Crosswalk Courtesy

Gossip Column

by: Zeitgeist Karen (White. Female. Opinionated & highly concerned. Detail Sleuth. Never heard a story I couldn’t tell better.)

I don’t know that it’s news that some people have forgotten how to drive in this quarantine. 🚗😱🚑

(My suspicion is that they are the people who have NOT been staying home, who have been driving on empty roads this whole time and now have to deal with more cars as quarantine restrictions are relaxed by people who don’t believe in science. BUT, since I have been abiding restrictions, I have no proof of this.)

Unfortunately, thoughtless driving is leading to run-ins like this.

I think we ALL know how this woman feels. Thoughtless driving by strangers is stressful on the best of days!

So be kind, everyone. And play by the rules! You never know who is having a hard day and what your lack of effort might do to them.

A small thing to you can be the straw the broke the camel’s back to someone else.

Hugs to everyone 🤗💖💖💖 and stay safe out there!

Releasing Fear into the Tumult

New Age

by: Capella Nion (Oracle to an ever-changing future. All prophesies have room for correction, unless otherwise stated.)

Crystal ball emoji

As the quarantine continues, an unspoken gap between two types of people is growing: The “essential” and the “unessential” worker.

“Essential” workers are doing well. Work and/or pay is largely uninterrupted (and might even be up!) and they have what they need. Some circumstances may not be ideal, but they’re not worried about paying bills next month.

They’re okay.

On the other side of that spectrum (with many different degrees of “necessary work” in between), there are those who have received unspoken notice that they are “unessential” to the global economy.

Many of the workers who have just received this messaging are small business owners who — without notice — just traded 3 months of revenue for a $1,200 check and all their usual bills because they were too small to qualify for any kind of bailout.

And, unless they were flush going into this, these individuals are not okay.

Many are in trouble with little hope on their horizon, even if their friends and neighbors don’t know it yet.

It’s a conversation that’s coming in some homes, while others will get to skip those talks.

It was while pondering this looming future that I happened upon a wise New Age shop owner who–lack of public assistance aside–is turning every quarantine obstacle to her benefit.

Things are as much against her as they are for any brick-and-mortar small business right now, yet things are looking bright for her — perhaps, brighter than if there had been no quarantine at all!

So I asked her, “How are you doing it? How are you thriving where so many are struggling?”

“I just listen to Mother Earth,” she replied. “When this all started, and I asked her what this chaos was about, she said, ‘Give me your fear. All of it.’ So I did. Until all I had left was my new plans for the future. So I’m doing them. And it’s going to be great!”

Wise words, if you ask me.

And so I share them with you.

For what better path is there out of a mire than to cast fear aside and follow bright thoughts someplace higher?

POSTER SUBMISSION

Public Announcement

by: Rich Snitch (Snitches get riche$ and it’s the Year of the Rat. I don’t make the rules, I just use them to rise.)

Sup, my stalkers.

The bosses are offering extra cash for recruitment poster ideas, so here’s my official concept entry for bonus pay in this economy:

SNITCHES GET RICHES!
Call your local non-emergency police number to sign up today.

Think you can do better? It doesn’t have to be pro. A real artist will do the final look on the winning concept, so don’t let that stop you!

Entries are still open if you’re looking for cash.

Also, to all you fledgling snitches out there, remember that your city or state probably doesn’t want you calling 9-1-1 to report social distancing infractions anymore.

Look up your local non-emergency police number and call that to report your neighbors.

Let them know you’re ready to be ESSENTIAL and get paid!

Pro Tip: Want to know if someone you know is a snitch?

Memorize your local non-emergency number and check their call history.

(Note: This won’t work on pros like me who have more than one phone.)

MAY DAY!!!

Gossip Column

by: Zeitgeist Karen
(White. Female. Opinionated & highly concerned. Detail Sleuth. Never heard a story I couldn’t tell better.)

OMG. Social media has been on 🔥 today!

SO much to keep up with. We are still not outside the Bell curve specialists say we should stay within to not create a second wave of sickness AND MY CITY IS OPENING UP!!!

Can you believe the insanity of it all? Will everything we’ve done up until now be for naught???

