Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Pipecleaners"

This poem came out of the December 4, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] alatefeline and [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "summer colors" square in my 12-1-18 card for the Summer in December Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] fuzzyred.   It belongs to the Dr. Infanta thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem blends cute and creepy motifs.


[July 1, 2015]

Alicia sits at the table
with a box of pipecleaners
in fun summer colors.

She has lime and lemon,
pink and lavender,
orange sherbet
and blueberry ice.

Alicia likes pipecleaners.

They're fuzzy, like logic,
and flexible, like guidelines.

She pulls them through
her fingers and bends them
(gently, always gently)
into different shapes.

She makes rose rings and
magic wands, spiders and
finger puppets, snails
and eyeglasses.

She bends them
back on themselves
like fern leaves, like
a Tesla fluid valve.

However she pushes them,
they always yield under
her gentlest touch.

Alicia remembers that
pipecleaners started out
plain white, because they
were just meant to clean
gunk out of pipestems.

That's what she thinks of
while she bends and twists them
into pink-and-green lollipops.

That's what she thinks of
as she carefully bends
the currently-most-likely
timeline back away
from the darkest path.

Alicia remembers
the original pipecleaners.

She likes the modern ones better.

* * *


Summer colors tend to be light and bright, like this package of pipecleaners.

You can make many fun crafts from pipecleaners. This leaf pattern shows a repeating design of loops.

T-American society functions much like a Tesla fluid valve. The easiest course of action is toward healthy civilization. While it is possible to move in the opposite direction, it is more difficult to do so, and the system is designed to reroute people back in the proper direction.

Precognition can allow people to change the future. In Alicia's case, she can see multiple futures with different degrees of probability, and she has some ability to choose among them -- but she can't always avoid things with a preponderance of momentum. The effect really does look a lot like the graceful loops of a Tesla fluid valve.
Tags: crafts, cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing

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