Saturday, February 28, 2015

Minecraft for life...


Open link night and the changing of the guard at  As Brian and Claudia pass the helm onto Bjorn and others, we continue to share our poetry and they promised they aren't going far. I have been writing this prose poem in my mind for awhile.  I will be late to comment, per usual. Today and tomorrow the grand kids basketball tournaments - thanks

Minecraft for life...

In the beginning we are pretty cute
we play, wonder, discover
When we start the game we do not know that
we've limited time in this giant world
We learn of fairies, genies, watch TV
With pretend with bows,  arrows and guns
We fend off foes with friends,
zombies and monsters,
yet we feel no threats to our protected life - 
and of course, we follow the rules of the game

In friendly sunshine, we start exploring -
find animals, plants, clouds, nature
We welcome all with both fear and 
We have adrenalin for adventure;
life is dynamic, joyful and fun
When night falls and skeletons come out
we pull our wooden sword,
barricade the door from creepy crawlies 
outside our room

In this game, sometimes you win..
and also lose
You learn it is about not only you, but others
You enter the creative mode 
and learn to build survivor skills 
You build complex machinery,
craft tools, and prepare your arsenal 
Minecraft is just a  game, 
there are no rules
There is a clock in the upper corner of the screen,

You construct simple house with four wooden walls, 
a door, no floor, no roof, no bed 
You don’t need more, just shelter
You mine just enough coal,
craft just enough torches to lighten your way
The game really is just blocks with 
different aspects interacting 
With your avatar you mine your way 
through a tunnel or cave, 
or through a mountain 

"They" crawl behind you and then,
literally explode,
It is pitch black and you meet a dead end;
you start digging a hole, but upwards
You mine a few blocks of rocks,
 find dirt and grass,
but then you hear sheep
Yes, that's right, sheep, purple sheep
You reach the top of a mountain with 
the aid of purple sheep by your side 

There are things outside that want to hurt you 
and stop your clock immediately
"They" make a lot of noise 
when following you
So you have plenty of time to prepare yourself
Your challenge is to live as long as you can
You fend them off bravely, determined
Even though when they find you,
you die, you have many lives to play with

In the real world, we amble along
in this state of vulnerability
We see our first beautiful sunset,
we finish school,  eventually find love,
We accomplish things and widen
 our perspectives, work and play 
and uncover diversity of the world 
It is the most reasonable and fulfilling thing to do
We find adventure, gain experience,
build new worlds, gather our resources

It's your choice; 
your resources are infinite
But in reality,
we experience ugly bruised feelings,
even unworthiness and exclusion
We soon hear the most intriguing things 
Now that you are in the full game of life,
you also notice there is a countdown
You've learned you have limited time 
THAT changes your whole perspective 

What is your purpose? 
How are you going to spend your time? 
Though some combatants are deadly, silent -
accidents and diseases,
others make a lot of noise and give warning.
You know you can protect yourself,
you forge ahead, and enjoy every minute
You are more alive, because now,
 you've learned you have
limited time to play 

What will you accomplish with your avatar?
You will move your house and stuff,
will live in another world, 
perhaps with another person, 
other things going on
One day everything will be gone
Will there be another world after this? 
I don’t know, but I hope so  
There is no actual clock in the upper corner
counting down the time
 you or I have left in the world 

Of course you notice the metaphor
You see how Minecraft mimics life,
with almost the exact same text
It's amazing how a modest game 
models so closely life itself  
Yet, life is just the the interactions 
of atoms and energy. 
The beauty of this is that the focus 
is on living experiences, not on collecting stuff
Stuff is left behind

But experiences are part of you. 
Remember, you can’t see it, but the clock is ticking… 
Wouldn't it be nice to know your countdown
or have someone warn you?
"Good morning, just to let you know -
 that this is your last day"!?"
I really don't know, but know that time is running out, 
I’m thankful that I didn't waste it all
For awhile, the game will remember me
I can win and I certainly can lose, but it will just end
One can't insert more coins or simply
click on an icon
What time do I have left in this world? 
I really don’t know, 
but I hope there's no  standing in line,
and I hope it will be an adventure

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A joust between the left and right.....sides of the brain

For fun again today -  Jousting is the sport - we chose a line from two different poems written by Claudia and Brian to write a new poem in the same spirit as Tuesday's prompt, which was Medieval times.
The line (s) (2, one line from each poem) are underlined:

Where is the emphasis in your thinking?
Is it your right or left brain?
"What's the difference?" she asks

"It is huge", he says, and leaves her hanging
She does some research -
how much of this development is affected
by life experiences, she wonders, 
and how much is inherent?
Does it act like the moon and wax and wane?

