Exquisite Collaboration Poem: STARDUST DREAMS

Photo courtesy Pixabay

I am an imperfect beast
I am here to solve more problems than I create
I came from bigger places
I am going somewhere worse, hand basket free.

I believe hand baskets are for sale, but I can’t afford them.

I am dandelion fluff and dewdrops
I am here to enchant and to vex the minds of small mice
I came from the edge of the meadow where the pine trees nod
I am going to the midsummer fair to buy milkweed and maple sap

I believe in stardust and salamanders.

I am a masterpiece in progress,
Working on my canvas every day.
I came from the earth, the stream, the stars, the wind.
I am all those things now, and will return to their pure forms once again.

I believe we are all connected to each other and our universe.

I am me, soft, old, pliable, feminine me.
I am here to pave the way for the next generation of dreamers to become believers.
I came from the stars and to the stars I will return.
I am going everywhere and nowhere.

I believe we are on the edge of a great discovery that will change the world for the better.

I am different things to different people but to myself I am just me.
I’m here because my parents created me.
I came here from another state.
I don’t know where I’m going as long as I’m going and hopefully it’ll be fun.

I believe that someone, somewhere will eventually answer any and all questions we really need the answers to.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

THE POETS

Lori B. Duff
Carrie the Bat
Mindy Wells Hoffbauer
Jan Heverly. Writer.
Mickey Cherry

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

THE POEM

For this poem, each participant wrote five sentences, one each in response to these questions:

Who am I?
Why am I here?
Where did I come from?
Where am I going?
I believe…

Everyone participating responded to the same prompts without knowing how the others responded and how (or if!) the verses would work together as a whole poem. The goal was for participants to turn off their internal editor and reflect for a moment on their own moment in existence. The end result, posted with almost no editing offers a glimpse into our interconnectedness.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This Exquisite Collaboration Project is based on the Exquisite Corpse, a technique created by Surrealists in the early 1900s, in which participants add to a work one bit at a time, with no one seeing what the previous participants contributed. The goal is to encourage non-writers and artists to embrace their creative selves in a safe, supportive, “you can’t fail” environment.

Click here to read the series of Exquisite Poems done during the Covid lockdown along with other collaborative projects.

To learn more about my workshops, visit my website.

To be part of future poem projects, follow me on Facebook @joannebrokawwriter for prompts or join my mailing list by filling out the form on my website.

Exquisite Collaboration Poem: LOVE IN THE GLOAMING

Photo courtesy jplenio on Pixabay.

IN THE GLOAMING

The head – too full: the heart must open,
Its reddish hue pumps forward still.
Years pass; The heart grows fonder.
And as memories fade
the dusky pitch glows.
Nighttime creeps in.
It gives up
reason.
Hope.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

THE POETS

Rick Hughson
Sara Moore
Andy Pacher
Mickey Cherry
Fred Dean
Wayne Dunbar
Coriander Rainbeaux
Rene Wazowicz
Stephanie Siuda

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

THE POEM

This group of contributors helped me experiment with a format called a Nonet – a nine line poem in which each line has a specific number of syllables, starting with the first line, which has nine syllables, and counting down to the final (ninth) line, which has one syllable.  Unlike our other poems, each contributor got to see everything that came before their line.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This Exquisite Collaboration Project is based on the Exquisite Corpse, a technique created by Surrealists in the early 1900s, in which participants add to a work one bit at a time, with no one seeing what the previous participants contributed. The goal is to encourage non-writers and artists to embrace their creative selves in a safe, supportive, “you can’t fail” environment.

Click here to read the series of Exquisite Poems done during the Covid lockdown along with other collaborative projects.

To learn more about my workshops, visit my website.

To be part of future poem projects, follow me on Facebook @joannebrokawwriter  for prompts or join my mailing list by filling out the form on my website.

5 ways to keep your dog happy this Fourth of July

My dog Bandit, getting ready for the Fourth of July. (c) Joanne Brokaw 2016
My dog Bandit, getting ready for the Fourth of July. (c) Joanne Brokaw 2016

(Note: this article originally ran in 2016 on my Heavenly Creatures blog at Patheos.com. It has been slightly updated here.)

While humans are celebrating Independence Day with picnics and fireworks, many of our dogs are freaking out over the crowds and loud noises, sending many dogs under the bed – or over the fence and down the road, until they’re lost. Or worse.

