miles in circumference
and a diameter of 17.2 miles,
southeast of Waxahachie, Texas.

We have Alex to thank for this,
who is more or less made of money,
with her gift for quantum mechanics
and an unfortunate tendency
to break reality now and again.

There is little else in the vicinity
except blackland prairie
dotted with a few blue lakes.

The nearest army base is far enough away
that if trouble comes through the Tef,
they won't get there in time to stop it.
The same is true of calling an ambulance
all the way from Waxahachie:
if it's enough of an emergency to need one,
it will be too late by the time the bus arrives.

Fortunately we have Kay to take care of this,
an army medic mustered out but still
in full possession of her skills.
She kills what needs killing,
heals what needs healing,
and somehow gets us all home alive.

The Tef has a computer system
as elegant as a feather and
as sturdy as a stone wall.
It warns of incursions
from alternate dimensions
and protects our data
from interruption or theft.

It's Ash who supervises the computers
and writes the programs
in mysterious ternary code.
Her slim fingers dance across the keys
and cyberspace bows to her will.

Overhead the sky is pure ebony
studded with diamond stars.
The horizon is unbleached by lights
from town or base, nothing more
than a few blinking embers
to warn of radio towers.

This is Morgan's territory,
and she watches it nightly
to spot any changes
that might substitute
someone else's sky for our own.
The whole of the universe
fits inside her head.

It reminds us of something
that Quinn said once,
reading from a fantasy book:
"We have to build the Republic of Heaven
where we are, because for us
there is no elsewhere."

The men help too, of course --
Bailey on hardware,
Pat in the kitchen,
Chris wherever he's needed.
Tim the Tentacle monster
gets into everything, as curious
as Alex's black cat Schrodinger.

It's the women that make our team
special, though, for Alex is the head of it
and it's so hard to find others --
smart women, strong  women --
who aren't afraid of themselves or each other.

If we want to have the kind of world
that makes this sort of friendship possible,
then we need to start building where we are.
We can't wait for someone else to do it for us.

We are the ones who came forward,
when the door opened
and the world needed saving.

We are the ones who stayed here,
when the crisis was over and
we realized it was only the first of many.

The Teferact is our place,
a long loop of science and civic engineering
spanning the compound proper
and an expanse of scruffy grassland within.

We have a common room and a kitchen,
computer labs and personal quarters,
along with a quiet room for when
we need to recover from the crush of duty.
We have each other, too,
so we have everything we need.

It isn't quite the Republic of Heaven,
but it is exactly what we want it to be:
Team. Family. Home.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Current Mood: busy busy

22 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 1st, 2013 09:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Four links

I have posted your four verses. Thanks for the signal boost!
From: technoshaman Date: October 1st, 2013 08:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 1st, 2013 09:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

Your three verses are up.
freshbakedlady From: freshbakedlady Date: October 9th, 2013 08:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Comment got eaten?

Sorry to pester. I posted a comment about the link back I did for this poem on the 1st. When I submitted the comment, it said it was being flagged as spam. It showed up a couple days later, but didn't have the normal edit options, just a delete button. Now it's disappeared entirely. If I send you the link again, is it still possible to unlock a verse?
freshbakedlady From: freshbakedlady Date: October 9th, 2013 08:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Comment got eaten?

Oh, correction. It is still showing up when I look at the comments here, but still with just a delete button. Don't know if I'm the only one who can see it?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 9th, 2013 08:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Comment got eaten?

I can see this comment, but not your original one. I don't know why it got flagged as spam, why I didn't get a comment note like usual, or why I can't see it since I can usually see spam comments. Except that I make technology go insane.

I have added your new verse. Sorry for the hassle, and thank you for your support. If this happens again, try sending me a private message that you linked, and I'll get your verse up sooner.
freshbakedlady From: freshbakedlady Date: October 9th, 2013 08:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Comment got eaten?

Aw, no, no, bad internet. Thanks for putting the verse up and sorry for the mix-up. The link back is at www [dot] joycesully [dot] com [/?] p=1759. (Let's see if making the link needlessly complicated will make LJ accept it.)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 9th, 2013 09:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Comment got eaten?

Got it now! Thanks for the lovely description of my work.

We got 6 new prompters this month, including you. Woohoo! I love it when the word spreads.

The followup report is also posted, if you want a summary of activity and links to all the published stuff.
From: sylvaine57 Date: October 18th, 2013 09:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Awww, this gives me all the warm fuzzy feelings for our quantum heroes. <3 I like the structure of the poem - the way you switch between stanzas about the individual heroes & stanzas about the tesseract/their environment. I particularly love this stanza:

We have Alex to thank for this,
who is more or less made of money,
with her gift for quantum mechanics
and an unfortunate tendency
to break reality now and again.


Something about it just made me grin. :D

Edited at 2013-10-18 09:48 am (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: October 19th, 2013 05:20 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I'm glad you liked this.

>> Awww, this gives me all the warm fuzzy feelings for our quantum heroes. <3 <<

That's always good to hear. You can ask for more about favorite characters in any open call for prompts.

>> I like the structure of the poem - the way you switch between stanzas about the individual heroes & stanzas about the tesseract/their environment.<<

A fair number of Schrodinger's Heroes poems have structure even within free verse, because the team effect lends itself well to that.

>> I particularly love this stanza: <<

Yay! Alex is a riot.
thnidu From: thnidu Date: November 6th, 2013 01:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Ditto. A wonderful opening for the roster.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 14th, 2013 02:02 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I'm glad you liked this.
siege From: siege Date: November 5th, 2013 06:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 5th, 2013 06:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

Your new verse is up.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 5th, 2013 07:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Four links

Thank you! I've posted your four new verses.
From: technoshaman Date: November 5th, 2013 08:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 5th, 2013 08:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

That finishes the poem.
thnidu From: thnidu Date: November 6th, 2013 01:54 am (UTC) (Link)

no tag?

Is there a reason this isn't tagged schrodinger's heroes?

In fact, there's nothing here with that tag since "For Life's Sake", July 16th, 2013.
thnidu From: thnidu Date: November 6th, 2013 07:47 am (UTC) (Link)
(Love the icon!)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 6th, 2013 07:50 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

Yeah, I made the kitties looking into the fishbowl as a one-day default icon to help folks know when a fishbowl session is active.
22 comments or Leave a comment