Several businesses are opening up, but most of my friends are staying smart by staying home. #staysafestayhome

I hear gyms are opening up to appointments only, and I’ll confess I did drive around downtown to see how businesses are complying with mandate.

An ice cream 🍨 store was open, and there wasn’t a mask to be seen. 😡😷

All the book stores are closed📚😞 (which is bittersweet) and restaurants seemed to still be take-out only. #asformeandmyhousewewillordertakeout #stimulatetheeconomy

One restaurant was unabashedly open, with tables 8 feet apart 👏👏, but it was empty when I passed by, saved for the skeleton crew onhand who can no longer claim unemployment.

I also passed by a cell phone store with windows facing the street and there were two men inside: an employee and a customer. Neither had masks on and they were NOT maintaining a social distance. 😨😨🚑⚕🩺💉💊🏥

If a second wave of this flu is on its way, WE’RE SCREWED!

For now, we wait to see if we have truly eluded doom with the HURCULEAN 💪🥇 efforts we’ve been taking for the past 6 weeks, or if death still waits for us like a hungry cat patiently coiled around the corner.

#thinkinghappythots #livelaughlove #stay6feetaway

Poetical Dabbling

I hereby invite you to critique me on a poem I drummed up last night.

Please feel free to post a reply and tag me, since I don’t have comments activated here. I’m happy to have people see your insights.

DEPARTURE
by: Sheralyn Pratt

Goodbye—
not farewell.
This is a good bye.
I never heard the difference
until now.
Until you.
Until I fared you well
when I should have bid you goodbye.
I didn’t know…
I thought they were the same.
I didn’t hear the difference
‘til I paired them with your name
… a goodbye vs. a farewell…
two compound words
with very different flipsides.
And the truth is,
you have fared well enough
and to survive
I must bid you goodbye.

___

Revisions:


Goodbye—
not farewell.
This is a good bye.
I never heard the difference
until I fared you well
when I should have bid you goodbye.
I didn’t know…
I thought they were the same.
I didn’t hear the difference
‘til I paired them with your name
… a goodbye vs. a farewell…
two compound words
with very different flipsides.
And the truth is,
you have fared well enough
and to survive
I must bid you goodbye.

Edits suggested by: Cynthia Miller

Dream Beaches

By: Sheralyn Pratt

In nature,
hundreds of thousands of sea turtles
lay millions of eggs each year
in prime beach sand.
90% of their eggs will hatch.
but only 1% will survive
and thrive in maturity.

I’ve found that dreams
can be much the same
— mesmerizing
as they emerge in tiny perfection
before sand-crawling their way
to the great sea of possibilities
where predators lurk,
challenges never flinch,
and competition doesn’t blink or share.

It’s no wonder we often hold
our dream hatchlings close
when they first emerge from their nest.
It’s a rough world out there
and so few dreams survive.
It makes sense to want
to play Peter Pan
and hold on to every tiny possibility
like a child…
but the truth is
we must let dreams go
— let them crawl the beach
and swim —
and know that those that brave
the sea of life will evolve
and bring new life again.

One Sheep

One of my favorite poems by my grandma is “One Sheep.”

In truth, I have many “favorite” poems by my grandma. I was around 20 when I first read it online. The internet was just becoming a thing and my uncle posted all my grandma’s published work on his website.

I was manning a receptionist desk when I discovered “One Sheep” — reading it again and again while marveling how well she captured a sentiment I think nearly everyone can relate to.

Below is a scan of the poem, as originally published, followed by a recording of me reading it.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

One Sheep

God, I don't know how to start
or what to say.
I do not know the language of a formal prayer
so long it's been since my heart felt the urge to pray,
so long I've made believe no need to pray was there.
But, God, somehow I don't believe You are the kind
to hold a grudge for what I have or haven't done,
and if I just start praying I know You won't mind
or worry much about the way my prayer's begun.
It's over. I've been wrong and I'm not going to make
a lot of fancy promises that may not last,
a lot of crazy vows I'm weak enough to break.
You see, I have discovered mem'ries can be short,
and even tho right now my feet are on the ground,
it's hard to keep them there, so much comes to distort
my sense of values and to twist my views around.
I don't know yet if I can find the way to You,
I am afraid I'm apt to falter now and then,
but I will do the most that anyone can do,
if You'll have patience, honest, God, I'll try! Amen.