With the Fourth of July just around the corner, here are a few tips to help keep your dog safe and stress-free.

1) Don’t feed Rover picnic food. While he might really enjoy a burger or a hot dog (or other things he can steal from your plate), changes to your dogs diet can cause stomach upset. And upset stomach = anxious dog. Not only that, some of the picnic fare is dangerous for dogs, like onions, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners found in candy and gum. If you insist on bringing him to the family gathering, make sure he has plenty of water and a cool, quiet place where he can retreat, and that you keep a watchful eye on well-meaning folks bent on giving the doggie a “treat”.

2) Leave the dog at home. While we like to think that our dogs want to be with us 24/7, the truth is that most dogs get anxious in large crowds. Don’t believe me? Just for fun, find a large crowd of people and then get down on all fours and crawl around for a while. It’s hot, it’s confusing, and it’s probably stressful, especially if there are going to be fireworks. He’d be much happier at home, with a nice Kong toy filled with a treat, the shades drawn, and the couch all to himself.

3) Prepare ahead for the fireworks. Some vets estimate that almost half of dogs are spooked by loud noises, like thunder or fireworks. It’s not something to blow off; dogs have much more sensitive hearing than humans and they’re also affected by the electrical changes in the air from thunder and stormy weather. Yelling at the dog, or closing him in a room by himself without actually addressing the problem, can make it worse.

If you need immediate help this weekend, try a Thundershirt, which helps “swaddle” your dog by applying even pressure on his body. You can also use calming aromatherapy scents and oils, like Canine Calm, that you can spray on a dog’s bed or apply to a collar. (Check with your vet before applying oils directly to your pets, as some can be irritating to the skin or in some cases toxic). You can also talk to your vet or trainer about pheromone collars.

Don’t hesitate to talk to your vet about medication; just make sure you give it to your pup well in advance of the fireworks so it has time to take effect. The one I’ve used in the past with Bailey takes about four hours to kick in, but once it does she’s sedated just enough that she really doesn’t care about the noises but not so drugged that she can’t function.

4) Prepare for the worst case scenario. No one wants to think about losing their dog, but a scared dog reacts without thinking, and can bolt in a crowd, run into traffic, jump a fence, chew through a screen door, or otherwise do whatever he can to get away from the scary noises. Make sure your dog is safely in the house this Fourth of July, is wearing a collar with tags, and is also microchipped. If he manages to get out, you want to make it as easy as possible for him to be identified and returned to you. The longer he’s away, the more traumatic the experience.

5) Get ready for next year, now. It’s never too early to think about the next thunderstorm or fireworks display. Help desensitize your dog to loud noises with programs like Victoria Stillwell’s Canine Noise Phobia Treatment or Through A Dog’s Ears [now iCalmpet.com], music “psychoacoustically designed to support you and your dog’s compromised immune or nervous system function”. I  used it often and find very helpful. In fact, I keep a CD in the car for rides, and music on my phone, just in case. You use these to slowly desensitize your dog to loud sounds or pair the music with the feeling of being calm, so it won’t work overnight. But it’s not too early to make a commitment now to give your dog some long-term relief.

And if you don’t already have a relationship with a positive-methods dog trainer, now’s the time to find one. Dog training isn’t just about going to puppy classes. If you have a trainer that knows you and your dog, when a problem arises throughout the dog’s life you can call on her to help address the issue quickly and positively. My dogs are older, but I don’t hesitate to call my trainer with questions, especially since I have a very squirrely Border Collie and a reactive Retriever/Pit mix. We’re always working to help the dogs be less anxious and to get along better with each other. I promise: a well educated, positive method trainer will change both you and your dogs’ lives.

Here’s hoping you and your pups have a healthy and safe holiday!

Exquisite Collaboration Poem: THE LONG JOURNEY HOME

Image courtesy of jplenio on Pixabay

THE LONG JOURNEY HOME

I am a tree in the shape of a woman
I’m here to radiate light
I came from pine needles and leaf litter and what passed as love at the time
I am going to the place of the soaring oak, where nevermore shall a leaf fall to the ground.

I am the beloved daughter of the Most High King of Kings.
My presence at this time and place is to accomplish God’s predetermined purpose.
From infinite possibilities, the Grand Designer wove every cell, chromosome, and atom of my humanity.
I wake each morning – an heiress of incomprehensible love – to continue the adventure of learning how to follow in faith, without fear.

