Paper Tiger Meets Straw Dog

Standard

Paper tigers are

saber rattlers,

neighbor tattlers,

favored whiners and

major prattlers that

savor decline,

yet cannot fight.

To do away

with a roaring beast

only to find a

fragile fraidy cat

in its place

should not be surprising.

Sometimes stripes are earned,

sometimes they are merely projected.

Straw dogs are routinely discarded,

after their special day,

not because they deserve this,

but because this is their purpose.

Dressed to the nines,

blessed and

lest we forget

left in the street

once their mission is complete.

No matter how many times,

they are thrown away,

straw dogs return another day,

to be a display,

that cannot stay.

Omissions

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Without “you,”

the phrase “you don’t talk to me anymore”

demands an entirely different kind

of response.

“All you can eat, kids free”

Lacks some needed nuance,

Without the comma.

Although synonymous

An “I don’t know,”

Can create a lot less drama,

Than a shrug and a grunt.

Just one tiny piece in a conversation

Is key

In understanding

Misinformation.

You may fill in the blanks,

With what you want to see,

Or miss the forest for the trees,

In making assumptions.

Sometimes you can say everything

You need to say

By not saying anything.

Direct-to-Video

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Purgatory can be found on Earth,

In thrift stores,

bargain bins,

And supermarkets.

Names and faces,

Some famous,

Some strangers,

Etched forever into

Sequels no one asked for,

To movies no one’s heard of,

Residing in everyday

Neighborhood haunts.

Horrifically corny schlock,

Poorly-written nature docs,

For children,

And TV movies that aired once.

No one makes something,

That no one is supposed to see,

But you wonder

whether these people

are where they want to be,

When you can buy half their filmography

for five dollars

and get one for free.

But maybe this is their dream,

To do what they love doing,

Make scenes,

And be seen,

Without being heard of.

Those souls are in my thoughts

For now.

You’d be Surprised

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At the open-air bazaar of ideas hangs

A smog of apocrypha,

So thick,

You could bottle it,

For any one eager and gullible enough,

To buy.

Yet filtering the miasma,

Of misinformation,

For its kernels of truth,

Shows how easy it is,

For certainty to be crowded-out

by lies.

It covers your face,

With thick soot,

The smell lingers

And stains your clothes-

The gasses

will burn your eyes.

But just because the truth is scarce,

Does not mean it’s not worth the trouble,

Of uncovering-

Keep your hazmat suit handy,

And your goggles on.

Prospecting is a hard days work,

For little pay,

But, nevertheless,

You will find it enriching

If you see it through.

Distortion

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distortion

The well-timed,

precisely aligned,

Cathode ray tube display

found in old television sets,

is thrown into disarray,

with the pole of a strong enough magnet.

Perception becomes reality,

then misconceptions set-in,

which threaten the image.

You have to get in,

to reset

and rearrange things,

back to parity-

a return to clarity.

When you come to

and see the true view,

you’ll wonder how you

made due

with skewed hues.

Polarization

Standard

Touts may tempt you,

To don rose-colored glasses,

Shouting:

“We can help you draw,

The finest lines,

With no more glare.

Blot out all aberrations,

Lock them out,

So that the spectrum is laid bare.”

Beware of blinders,

There is no one-size-fits-all approach,

To perception.

Light ricochets,

Unpredictably,

But without the full range,

You cannot expect,

Clear sight.