Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Close Attention Is Paid to Their Actions"

This poem is spillover from the April 21, 2020 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chanter1944. It also fills the "WILD CARD: Crow" square in my 4-1-20 card for the Spring Fest Bingo. This poem has been sponsored by a pool with [personal profile] fuzzyred. It belongs to the Big One thread of the Polychrome Heroics series, and follows "The Queen of Crows" so read that first or this will make no sense.

"Close Attention Is Paid to Their Actions"

[Monday, July 25, 2016]

Ava and her family found
life a struggle after the Big One.

There wasn't much left of Rain City
in the aftermath of the earthquake,
just piles of rubble in varying heights.

Some municipal land had been cleared
for refugee camps, first with tents and
later with monolithic domes that could
be made quickly with shotcrete.

Each neighborhood included
450 dome homes along with
a center complex consisting of
a town hall, clinic, school, church,
and community center with gym.

The dome homes were tiny,
but they were a lot better than
the even tinier tent had been.

Ava's family was on the list
for a bigger dome home as
soon as one became available,
but the construction was slow
because it was hard to move
supplies with the roads out.

It was also hard to maintain
law and order. One thing
the center complex did not
have was a police station.

They had one cop living in
a dome home with his son like
everyone else, and that was it.

So safety was a problem, and
especially, looting was a problem.

Sometimes Ava heard stories
about bands of looters roaming
through the ruined cities, looking
for whatever they could find --
canned goods, electronics, cash,
even people who couldn't
get away fast enough.

That made Ava feel
really scared, until she
remembered she could
do something about it.

So she went to find
Officer Dalgaard.

"Do you have pictures
of looters that the police are
trying to catch?" Ava said.

"I do, but why do you
want them?" he said.
"Is someone scaring you?"

"No, but looters are scary
in general," Ava said. "I want
to show the crows so they can
help you find the bad guys."

"Do you really think showing
them pictures will work?"
said Officer Dalgaard.

"In many traditions,
crows are messengers
and close attention is paid
to their actions," Ava said.
"I think it's worth a try."

Officer Dalgaard gave her
three pictures, and Ava
showed them to the crows.

"Quork?" said the crows,
landing on the fence.

"These are bad guys,"
Ava said. "They steal
other people's treasures.
If you see the thieves,
find a star man to come
and take them away."

She pointed to the star on
Officer Dalgaard's uniform.

"Quork! Quork!" said the crows,
as they burst into the air.

"Now you just have to watch
for crows mobbing someone,
or trying to get your attention,"
Ava said. "They're really good
at recognizing people's faces."

In fact, the crows proved
so good at it that they found
one of the thieves later that day
and the police took him away.

When Officer Dalgaard came by
to deliver the news, he also brought
a bag of day-old cornbread crusts
in return for the crows' assistance.

"Quork! Quork!" said the crows
as they pecked up their payment.

It had been a good idea after all.

* * *


Birgir Dalgaard -- He has fair skin with freckles, dark blue eyes, and golden blond hair buzzed short. He is tall and muscular, with bands of Viking knotwork tattooed just above his elbows. His heritage is American and Norse. He speaks English and Spanish. He is a widower with a six-month-old son, Hakon. Birgir earned an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in Emergency Management at Highline College in Des Moines, Rain City, Washington. He serves on the police force in Rain City, Washington. After the Big One, he lives in the same refugee neighborhood with Ava the Queen of Crows.
Qualities: Good (+2) Asatru, Good (+2) Cop, Good (+2) Father, Good (+2) Kinesthetic Intelligence, Good (+2) Strength
Poor (-2) Widower

Des Moines is a city in King County, Washington, about halfway between Seattle and Tacoma.

Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice
at Highline College in Des Moines, Rain City, Washington
Specific Requirements
Professional-Technical Core Courses
Select 45 credits from the following:
• CJ& 101 - Intro to Criminal Justice
• C J 102 - The Justice System
• C J 105 - Community Relations
• CJ& 106 - Juvenile Justice
• CJ& 110 - Criminal Law
• C J 212 - Fundamentals of Policing
• C J 213 - Law of Arrest, Search, and Seizure
• C J 215 - Conflict Management
• C J 219 - Intelligence -led Policing
• C J 220 - Tactical Thinking
• C J 255 - Police Crisis Intervention
Total Core Credits: 45

Supporting Courses
• Electives - Discuss with your adviser (6)
• BUSN 160 - Human/Labor Relations
• PHIL 110 - Introduction to Ethics
• P E 160 - First Aid, CPR and AED
• P E - Activity (1)
Total Supporting Course Credits: 20

Related Instruction Courses
Some classes may be substituted. Discuss with your adviser.
• PSYCH 120 - Psychology of Human Relations
• SOC& 101 - Introduction to Sociology
• CMST& 101 - Introduction to Communication
• ENGL& 101 - English Composition I
• MATH& 107 - Math in Society
Total Related Instruction Credits: 25
Total Program Credits: 90

Minor in Emergency Management (T-American)
at Highline College in Des Moines, Rain City, Washington
• HSEM 102 - Introduction to Emergency Management
• HSEM 110 - Basic Incident Command System/NIMS
• HSEM 120 - All Hazards Emergency Planning
• HSEM 130 - Technology in Emergency Management
• HSEM 157 - Public Information Officer
• HSEM 200 - Emergency Operations Center
• HSEM 210 - Exercise Design and Evaluation
• HSEM 220 - Developing and Managing Volunteer Resource
• HSEM 230 - Disaster Recovery and Response
Total Program Credits: 27

* * *

"In many traditions, crows are messengers and close attention is paid to their actions."
-- Robert Moss

The neighborhood plan was originally developed for Haiti. See the neighborhood with 450 homes and center complex, a block of 50 homes, one home on its lot, and a closeup of the dome.

Here are central plans for the town hall and the clinic.

The school includes a general classroom dome, a cafeteria dome, and a science classroom dome.

See plans for the church, the community center, and the gymnasium.

Crows are quite intelligent and remember faces well.
Tags: birdfeeding, community, cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, safety, weblit, writing
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