When I paint, I am creating,
using the right side of my brain;
but when I am critical about my painting,
I am using more of the left side 
than the right, right?
Thankful I am for the nurturing I had,
a mother's guiding loving example,
with just the right amount of pragmatism.
Otherwise, as I understand it,
I might be emotionless, cold,
not fruitful or regretful...worse!
I would be robotic, a logarithm 
where a chip inside computes.

I don't know the latest science on this;

all I know is that one side of my brain
seems more dominant,
seems to have taken over the other 
The left side always en guarde,
the right side allowing me to explore and enjoy
It is an almost equal match; 
Are there no rules for the tilting 
by the hemispheres of the brain?
Do both parties wear helmets and armor, 
carry a shield as in a joust?
If that is so, then, in the case of my
particular brain, the tournament is over - 

Some games won,  most foiled... 
by the steely blade of the left brain's lance,
and in an  Attaque au fer , over much time,
my horse lost its footing and stumbled
The right side has taken over it's true,
though the left is alive and kicking
You might say opposing sides shook hands
in harmony,  but for all practical purposes, 
all things weighed and considered, 
the battle ended in a   CoupĂ©

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Maid Katharine's Movable Medieval feast...

At the head of the table sits the king
at the distant other end sits his queen;
Wooden goblets overflow with fine wine
Guests in high back velvet chairs sit between

Servants set the table sparsely with forks,
shiny carving knives, soup bowls and ladle
Lads in festive garb carry huge platters
overhead of fruit, figs, nut meats hazel

Straight from the fire comes fresh game, venison,
pork, beef, sweetbreads, succulent roast pheasant
From the kitchen, cheese curd, pickled herring
delicate quail eggs, simmered turtle soup

Plum pudding and apple-quince pie prepared
for the sake of celebration and mirth
Robust arms wrestle for drumsticks and legs,
tossing, discarding aside bones with dearth

Ladies forget dainty table manners -
while servants keep a continuous run
Triumphant toasts are raised all around, some
prefer to pass just jugs of homemade rum

Jesters and mimes perform with great aplomb;
Human targets stand in the forest trees;
doing all they can to remain quite calm
arrows fly at the greatest of speed

Quite serious moves are contemplated
in a mean game of chess or jousting a man
from his horse, landing him in a puddle
Full-bellied men, flushed ladies loll in rattan

Women untie their girdles, unleash their
bosoms to breathe; drunk young men trail maidens
into the woods playing games, in search of
greener fields, of beds yet undiscovered                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
Plenty of gluttony and sloth, needless
to say; truth be told, much baring of souls
with loud incongruous soliloquies ...
Some dance on tables, become total fools

No business is considered at this time,
no property exchanged, new laws made
Frankincense circles the encampment there                                                                                    
not far from the castle's high stone walls

Days of Robin Hood and his band of men
shared life together in Sherwood Forest
They dared robbing the ladies of their jewels,
the men their purses, for the poor, of course.

I remember the earliest version
romanticized in Hollywood, of Maid
Marian, flowers in her tresses, Big
Little John, Friar Tuck and followers

Oft I wonder if the story was true,
The legend reminds me of fiscal today
and the 99%, versus a few
Parallels are clearly evident of
this form of selfish indulgence
Modern man's precedent was set back then
when people followed blindly a pied piper
It's our responsibility to unleash
kindness's full power and to reverse the 
... and stop playing games like -
pin the tail on the donkey..

We are transitioning this week over at the Poetics web-site called  The changing of the guard does not mean people are leaving, but rather re organizing and and re-energizing the place.  Still there will be poems posted 3 times a week with some surprises thrown in.  In celebration we are having a joust of sorts -coming together for a banquet of poetry all about Med-evil society.  Have fun reading and hop over to read a bit.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Field and stream....another version..

dVerse Poets Pub
We are writing from some time in the future. looking back, in one way or another today 

Today, sun and rain douse the meadow,

spring's wildflowers come alive, 
sprouting with color
I remember when all faded
into a volcano's glutenous 
magma slide

My body jerks as I snap out of slumber,

awakened by the nightmare
of global warming
I try to focus on the present day,
but my mind and body are the 
worse for wear

It's true, it seems like just yesterday

when we lost hope, saw a future bleak
Those who wouldn't listen 
succumbed quickly when disasters
and diseases spread,
chaos and havoc wreaked

It was an inconvenient truth;

high seas churned to boiling
Nations fought and stole for thirst 
and hunger's sake,
though for many years before,
they had sufficient warning