I am a woman, a mother, a wife, and a scholar.
I am tired and this is where I can rest.
I came from the privileged suburbs, far from here.
I am doing the best I can, then going to bed.

I am a hologram of the divine, God, the Universe, All that Is…
Consciousness saw there was a space that only I could fill.
I came from stardust, willingly.
In every moment I step boldly into the unknown.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

THE POETS

Carrie the Bat
Crystal Hayduk
BAB
Kay Ross

The participants for this poem hailed from Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida, and Hong Kong.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

THE POEM

This was the second poem done as part of the book launch party for Carrie Anne Noble’s new release, “Gretchen and The Bear”. Four participants wrote independently, writing one sentence in response to each of the following questions: Continue reading “Exquisite Collaboration Poem: THE LONG JOURNEY HOME”

Exquisite Collaboration Poem: Into the Forest

“Gretchen and The Bear” by Carrie Anne Noble is available now from WordCrafts Press.

As part of the online book launch party yesterday for “Gretchen and The Bear”, by my friend, the delightfully talented Carrie Anne Noble, I invited readers to contribute to a collaborative poem.

Ten people participating, providing five random sentences in response to five prompts. I then arranged the sentences according to a pre-set pattern to create the poem you’re about to read. Note that no one saw what anyone else was writing, and that no verse contains more then one sentence from the same person. You can read more about the prompts and how they were arranged at the end of the poem.  Here’s what they created:

Continue reading “Exquisite Collaboration Poem: Into the Forest”

Exquisite Quarantine Poem: THE JOURNEY

Photo by Jesse Sprinkle

THE JOURNEY

I am a genderless perfectly flawed human being.
I am a healer, using sound and the written word to transform the impossible.
I arrived from a time full of fear, anxiety, depression, and suffering.
I am walking into the unknown, with faith, strength and hope.

Alas, I am a wizard.
I have come forth to warn you of magic not yet known.
Stillness has come across the land, but I have not come from a place of stillness.
It is here creativity emerges! With the swirl of time and space together as one!

I am a mother, a ghost-writer and a pianist,
reaching out to relieve my boredom.
Stuck in a city without peace and justice,
longing for a place with true freedom.

I am just another wounded soul, wandering, stumbling, hiking, running, skipping (sometimes, rarely), creeping, crawling, spinning, swirling, swaying, moving, journeying through time.
I am here to live, and then die, which is a good thing in the right season.
I came from a long line of people, starting with Verity Tree-dweller from Central Africa
and going to death

I love to love and I love to laugh.
I am here to abracadabra Magic Makers.
I came from some blip in the twinkling stars some galaxy somewhere.
I will go when my earth job is done to lands who knows.

I am the unicorn, an angel, or a mermaid-
I have come to carry you through a time of dismay.
It was human imagination and folklore that created me to
Stand by your side until you can stand alone.

Now I am an orphan —
Looking for family without the blood connection.
What began so conventional, nuclear,
Moves toward something wholly of my own invention.

I am a mighty river, slowly altering my course.
I am the result of a million tiny decisions.
I come from a sacred place, where thoughts and dreams arise.
I am sailing a course, charted by my wisdom.

* * * * * *

THE POETS
Coriander Rainbeaux can be found IntheSpiceRack.com
Fred Dean says “Writing gets me to the places I’d rather go when I do not know how else to get there.”
Judy Lam is a Hong Kong-born pianist. https://judylam.wordpress.com/
Laura V.N.
Sheryl Hooi, a curious smithy of all sorts.
Kathy Ann Morris Self-proclaimed poet since age 8
Leslie Joan Millenson
Laura Fleming

THE ARTWORK
Jesse Sprinkle – Artist of sight and sound. https://www.patreon.com/jessesprinkle

* * * * * *

THE POEM
Participants were asked to write four lines, with a prompt for each line:
Line 1 – Who am I?
Line 2 – Why am I here?
Line 3 – Where did I come from?
Line 4 – Where am I going?
None of the contributors saw what the others wrote; all four of each contributor’s lines stayed together as one stanza.

Note: this is the last in this poem in this phase of our Exquisite Quarantine Poem project.  I can’t thank the participants enough for their time and effort!

But that doesn’t mean the collaboration is over! As we begin to venture out of The Pause and into our “new normal” lives, I’m simply rebranding these projects as the Exquisite Collaboration Project. The goal is the same: to bring together strangers who will contribute individual parts to make a collective, creative whole.

