Micropoetry Monday: Apocalypse

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When nearly all the world had become infertile
from the measures taken to prevent overpopulation,
children became more precious than saffron,
rarer than the Sumatran rhino & Darwin’s fox,
for what did it mean to save the planet
when there would be no one left to inhabit it?

For the postmodern world began to suppose
that mothers & fathers were interchangeable.
Yet it was proven that one person
could never be both father & mother,
but rather,
the best parent for what has always been a 2-parent family.
For to lose a mom
was not
to lose a dad
or vice versa.
In marriage,
their flesh had become one,
but in the eyes of their children,
Mom & Dad were separate entities
that had merged their sacred powers of procreation
to create flesh of their flesh,
& to imbue that flesh with the spirit
they would send out into the world–
not to seek their fortune,
but to make the world more fortunate
for them having been in it.

For the world
became such a place,
that only the experts
could speak
on certain subjects.
One had to be an artist
to talk about art,
an activist to discuss politics,
a chef to critique food.
Such was The State’s way
of controlling
the flow of
misinformation,
& so any talk of morality
was the first to go.

Golden Stars and Silver Linings

Just received another addition to my daughter’s time capsule: a collection of nursery rhymes I wrote after bringing her home from the hospital. When I put together a PowerPoint presentation on Transcendentalism incorporating the pastoral, the picturesque, and the sublime, I used this close-up of my daughter smelling a daisy (my favorite flower) to epitomize the childlike wonder of discovery. @mixbook does such a beautiful job. Unlike another service, my em dashes (and all other punctuation) are preserved in transferring text from Word to the app. As a grammarian, this feature is essential.

Wording our way through homeschooling

I refer to Bananagrams as “Freestyle Scrabble.” The object of most games is to win, but this one is to learn. I love Bananagrams because we’re not spending time calculating scores (not that that wouldn’t be a totally righteous mathy thing to do) but learning words—not just how to spell them but their meanings, definitions, and, if needed, what they look like. We flip an old gameboard (we have a Life gameboard that split), draw seven tiles apiece, and play Bananagrams just like Scrabble, with my tablet on standby if we need to look up a word. If we need to look something up, we go to Dictionary.com (yeah, it’s the Wikipedia of dictionaries, but I like the fun format) and use the speaker to listen to the word. The other evening, I spelled “harp,” so I not only googled an image of one but found a YouTube video to watch and listen to one being played.

Though we only do 16 words, it’s pretty involved. Bananagrams has been a great way to teach prefixes and suffixes and how just adding an e to the end of a word changes its meaning. I also just added a sign language component.

Years ago, when I still lived at home, my dad and I played Scrabble on a CD-ROM. We didn’t like keeping score or looking things up in a paper dictionary (we just wanted to play!). He hardly ever won, took forever (I once read a whole novel during his turns), was totally obsessed over landing on the triple word score squares, and always accused me of “piggybacking” off his words (i.e., scoring more off his words than he did). I’d get annoyed that he never cared what a word meant (so long it was a word) and forced him to listen to me read the definition. Mom used to play with us, but she didn’t have the patience to sit through his turns. I mean, it wasn’t chess!

Winning (for me) was harder when my mom played because she never played defensively (which was also annoying). But, I enjoyed these times with my parents immensely, and that is what I will have with my daughters. How ironic it is that what I used to play on a screen, I am playing the old school way 20 years later.

The Year of the Tigress

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions; I prefer to look back at last year’s accomplishments. Maybe that’s because doing something motivates me more than planning to do something. One of the hardest things I did was kick the soda habit (this Coca-Colaholic hasn’t had a drink for months). I checked my blood sugar this morning for the first time in almost a year, and it was where it should be. My dad has diabetes, his mom had it, and her mom had it. My mom kicked cancer’s ass twice, so I can do the same with diabetes (or rather, preventing it). Fighting genetics isn’t fun, but I am doing it with the same determination I put into math classes, homeschooling, and my current gigs (I freelance for a living). Since giving up soda, I have found that I crave sweets less. Just a few bites of something sweet after dinner (I even gave up the sweet thing I used to have with my morning coffee), and that’s all I really want. So, how did this Coca-Colaholic give up soda? When I was carrying my second child, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Suddenly, because my habit no longer affected just me but someone else, I found the motivation to give up my Mexican Coca-Cola. Even after having my daughter, I had become accustomed to drinking sparkling water. When I tried drinking soda again, it still tasted great, but the cravings were gone. My next goal: getting used to unsweetened coffee (but Milo’s iced tea with Stevia stays).

On Minimalism

For me, minimalism is not about having too much or too little but just the right number/amount. We have a good-sized library of kids’ books (reading on Kindle isn’t the same), board games, puzzles, art supplies, LEGOs—all of which we use. We hardly have anything we don’t use, and when we come across it, we toss it or, if it can be donated, we donate it. I have tons of glass jars from instant coffee, baby food (see my glass menagerie of kept jars?), and so forth, which I use to organize. We do lots of reusing and recycling, and our house is pretty tidy for having two kids. We saved almost everything from Baby #1 so that we didn’t have to buy near as much for Baby #2—about seven years’ worth of clothes. Minimalism is not about having a sterile, generic-looking house but about not having a bunch of clutter or junk you don’t use. This year, I’ve been channeling my inner Buddy the Elf and paper crafting whenever and wherever I can. I’ve noticed that pages on minimalism consider experiences better than things. However, missing from that rationale is that the experiences of reading a book, playing a game, doing a jigsaw puzzle, painting a picture, and building a LEGO creation include using things. You can spend thousands of dollars on a Disney vacation (experience) that lasts a few days or a hundred dollars on a handful of board games (things) that will give you many more hours of enjoyment. And the memories made in Disney World (speaking from personal experience) are not as sharp or wonderful as the thousands more made elsewhere—in the everyday.

Micropoetry Monday: Life

Photo Shape Editor: https://www.tuxpi.com/photo-effects/shape-tool

For her,
life wasn’t just something to write about—
it was something to live.
Life was a test,
with its true questions
& false answers,
& its limited number of multiple choices.

As part of her self-prescribed Happiness Project,
Dr. Hart learned to love the one she was with
& to love the ones she had.

When it came to picking a mate,
it was drawing the best fit from a small bank
where sometimes all the good answers
were already taken.