El Nino, atomic spills, pollution 
and more had defined our way of life,
dominated our culture
A world in constant denial for decades,
and congresses at a standstill,
we suffered constant hell and strife

Until a brave generation said "NO!"
They knew first hand the threats of 
emanate doom
Born in the late 2040's,
they were prepared for 
 - revolution

Upon them befell impossible trials 
and tribulation;  millions revolted, 
They sought to save the parched earth
from its own demise
Young people paid a dear price
with their blood and sacrifice

New information led to 
new technologies,
The youth of the world
secured a grand "coup d' etat"
With new tools and non violent skills, 
THEY are the greatest generation

The  American and allied forces
secured and won WWII
But to previous generations' disgrace,
under auspices of a new idealism,
a mid 21st century prodigy
put giant Eco systems in place

They abolished ancient laws,
rooted out corruption and fiscal waste,
wrote new legislation
From our own west coast 
to the far eastern shores
reign solar, wind, magnetic energies

Therefore, in my old age, 
it's sometimes hard to believe,
unheard of to this day,
that a world of garnered spirits
could police itself to create
a peace, so that  someday -

Today,  I awaken 
from dreams of the past 
to welcome wildflowers, 
gently blowing in pristine air,
divided by a clear stream....
as I sit in this easy chair
not wearing rose colored glasses

Friday, February 13, 2015

John Muir on his horse, Nob...

It's winter break and the grandkids are out of school.  I'm looking forward to reading and commenting over the weekend.  We are challenged this week by Gay Cannon to write a poem in the iconic form used by Robert Frost in  Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.   I chose to paraphrase another writer's story in the form and this is the result:

From John Muir's Story from his Boyhood and Youth


Nob was a great horse, writes John Muir,                                                                        
She knew when we talked about her
She understood everything;
we played in our barn and pasture

He wrote of Nob, remembering
one hot, sultry summer evening -
in town, twenty four miles away
there was a revival meeting

Father rode her hard that long day
she breathed heavily all the way
So tired and wilted from the heat
she drooped when I unhitched her rein

The next day the doc came to treat
her lungs were inflamed, she was beat,
Same pneumonia symptoms as me -
I bathed her head; she would not eat

The next day we let her go free
with playmates she wanted to be
Her trembling and beseeching eyes
were heartbreaking for us to see

A most faithful horse, true and wise
I pet her head to soothe her cries
As the family gathered 'round
She lay down bleeding - then she died

In farm life real knowledge is found
Kids grow and thrive outside school bounds
Respect for mortal souls gains ground
learned godlike sympathies abound

Friday, February 6, 2015

His profession chose him..

He kept pushing numbers on the page,

then brashly across the chalkboard,
onto the ceiling, down the walls -
out the door

He caught lusty equations falling from the sky;

to desire something so passionately is to protect,
is to be jealous, is to love

He said "imagination is everything",

that falling in love was not caused by gravity,
a genius somewhere in time

Daring that simple math equals the inner

beauty of the universe, he experimented with 
infinity, invented the theory of relativity

A pioneer in his field,  he pushed symbols and 

words around, flipped them like pancakes in the air,
pushing, pushing for answers,
 ideas for the betterment of man          - Physicist -
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Claudia's prompt is to select an occupation, choose 10 nouns about the proffession or job and 10 verbs that relate.  Combine and write.     

..another one; don't know if it's kosher to sneak this in as an will most likely go unnoticed

-Judge -

It was the new spring in his walk,
the fact he had no alibi
The court opined he would repeat 
the crime

His hand caught in the cookie jar,

as he reached for the fig newton
His lawyer is writing an appeal

Found guilty of stealing the donkey,
then disrobing at the ballet,
he was sentenced to endless hoeing of the yard

The judge listened in all fairness,
to all of the testimony; 
after much thought he decided 
the offender, who lived in the street 
simply wanted to be in jail

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Fire and ice..

Tuesdays is Poetics day over at      and the prompt is "snow". It's been tough in the East but here we've had just one snowfall which was beautiful and lasted just long enough for it to be thoroughly enjoyed.

Tiniest of soft quilts,
each patterned differently,
fall light grey against the pale moonlight (yes, at the same time)
Coolness lands on my flushed hot cheeks,
my tongue for them does reach
in childlike delight -
as when you and I did meet

Snowflakes accumulate,
cover the roads and lawn,
came our idea to build a snow faun
So hard to know just what to expect;
all melts and disappears
You held me closely but
there was no future perfect

With every first snowfall,
I recall how you lit my fire
In the past tense, but not forgotten,
the love we shared for a little while,
when under a blanket of snow we slept
Those years I do not regret -
for a long time, you in my heart I kept