You can read all of the Exquisite Quarantine Poems here.  And make sure you’re following me on Facebook or on my mailing list to stay updated on the next phase of the Exquisite Collaboration Project!

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Five Minutes From The Funny Farm: Are You My Mother?

This week, my cat Dickens died. It was sudden and very unexpected. The next day, something magical happened that can only be a message from my kitty. What was it? You’ll see, in today’s video.

This is what happens when you lock a humor writer/improvisor who doesn’t know how to use a video camera in the house with two dogs and a cat during a pandemic. I warned you it wasn’t going to be pretty. Or professional.

Visit my website http://www.joannebrokaw.com
Follow me on FB @joannebrokawwriter
Check out my latest book, “Suddenly Stardust: A Memoir (of sorts) About Fear, Freedom & Improv” wherever books are sold. Available in print and ebook editions.

 

Exquisite Quarantine Poem: DISCONNECTED

 

DISCONNECTED

As I sit at home on day whatever of the quarantine,
Contemplating how many days it takes to use a roll of TP,
I have seemingly endless hours to watch my grey roots grow,
And ponder, “Is it just a matter of choice to feel connected?”

One click to see a face long absent,
Glowing screen a beacon in the dark
Miles traversed in seconds
Intangible strands linking voices.

Phone, phonetic, frantic connection.
Hello? Speak to me.
I’m alone, lonely, bored.
Can’t you feel what I’m feeling?

I’m grateful; peaceful. I’m feeling quite blessed.
I have shelter; food, and a furry nice guest.
He comes every morning, eats, then sits in the sun.
He’s the sweetest companion; the very best one.

He’s the one who watched and waited silently as I shed my hair and picked my nose
and ate the last few crumbs of brittle brownies flung with abandon by angry children locked in high chairs when we grew too tired to chase them.
Shaking skittishly, I realize suspicions of the subtle snobbery of surreptitious scarabs savoring tidbits of that which it was he was.
Wresting the last sweet smell of baked cinnamon buns from that brown, embarrassingly frayed cardigan, I turned toward no one as I start to weep.

* * * * * *

THE POETS
Mindy Wells Hoffbauer is a professional explainer, still trying to figure out what she wants to be when/if she grows up.
Robin Murphy
Kay Ross lives in Hong Kong and is the Head Tour Guide in The Playground of Possibilities. https://playgroundofpossibilities.com.
Allia Zobel Nolan writes about God and cats….in that order.. www.AlliaWrites.com
Michele Manting is the Artistic Director, Vintage Improv Festival www.vintageimprov.com

THE ARTWORK
There were some starts and stalls with the artwork for this poem, so in the end I chose “Operator”, by Jim Croce. It just felt right.

THE POEM
Contributors were asked to write four lines of free verse. The first contributor was given the prompt “Disconnected”; each of the other contributors got to see only the last line of the previous verse.

Click here to learn how you can take part in the Exquisite Quarantine Poem project.

*     *     *     *     *     *

Exquisite Quarantine Poem: UNMASKED

“The Three Faces” by Daniela Gitlin

UNMASKED

Why do I have to notice everything?
Because acting aimlessly misses the target
If you take off your mask.
Then yellow became my signature color.
I wish I were an Oscar Meyer wiener.

Why do we close our eyes when we kiss?
Because when you don’t raise kids, you can’t mess up their lives.
If one doesn’t nurture their own personal narrative
Then Humpty Dumpty wouldn’t fall.
I wish I had tried harder.

Why do you always have to say that?
Because she put all her eggs in heaven’s basket, she stopped living in the now.
If they didn’t acknowledge me on Mother’s Day, I wouldn’t notice.
Then I would have taken more solid, pure, possibly different actions.
I wish I was a creative genius.

Why do masks make us feel both safer and more alone?
Because there’s always time to get a DeLorean.
If my dog could talk, I’d know the secret to contentment.
Then I would not be a mother.
I wish I was more aware of my personal narrative earlier in life.

Why else would it matter?
Because of that night, we never made it to Saratoga, or the concert.
If this works, we’re going to be rich.
Then maybe all of this would make better sense.
I wish I never gave birth.

Why would anyone else?
Because the collective is the whole.
If Sheila had given ten percent more effort, she would have earned that scholarship.
Then, you won’t believe it, I just got up and walked away.
I wish I had asked my mother how she felt when my brother died.