Verse by: Kathryn Kay

One Sheep. All rights Reserved. Copyright 1941, 1997, 2019.

Disempowerment 101

The 2016 election caused a bit of a social kerfuffle in the US.

Uncounted conversations with friends in the aftermath led me to this write this poem:

DISEMPOWERMENT 101

by: Sheralyn Pratt

It is old wisdom
that the way to weaken a people
is to get them to think
outside their sphere of influence.
If it’s beyond their horizon,
it is but a play on a stage.
Spectators can watch
but they hold no true sway.
They can only cheer
or speak outrage
to claims and hearsay
—hands tied,
thoughts bound
to a place far away—
until those far-away thoughts
disrupt their own day-to-day.
This is no accident.
It is all a design
to train the masses
to have impotent minds.
For unempowered souls are easily led
and when the 99 feel helpless…
well, you know what comes next.
The good news is
returning to power
is a flip of a switch.
Every animal does it—
it’s that easy to fix:
Tend to your sphere
and all you can touch.
See to its care
and make it top-notch.
Then, perhaps, if a call
leads you to go far-and-wide,
you can go,
you can give,
and improve what you find.

Here the poem is as a shareable image:

It is old wisdom 
that the way to weaken a people
is to get them to think
outside their sphere of influence.
If it’s beyond their horizon, 
it is but a play on a stage.
Spectators can watch
but they hold no true sway.
They can only cheer 
or speak outrage
to claims and hearsay
—hands tied,
thoughts bound
to a place far away—
until those far-away thoughts 
disrupt their own day-to-day.
This is no accident.
It is all a design
to train the masses
to have impotent minds.
For unempowered souls are easily led
and when the 99 feel helpless…
well, you know what comes next.
The good news is
returning to power 
is a flip of a switch. 
Every animal does it—
it’s that easy to fix:
Tend to your sphere 
and all you can touch. 
See to its care 
and make it top-notch. 
Then, perhaps, if a call 
leads you to go far-and-wide, 
you can go, 
you can give, 
and improve what you find.

Disempowerment 101: Copyright, Sheralyn Pratt 2019

Talking Poetry

Ask anyone who’s known me all my life and they’ll attest to the fact that I have never self-identified as a poet.

Yet as I get to know the fictional characters I write for, I find myself describing their POVs (points of view) in poetic fashion.

Or, as I like to call it: Poetisophical™ — philosophical bedrock that allows you to deduce the state of heart.

This is a little different than traditional poetry, in my opinion. Maybe it’s actually poetry upside-down.

Poetry is known for its invitation to sit for a moment in someone else’s experience. Good poetry inspires sympathy or empathy in the listener — transporting them into a vicarious experience that allows them to see something in a new way.

My “poetisophical” poetry is a bit different in that the genesis is often the motives of fictional characters in a story. They might be the good guy, they might be the bad guy, or they might be some form of chaotic neutral in the middle.

But they have their points of view and their motives, and the poems I write often speak to the bedrock of their character.

Then, to beat the character in the story, you must beat their bedrock.

Here’s one such poetisophical poem that has most people split 50/50 on loving it and hating it.

What do you think?

CHASING DOGMA

By: Sheralyn Pratt

A truth
becomes a lie
the moment it arrives.
For truth cannot be stopped
—sometimes it is,
sometimes it’s not—
it holds its space
and plays its part
but holding still
is not its art.
For truth is on the move, you see,
it has things to prove
and places to be.
So if you spot it once
and proudly mark its plot,
remember this:
 truth cannot be caught.

Like the poem? Here it is in a shareable image:

A truth
becomes a lie 
the moment it arrives. 
For truth cannot be stopped
—sometimes it is, 
sometimes it’s not—
it holds its space 
and plays its part 
but holding still 
is not its art.
For truth is on the move, you see, 
it has things to prove 
and places to be. 
So if you spot it once 
and proudly mark its plot, 
remember this:
 truth cannot be caught.

Copyright: Sheralyn Pratt

Like it? Hate it? Start a conversation.

Chasing Dogma, Copyright Sheralyn Pratt 2019