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Diversity & CommUnity Ideas Verse

A GEOGRAPHICAL STATE OF MIND

People who live on water know that voices carry, they can distinguish the sound of the lark from the wren, and know when to venture further out, or come closer to shore and pull back in. They live a life that ebbs and flows.

Mountain people have secrets they hold close and keep deep inside, you have to dig to get to know them. Dark woods swallow sound, pulling everything in and down. They live a life that is close to the ground.

Plains people see far and wide, they can calculate the distance to the horizon. They were the first to fly and the future know. They live life in the open and reap what they sow.

Like a fish out of water Thadeus—Tadd—passed his time on the plains flopping around and gasping for air. Used to a fluid environment, he felt parched and anchored. His ocean-blue eyes—deep and changing—constantly sought focus in the expanded vista but found only a slight color shift, an inconsequential blurring between earth and sky, leaving one indistinguishable from the other. And with nothing for his eyes to grab onto between here and there except Mary, that is where his eyes stayed, and happily so, as Mary was lovely and her voice melodic.

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Diversity & CommUnity Ideas Verse

Fluffy White Powder

Snow blanketed the town in quiet isolation. It covered the roadways and rooftops and treetops, even the magnificent climbing tree that shaded the Carroll’s tiny well-maintained home across from the grade school. Everything was covered with feet of fluffy white powder. Borne by the wicked winter wind, it had curled around corners to layer unevenly on window ledges, lapped over porch screens to create rippling patterns, and drifted into mounds that covered bushes and bicycles, burying whole cars under its weight. It covered Myrtle’s flowerbeds leaving only some tall stalks visible, outlined in glistening ice.

Sledding behind cars was prohibited, and so Bob, Art, Harold and others got out their skis. They gathered at the top of 14th Street hill, put their skis on and waited, throwing snowballs and shoving each other around to stay warm. They were waiting for the first likely, unsuspecting bumper to come their way.

Art pulled his cap down over his ears, rubbed gloved hands together, and grabbed onto the silver fender of a blue Oldsmobile sliding off on wobbly but confident skis. He guided his way nimbly along the edge of the road, slipping back behind the car to avoid heaps of snow, trash cans, and occasional pedestrians. The hill was considerably steeper than he’d expected. His scarf flapped in the wind like a kite tail as he shifted his weight expertly beside the Olds’. Art was fourteen and fast. But gaining speed wasn’t the hard part, slowing down was. At a T-intersection, he lost the car when it turned the sharp corner to the left and Art found himself continuing forward, flying.

Eisenhower museum photo WWII Paraskiiers
WWII Paraskiier

He winced a bit now as he stretched, still sore, but he was the first one up as he usually was on cold mornings, up before anyone scratched a match to the cast iron to light the wood stove, when fingers of ice still tickled at the spine, encouraging a shiver. This morning was no exception. He nursed the cut that was sure to turn into a scar and remembered the impossibility of being airborne and the pain of landing as he scuttled into his jeans.

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Ideas Verse

Collision

When we collided

sparks flew

it was difficult to tell the difference

between me and you

so alike we two

we both burn hot and

we take our time to cool

now we are as one

a new sun

for a bright and shining moment

then undone.

Fractal art by Jack Cleveland

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Verse

BLINDED BY AUTHORITY

Shhhhh!

Whisper your truth.

Walk softly by the tyrant

Tread lightly near the rulers of gold

Otherwise permanent silence!

Swallow your pride

Tuck in your wings

Yes sir no sir intone

Shhhhh!

Lest they hear you

Oh the fear

They have of truth

Cover your eyes

Disappear

Lay it out for few

Shhhhh!

Spoilers walk behind

Stabbing at inconsistencies

Stretching out fallacies

Foaming at the mouth

Shhhhh!

Cry quietly your wisdom

Lest they come for you

Cover your ears

Cover your eyes

Cover your mouth

Forget you know.

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Verse

A Day in Pompeii

A DAY IN POMPEII

Broken glass

Shattered dreams

Rolling lava

Fire springs,

Life is precious

Dust and sand

Reclaim the bones

To make new land.

Pottery shards

& poetic lines of Sappho

Stand alone

Outside of time

Without flow,

Rename the pieces found

Like Sudoku,

Jigsaw puzzles, and riddles.

Gaping holes where knowledge once huddled,

Slipping

Like sand into the ocean,

Free from form – now muddled

Muddied, muted,

Shadow-ghosts of forgotten memories

Played out in a line, or

A small chunk of limestone or marble,

Just a day in Pompeii.