Sonnet Challenge #26

Sometimes I think poets go through all the circumstances themselves so they can write about things from a personal perspective.

Inside Prejudice

Outside of prejudice, a place that’s learned
like old wives’ tales, absorbed at parent’s knee
to recognize the ones that should be spurned,
no why, just that’s the way that it should be.
Inside of prejudice, that face is turned,
for reasons I can’t fathom, away from me,
til whispers, giggles stop when I get near
and conversation turns to other things.
I know I am the joke I cannot hear
and my imagination then takes wings
and rises on the heat of latent fear,
the wind that is despair, and all it brings.
Outside of prejudice can see no wrong.
Inside of prejudice I don’t belong.

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Veteran Arts Start-up

One of the galleries I work with, Vanguard Gallery in Moreno Valley, is on a mission to create a Veteran Artists Cooperative.  Rick’s ultimate hope is to create a Museum of Veteran Art in Southern California – but the cooperative is a good place to start.  It would be wonderful if you feel you can contribute a few dollars to the project.  Or if you are willing to share this to others who might.

Veteran Voice Project.

Tales from the field #11.

I’ve been locked out of a few places before – my house, my truck (multiple offenses) and my motel room.  Motel 6 are particularly good at having the key not work the next evening, but that’s always an easy fix.

This weekend I went to Flagstaff and fairly easily found my Airbnb location.  The owner I knew had taken the weekend off to go hiking out of town, and out of cell phone range.  There was another guest also, but when I arrived the place was empty.  And locked.

It had been a busy week and I’d skipped the part where I’d written the entry instructions down because I thought they were in a text on my phone.  They weren’t.  They were on my email which I couldn’t access until I got my laptop onto wifi.  I couldn’t get onto the wifi until I accessed my email and found my host’s wifi and password.  Catch 22.  I could always find a Starbucks, if only I could get onto the web to find where one was because I don’t know Flagstaff well…. Catch 23?

I wondered how friendly the locals were.  This is a fairly rural area – down a cinder gravel road.  I was in luck.  The second house I tried had a 4 furiously barking dogs and a friendly homeowner who stuffed them back into the house and sat on the steps with me and was willing to let me use his laptop as well as his wifi, though mine turned out to be faster.  Email accessed and problem solved!

Sonnet Challenge #25

So for a little light bedtime reading, it’s usually a science book or something similar.  I recently bought a science reference book (it’s useful to have a periodic table handy when my mind wanders) and read about the accuracy of Cesium clocks and other (mis-)uses of radioactive materials……

Atomic Time

 

We count the rot of Cesium to mark time;

we are obsessed with measuring the past

as it come at us, from a future cast

quite randomly; yet we strive to align

the whirl of planets circling the stars

above us.  Slicing time up like a pie

in pieces with precise equality

so we can note the passage of the hours.

We watch the atoms split, then split them more,

note and love the difference in decay,

and harness it to blow ourselves away,

then realize we cannot close that door.

We know that action made the world a mess

but that’s one thing we couldn’t second guess.

Sonnet Challenge #24

My friend and neighbor Bob and I usually get into some kind of philosophical discussion over dinner.  He usually comes to dinner on Mondays but he’s snowbirding at the moment so I get a few months off from trying to cook the healthy stuff he needs to eat.  A few weeks ago he was talking about visiting the graves of friends and relatives who have gone on to the next plane.  He said “I know they’re not there, but it’s like the last place they were, and it helps me to focus on ‘visiting’ with them.”  We both knew a sonnet was inevitable from that conversation.

Standing at your grave
Standing at your grave, you are not here.

Though bone or ash remains, your spirit’s flown;

and yet I came to visit one who’s dear

but taken flight.  This, your departure lounge,

a hollow hall where I can stand and wave

and visit memories you left behind.

It’s mostly when I stand here at your grave

the things you were come easily to mind

for me.  I know you wait ahead

with your side of the story that we are.

I’ll finish mine and see you when I’m dead,

where there’s no time and distances aren’t far

But now, beside your grave, I miss your face

and wish somehow you were here in this place.

Second Place!

Before you get too excited about my achieving second place with my chalk painting last Saturday in Moreno Valley, it was a very small field of competitors.  I also had a small booth at the art fair and my beloved was being the store keeper for me, while I wore off my fingerprints.  I discovered fairly early on that our choice of space to set up (chosen because putting Doug under the tree in the shade would allow me to use the umbrella to keep the blacktop I was working on from melting my fingers), was in front of the band.  The band (there were several during the course of the day) and the between-bands background music was LOUD.  So, to relieve Doug and allow him to walk around and repair his eardrums and sanity, I hurried through my work.

The need for speed was exacerbated by wind which took the umbrella for a tumble and meant I had to chalk with one hand while quickly rubbing the chalk into the now-scorching blacktop with the other.  I finished in 2 hours, and apparently was the only one who completely finished, though other chalkers, intending to take until 4pm created larger compositions.

I had a limited amount of blue, so did the surrounding ‘atmosphere’ in red, rather than follow the original, and created far less clouds than on the mixed media painting this was based on. For this it’s more about the message than the accuracy of the map.

Chalk painting

“That the world is round reminds us that we are on the same side.”

Sonnet Challenge #23

Muddle Through
We don’t know how to get from A to B,

the roads are blocked, the way through is unclear

.The truck in front blocks signs we need to see

,we take wrong turns trying to get out of here

but muddle through, then find the metaphor

for life – journey without a decent map.

The scenic route that lacks a guided tour.

Don’t know if we’ll arrive without mishap

or even know when we’ve arrived at all.

Our end point might just feel like we’re waylaid

and each attempt at progress we will fall

until we realize this is where we aged.

There’s no set path for anything we do

For most things, we’ll just have to muddle through.