* * * * * *

THE POETS
Teri Foltz is a playwright (Teri’s Play Date on YouTube) and a poet (Green and Dying on Amazon)
Sara Moore www.hypnohelpcounselingservices.com
Sam Cardamone is a native of Buffalo, NY now living in Rochester and, as of late, desperately trying his hand at improv.
Jason Rugg Instagram: @deviations_in_the_dust
Jenean Roth is lover of words read, written, spoken, dreamt, and arranged in entertaining ways.
Stephanie Lewis is wondering should we be on lockdown or locked up? Onceuponyourprime.com

THE ARTWORK
“The Three Faces” by Daniela Gitlin
Daniela Gitlin’s first book (note the optimism) is available on Amazon: Practice, Practice, Practice: This Psychiatrist’s Life. It’s amazing how much trouble she gets into and still manages to be helpful. danielagitlin.com

THE POEM
This poem was an experiment in a word collage, similar to RESTRUCTURED. Without knowing anything about what the final product would look like – or seeing a prompt or the line before theirs, as with the other poems – six contributors were each asked to provide five unrelated sentences: Continue reading “Exquisite Quarantine Poem: UNMASKED”

Exquisite Quarantine Poem: UNLOCKED

Photograph by Brett McIntosh

UNLOCKED

Such a beautiful, intricately carved wooden door with a window into the out!
Unlocked, but I find myself unable to leave.
Is it what is out there, or in here, that keeps me from leaving?
I reach for the simple brass door knob to exit, but I hesitate, and my hand once again drops to my side.

Sorrow’s sour milk, forksful of pungle and hiss,
I shore up the rickety side of your soul
I lift my hand to open the door
And out pours milk and honey

The universe provides,
if we only ask as we seek,
and remain open to its wonders,
as one who is part of the whole.

Yet I feel so half-hearted,
drawn and quartered…
if my soul must be so truly divided
as I sing eighth notes, I will now drink a fifth!

*     *     *     *     *     *

THE POETS
Judy Weatherbee is an improviser, photographer and poet for the joy of it, physical therapist in the real world
Jennifer Walker Frisinger is a writer of short fiction and corporate story teller
Debbie Miller is a Brooklyn, New York writer who writes magazine articles, plays, humor, and monologues.Visit my website at www.DebbieLMiller.com.
Miriam Lerner is a sign language interpreter, currently working from home, trying not to eat and drink too much…with intermittent success.

THE ARTWORK
Brett McIntosh @bmc5100

THE POEM
The contributors were asked to write four lines of free verse. The first contributor was given the prompt “Unlocked”, and the rest of the contributors were given only the last line of the verse before theirs.

Click here to learn how you can take part in the Exquisite Quarantine Poem project.

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Exquisite Quarantine Poem: CRIMSON WONDER

Photograph by Brett McIntosh

CRIMSON WONDER

Murky waters lap the floating acre of bush no one thought to name.
Its gnarly rock in washed up waste dissed by humans, Kudzu, even English Ivy.
Lanky limbs sign to the crimson cries: bind your ails, ills, and loads into a barge,
Come, bring your crowded isolation, eyes spent online, kids ceaselessly wondering why.

Old gnarled branches reach for the clouds, as if to say ‘take us with you’.
The clouds being fickle, don’t want any part of the branches request.
They just sweep on by.
But the crimson streak brings hope as they shoot across the sky.

And yet I wonder if the crimson means hope.
Since crimson is a red, it symbolizes blood.
And as the numbers rise, and loved ones cry,
How deep will their tears be in the flood?

As the branches of our lives
Dip below, to the unseen,
Our last goodbye
Is tainted by wonder.

*     *     *     *     *     *

THE POETS
Susan Sarver www.susansarver.com
Jan Heverly. Author in waiting.
Justin Rielly is a playwright, theater artist and radio host based in Rochester, New York.
Rick Hughson Oh dear…

THE PHOTOGRAPHER
Brett McIntosh  Find him on Instagram @bmc5100

THE POEM
This poem was the first to use the artwork as the prompt. Each contributor got to see the photo as well as the last line of the contributor before them, and could use either prompt as inspiration for their contribution.

I find it worth noting that only one contributor got to see that the previous person had used the word “crimson”, and yet all four poets included either “crimson” or “wonder”, or both. This is the beautiful thing about this project: total strangers are blindly contributing a piece of themselves, and yet their creating with a group mind.

