Sammi’s Weekend Prompt

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A Sip and a Nib

The poet sits and stares,
then doodles and sketches,
wondering where this will lead.

A sip from the cup of wisdom,
a wandering stare looks
through a window, searching
for worldly ineffable words
of brilliant order, expressing
the unspeakable, describing
all indescribable forbidden things.

A pen finds the artist’s hand,
familiar fingers hold its frame
and place the nib upon paper.

It begins: a poet’s search
for perfection and beauty.

***

Look both ways through the window of inspiration.
Mind the gaps for perfect words. 

Poetry: Eight is Number One

October is my favorite month
after September, until
it is November, which then
becomes my favorite month
before December. Then,
January changes everything and
I begin to dread July—

Which is when I start to yearn
for October again and
I look at the calendar and
I’m fixin’ to bitch about
the miserable Texas heat,

When my wife asks me where
I would like to go and
I answer, anywhere with
air conditioning, or where
it is October and she says,
it’s October now and
91 degrees outside.

I decide to go look
at the thermostat and to
think about Thanksgiving,
a good economy, and global
warming. She refuses to
live where it is cold.

Look both ways, but time is unidirectional
and never stops, until it does.
Gaps in time are cosmic to the mind.

Fandango’s Provocative Question (#45)

Fandango’s provocative question ends up as three questions. They are:

1. Are there limits to human creativity?

2. Is it possible for humans to create something completely novel and new that is based on nothing that previously existed?

3. Or is human creativity just rearranging and building on previous ideas?

His inspiration appears to have been biblical from Ecclesiastes, there is nothing new under the sun.

In his first question, I want to change creativity to achievement. But that’s just me. I have three answers to that question. They are yes, no, and I don’t know. Yes, because there must be limits, but I can’t tell you what they are. No because in my lifetime, I have seen so much done by humans, achievement seems limitless. I don’t know because the question is theoretical and fenced by definitions and terminology.

For the second question I have to say it is not possible for humans to create something from nothing (I deal with this all the time regarding the origin of the universe). In fact, I’m not sure nothing is even possible. We may discover something we did not know existed, but that is not creating it. I love reading about creative hacks for common household items (or figuring out some myself). Is a new way of using something common not creative? Vaccines are a creative way to use the human body’s natural immune system to combat disease. But we did not create it. Discovery, yes.

In the third question I again object to the word creativity. Rearranging and building are creative endeavors. Discovering new ways of using anything is what has been done. In fact, I find the way the question is posed to be creatively demeaning of the human spirit.

As far as the claim nothing new under the sun goes, for Solomon there may not have been. But Earth is not all that is under the sun, right? Who knows what else may be discovered away from our planet and how that may be achieved by humans?

Look both ways for answers but mind the eternal gaps.

Poetry: The Young Turks: Wisdom of Frogs and Toads

When I ran with the dogs,
with the whippets and hounds, but mostly
with many young mongrels,

Confident advice flowed with barking
ignorance as Young Turk wisdom without
benefit of time or trial.

All things were defined by toads little wiser
or experienced than were we pups, with
foibles and foolishness all their own.

Success and failure were measured by the ignorance
of prediction rather than outcome, by dreams
over reality, by desires above experience.

Dead war dog stories try telling us
that neither happiness nor success
bother to dress up in frogskins.

Shine your light when you look both ways.
Mind and mine deeply gaps of the past
filled with learned experience.

Poetry: Cut Throat

After being an Air Force officer for several years,
after being an enlisted dude for four years, and after
the oddly trainee controlled officer
training school, then flight training,
survival training, combat crew training
and many other experiences
that I have long since forgotten,

I was assigned to the Training Command
as a flight training instructor and commander.

An old instructor of mine was still there,
but he had been away to USC
to get his PhD.

He described command
flight training as a thousand officers
standing knee-deep in chicken shit,
stabbing each other in the back.

I found that description to be
remarkably accurate.

Look both ways in competitive careers.
Mind the gaps and where you step – and check six!
(motherfucker)

Poetry: Shots and Jabs

I was 18, standing in a line or queue up of young men like me,
Kennedy was dead and LBJ faced off with a cool-named
guy called Barry Goldwater. It was basic military training
in San Antonio, Texas, near where I would later spend
more than 16 years of my life.

Up ahead stood four medical corpsmen with what looked like
space age weapons called jet gun vaccinators, with small
deadly vials on top and compressed air hoses attached.
Later they learned these were spreading diseases
like hep-c, luckily not into me.

When the corpsman’s aim was bad, a sliced bleeding arm
could send a sad lad to fainting, out cold, falling,
rolling down the nearest bloodstained hill.
We got so many shots
we had to keep a little yellow book as a shot record,
that included things like typhoid and yellow fevers.
And other shit I’d never heard of or wanted.

They call it parenteral since you don’t swallow it
(remember polio vaccine on the sugar cubes?)
so the names are always intra-something like
-muscular, -venous, -cardiac, -articular; and get this,
intracavernous is a jab at the base of a man’s penis to
check and treat for erectile dysfunction.

I’ve had so many shots and jabs, most required for my job,
as military we go to places folks have such diseases.
Now, I’m a walking pharma needing boosters for old men.
I took the second of the new shingles jab last week, next month
they will shoot me with the flu (extra strength for old farts),
a disease I may get anyway — like I did last year.

I saw an advertisement for old people to get whooping cough shots
so as not to infect the young ones, who spend a good bit
of their time infecting the older ones. I think my whooping
immunity was the hosting of the disease itself, as it was with
mumps and measles and who knows what all I got into.
The chicken pox never really left, ergo shingles.

Nowadays, I get my shots at the grocery store along with
bread and milk and maybe some wine. No white clad corpsman,
no jet guns or four shots at a time. I decide. Three different
shingles shots and six weeks with a case of that pox-related
nightmare virus, I sure hope my immune system
fends off any of that painful shit, shingles.

 

Look both ways and thank science and immunity for better health
at the cost a poke. Mind the gaps,
a compromised immune system invites trouble.