I cannot take complete credit for this poem (for in reality I contributed only one line of this tanka), but as soon as I saw this one-word prompt from the Daily Post, I thought of it. My coworkers and I create a tanka each week, with each writer contributing a line at a time. A few weeks ago, our staff came out with this one:
An unhappy truth:
Our quaint little coffee pot
uses a filter
hewn from Shadow and the Void.
Now it only brews decaf!
A tanka is like an extended form of the haiku. For information on about the history, use, and formatting of a tanka, click here.
I think that this poem is my favorite one that my staff and I have cranked out so far, because to me decaf coffee is, indeed, the liquid form of the void. If you know me or see how many cups of the dark stuff I drink every day, you know.
My most recent post before this one was written about a year ago (to be exact: a year minus eight days). Here’s to posting more often on my blog! Cheers.
In response to the prompt entitled “Can’t Drive 55” by the Daily Post, and using the “Calamity Song” by the Decemberists.
Because it wasn’t us? Sure. Because the cause never affected us, but could have? sure. We were born to be the privileged, the few who escape murder on the basis of who we are, where we are. Those who died were born into that doomed lot, which still doesn’t include us yet, which will never have a rest from predators.
I look at the news with my roommate and sigh. We’re still here. We’re still safe. We look at the news-curated pictures of the fallen (in school poses or warm parties) as though they’re doomed cards in the deck. And suddenly we can’t care beyond the surface news of their death. We can’t dwell on the circumstances any deeper than the sterile words of the reports because there are so many fallen. So many that the words float to us routinely. “Who got shot today?” And there will be an answer. “Was it just one person or a lot of people?” Another anwer. “Why did this happen?” Answer. “How can we stop this from happening again?” Answer. Repeat tomorrow.
And the pictures of the fallen reappear on the screen so that their lives can be viewed through the lens of their deaths, like their whole lives were set up to end at this moment, at the hands of a fellow mortal. Like maybe they were made to be examples of what happens when…
But we sigh with relief because today was their day, and not ours. It was their school, their pain, their fate, and not ours.
…but tomorrow looms overhead. Maybe.
In response to the Daily Post’s prompt, I Have Confidence in Me:
It reads: “Are you good at what you do? What would you like to be better at?”
But what is it, exactly, that I do? The most accurate response I can think of for that is that “I do me.” My own particular flavor of me that is unique to me only. I’ve got:
- a whole lot of learning (as a student learning to be a teacher, that’s kind of the basis for my entire life)
- Galatians 5:22-23
- a couple dashes of sisterhood
- a generous handful of daughter-hood
- a heap of friendship
- impatience (no time to care about how much)
- enough coffee for a daily serving
- a cloud of pensiveness
- a heavy dusting of authorship
- a heart-full of love, generosity, and kindness with a ratio of 4:2:2
- various measures of stubbornness and inner stability
These are just some of the first things that come to mind. No matter how confident I am in them, there will always (*always*) be space for me to be better at them.
Free Association from today’s Daily Prompt!
Home –> Life
Soil —> Plant
Rain —> Refreshing
Here are my beautiful plants:
I currently only have these four in my plant family, but I intend to add more indoor greenery very soon! Namely, an air plant, string of pearls, and some mint. I can’t wait to start growing them!
For today’s Daily Prompt post, Enough is Enough, I’m writing about something that has actually been inhabiting my recent posts. The good thing is that I’m getting better about it. The last time I threw in the towel and walked away was when I knew that it was evident that I wasn’t going to study abroad anymore. After I knew that I had pulled out all of the stops I could and done whatever I might be able to do, I was finished. I was trapped with the decision, so in flew the towel which I had been clutching with a death grip. At first, I spread my tears over that forlorn metaphorical towel (frequently). Then I glared at it and tried to figure out ways to pick it up again. I kept getting angry and jealous when I stole glances at people who had not been forced to toss in the towel and give up a dream. Now I’m at a point where I must either let the towel-throwing decision control me or decide to finally walk away for good and try not to look at it ever again. I’ve taken a few steps back now, but I haven’t completely turned my back on that towel in the middle of the fighting ring. To be continued.
Today’s Daily Post Prompt (entitled “Brain Power“) sounds as though it was inspired by the recent movie called Lucy:
If I had the ability to unlock the other 90% of the cerebral capacity of my brain, I would learn all of the languages of this world. That’s always been my first wish for myself! Then I could talk to people (anyone in the world!) and hear their stories, listen to their music, read their books, really experience the culture. I would also be sure to learn the language so that I sound like a native. Blending in would be nice.
After that, I would look at how to be of the most benefit to the rest of the world (now that I can talk to all of them). Maybe it’s curing a disease or something. If my brain is that powerful, then that shouldn’t be such a daunting endeavor. Maybe there’s something more complex to do that would not have been an option for 10%-brain-capacity-me. I’m not sure! Either way, I would learn a lot. That would be the primary objective after I’ve learned to make use of the rest of my mind.
After I’m done doing some of that, I bet I’d go back to teaching again. I would teach people whatever language they want to learn. That way, more people know more language, so more communication can happen!
My desires are simple. Besides these things, I don’t know what I’d do with such a gift. Even if I was given only the ability to speak, read, write, and understand all languages, I’d probably be happy enough, actually.
Today, I am borrowing a prompt from the December NaBloPoMo prompts: “Gandhi said, ‘Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.’ Agree or disagree? Is there more to happiness than that?”
I agree! It sounds like, when all three of these things are in accordance for you, then you’re being your true, genuine self…and I can’t think of anything more gratifying than that. It’s hard to always be at a place where your mind, words, and actions all coincide peacefully with each other. When at least two of these things are out of sync, you probably feel it. When what you think goes against what you do, it can feel like running your hand against the grain of very rough wood. When your spoken words don’t resemble your thoughts, then it can feel like you’re about to explode (there was a lot of THAT going on this holiday season…).
Then again…sarcasm can be a joy. It’s when your thoughts don’t match up with your words, too, but the situation is exploited for the benefit of an audience which enjoys verbal irony. And that can either be a bunch of fun or a load of bother. For people who revel in being contrary, this is an awesome opportunity. For others, it is a woeful pain. Depends on the situation and what you like to do about it.
So it’s great if your thoughts, words, and actions all work towards the same thing! When they don’t, though, it’s up to you to figure out what to do and how to feel about it.