Click here to learn how you can take part in the Exquisite Quarantine Poem project.

*     *     *     *     *     *

Five Minutes From The Funny Farm: Are You Good Enough?

A little pep talk, as we drag on during The Covid Pause.

This is what happens when you lock a humor writer/improvisor who doesn’t know how to use a video camera in the house with two dogs and a cat during a pandemic. I warned you it wasn’t going to be pretty. Or professional.

** You can read the poems here:
https://notesfromthefunnyfarm.wordpress.com/category/exquisite-quarantine-project/

Visit my website http://www.joannebrokaw.com
Follow me on FB @joannebrokawwriter
Check out my latest book, “Suddenly Stardust: A Memoir (of sorts) About Fear, Freedom & Improv” wherever books are sold. Available in print and ebook editions.

Musings on the pause, reopening, and the children

From NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily press conference, May 5, 2020.

Let’s get one thing clear, right off the bat: I’m not a scientist, or a doctor, or a politician, or anything even resembling a smarty pants. I’m a writer, artist, and performer who tries to help people push past fear to embrace their creativity. In the grand scheme of the universe, I’m just a dreamer with a pen and a paintbrush who wants us all to get along.

So keep that in mind as you continue reading – and if you can’t, if you’re already preparing to debate anything related to the current pandemic, it’s OK to  stop reading right now and go find something else to do.

Still with me? OK,  here goes.

Continue reading “Musings on the pause, reopening, and the children”

Exquisite Quarantine Poem: PAUSED

This image is from Pixabay contributor AD_Images.

PAUSED

Never before had his health been so good, but when taking a walk around the neighborhood is the highlight of the day, he was more motivated than ever to stretch his atrophied muscles.
“Look at how slim your face looks!” they’d exclaim.

I’m sure that faces masks help the illusion.
Especially those patterned with vertical stripes.

And the sheen on the edges slapped rainbows across the ceiling,
As June slipped wantonly through the sheers on the windows.

Shepherd, seep past conscious desires into some semblance of impermanent bliss
Grasp the shy strings of essence and guide this spirit home.

* * * * * *

THE POEM
The contributors were asked to write two sentences, but to include the letter sequence “s h e” somewhere in their lines. The letters could be part of the same word (ie: sheep) or part of two words (ie: boys heard or push each), as long as those three letters were in sequence.

THE POETS
Sam Cardamone is a native of Buffalo, NY now living in Rochester and, as of late, desperately trying his hand at improv.
Claudia Kasvin is a poet and teller of tales, both tall and true.
Yvonne DiVita https://www.nurturingbigideas.com/about.html
Michele Manting Artistic Director Vintage Improv Festival www.vintageimprov.com

THE ARTWORK
This image is from Pixabay contributor AD_Images.

Click here to learn how you can take part in the Exquisite Quarantine Poem project.

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Exquisite Quarantine Poem: A TRUTH AND A LIE

 

Photo provided by Katie Rae Hayduk.

A TRUTH AND A LIE

While the masses scream their senseless lies
the truth skulks in shadows
waiting for the perfect time to rise.

In hopes truth will open eyes
But stay closed, the head lies
Until someone, somewhere cries.

I said, “I’ll see you soon.” We laughed,
not at the obvious absence of the truth
but the brazen bravado of the lie.

Let the truth be a haven –
Haven’t we given enough of ourselves?
Shelves of misspoken tokens. Let them lie there.

The truth echoes in empty hallways where great minds once gathered.
Hope washes over us, like waves crashing in our living rooms.
We bought the lie, but a new candor begins.

*     *     *     *     *     *

THE POEM
The contributors were instructed to write three lines of free verse, but were asked to include the words “truth” and “lie” somewhere in their contribution. Each contributor got to see only the second sentence of the person who wrote before them.

THE POETS
Sue A. Fairchild is determined to “Yes, and” in all things. Find her at sueafairchild.wordpress.com.
Chris Johnston
Donald Hasselman is just your basic square peg in a round hole.
Jason Rugg Instagram: @deviations_in_the_dust
Coriander Rainbeaux can be found IntheSpiceRack.com.

THE ARTWORK
Katie Rae Hayduk is currently a music education student who enjoys petting her dog. You will often find her listening to fiddle tunes and very poorly cooking up a pot of spaghetti.

Click here to learn how you can take part in the Exquisite Quarantine Poem project.

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