DAILY PHOTO: Bull Oversees the Line at Soylent Green Production Facility

Taken on July 24, 2021 in Sigandur, KA, India

POEM: The Shepherd Dream [PoMo Day 23 – Eclogue]

I lie on the sloping hillside;
damp grass tickles my neck.
I hear the bleating beasts kibitz
as dogs keep them in check.

My eyes closed to the azure dome,
until eyelids grow dim.
I open wide to see the sky,
and note that it grows grim.


It's time to consult my sheepdog,
"Should we beat it, or stay?"

He barks to me, "Now can't you see,
the clouds 're dirty wool gray?"

"I see it clearly as my hand,
but what does that shade mean?"

"It means you're not a shepherd, and
you may need the latrine."

POEM: Kim Yo-Jong [PoMo Day 11 – Clerihew]

Attribution: Kim Jinseok, Blue House
Dear Sister, Kim Yo-Jong,
won't have to wait long.
She'll take power easy as you please,
if her brother keeps eating wheels of cheese.

POEM: Inconspicuous Zebra

I am a master of camouflage.
Blink and I’ll have vanished.
My stripy suit may make you think
that I have been banished
from the savanna to some jail,
but I’m still standing here.
Can you see me blending so well?
“Poof,” and I disappear.

POEM: Yoga for Giraffes

Surely, I have misunderstood,
“Put my head where, you say?”
“But I have bones, don’t you know?”
“I wish I could obey.”

“Now, you say, my feet are too wide?”
“Really, what the heck!”
“You said put my head ‘tween my feet,
have you seen my frickin’ neck?”

“I wasn’t built to stand on my head!”
“What do you mean, ‘We’ll see?'”
“I’m not sure that you’re acquainted
with a thing called gravity.”

POEM: Confessions of a Closet Luddite

Some people dream of shoving a boss in front of an inbound train. My own fantasies run to the smashing of computers and phones into a fine — if toxic — dust.

I don’t know what it says about me that:
-I equate these machines with the boss from that first scenario,
and, also,
-(like the aforementioned people) I’m too scared to go through with it.

I realize that these devices make life much easier…
except when they don’t, and it’s only then that I want to murder destroy them. Of course, the person who wants to murder her boss doesn’t want to do it when there is cake in the breakroom or when an unexpectedly generous bonus comes through — just, you know, the other times.

Unlike the original Luddites, I don’t hate machines out of a fear that they will replace me.
They already make a better economist than I ever did.
And even if the machines pick up their poetry-writing game,
that’s why I have the yoga instructor gig to fall back on…

[Because I’m convinced it will be decades before humans feel comfortable learning backbends from an entity that can twist rebar like a bendy-straw.]

No, I detest our silicon brethren because I have been sold a line that they can (and do) only do what I ask of them. [Hence the reason I don’t get so enraged by humans; anytime a person does something I ask is an unadulterated victory.] Instead, sometimes the computer does what I ask, but the next time something else entirely may happen. If the machines were consistently unable to complete the task, I would chalk that up to my failure to understand them. As it is, I’m left with a landscape of disturbing possibilities:

One, the machines are pranking me. (If this turns out to be the case, I think we can, eventually, be friends.)

Two, my computer’s desolate existence is causing it to try to commit “suicide by user.”

Three, we live in a glitching universe, and at any given moment the machine may produce a random unexpected result.

I don’t want to go back to the Stone Age, but I do have a newfound understanding of the allure of Steampunk. Contrary to the name, no one ever got punked by a steam engine. (Scalded and blown up, yes, but never punked.) The same cannot be said of a smartphone.

POEM: An Exercise in Everyday Absurdity [Prose Poem]

At an optician’s office, I was being sold a scratch-proof coating for my new eyeglasses. I usually summarily reject last-minute add-ons designed to squeeze additional profit out of the consumer, assuming they are all like rust-proofing, extended warranties, and muffler-nut re-torqueing plans — which is to say, needlessly complicated ways to toss away money.

But this guy was compelling. Well, in part he was compelling, and in part I tend to drop things [phones, glasses, remote-controls, toaster pastries, etc.] with great regularity. So, when I was offered this space-age scratch-proof coating, a coating that I was promised could survive being tumbled around in a cement mixer, I was sold.

Then, as this salesman was packing up my glasses, he said, “Here is your special cleaning cloth. Make sure you use this cloth — and ONLY this cloth — when cleaning your glasses.”

To which I replied, “Uh, why…, exactly?”

“Because you’ll scratch the coating,” he said patronizingly, as one might to a child or an adult one suspected a court of law had deemed mentally incompetent to dress himself.

“So this ‘scratch-proof’ coating, the one that’s supposed to survive a five-story fall and sidewalk bounce, the one that nearly doubles the cost of the glasses, that coating can’t survive whatever grit might remain lodged in a freshly-laundered cotton T-shirt?”

“Exactly! Now you’re getting it. So, just make sure you only use the special cloth, okay?” he said in a manner that I feared would end in the tousling of my hair.

Do you know why I believe this salesman was so good at his job? Most people would get severe cognitive dissonance-induced headaches from trying to maintain this matrix of logically-inconsistent information in one brain. This individual was unplagued by such difficulties. That allowed him to not only maintain a straight face while being challenged on the issue, but to truly believe that it is those who have trouble reconciling these conflicting pieces of information that are defective.

This might sound like a rant, but it’s not. I’m convinced that it is people such as he who will inherit the earth, and I’m in awe of their special gift.

POEM: Hyperqueryitis

When I was a young boy, earlier than I can remember, I caught hyperqueryitis — a permanent affliction denoted by a propensity to ask “too many damned questions” — or so it was explained to me.

The condition can become exacerbated by certain common treatments — all of which are popular replies of the adult human being, such as:

-“… because it just is, that’s why!”

-“… because it’s always been that way!”

-“… we’ll get there when we get there and not a moment sooner!”

Side-effects may include: the use of words such as: propensity, affliction, and exacerbate; as well as a marked tendency to make up one’s own words.