Through The Prism

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With every matter of perspective,

we must take into account

the beholder and

the contours of their mind’s eye.

The way the light refracts

is a matter of the tool used

and what we project.

Conclusions drawn from

kaleidoscopes are more colorful,

to be sure,

but how much is just distortion?

Does the pair of binoculars

miss the forest for the trees?

Beams need not

be straight like arrows,

they curve,

pitch,

yaw and bloom

on their way.

Everything that’s absorbed,

is obscured —

only what returns to our vantage point

is what we remember.

Our minds,

starved for stimulus,

scrounge for the scraps and

fill in the blind spots

where our retinas are.

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Mosaic

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It doesn’t have to be the end

even for a shard

of shattered glass —

that said, it may need to take

some creative liberties.

And rather than

spend all that time

on the mend,

it may behoove you

to mix it up

and create something new.

Even when rediscovering yourself,

there is no guarantee

that what you come across

will be familiar.

There is always room

where you make it,

every last step

brought you here.

In the end,

everything has a funny way

of coming together.

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Compound Eyes

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The fly on the wall

watches closely,

focused on

nothing at all

yet ready for anything.

Buzzing wings,

hundreds of flutters

in the span of a heartbeat,

fling the fly on the wall

down the hall

to a new perch,

a fresh perspective

for further study.

10,000 telescopes per eye,

surveil you.

They tell all —

giving forewarning,

performing troubleshooting.

A mind,

with no capacity to judge

speculate

or daydream

makes life amongst

the clutter

easier.

Unbothered

by raised fists

and rolled-up magazines,

until they’re impossible to ignore —

it evades every strike,

like trying to wrestle

a wisp

of smoke.

Never quite

out of sight

out of mind —

I too will watch,

you may be small

but this house

doesn’t have room

for you.

Rain Smell

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Overcast skies,

mourning doves crooning,

cars gliding slowly

across soaked asphalt.

Wisps of steam

rise from your teacup,

raindrops streak

down the half-open windows

of the screened-in porch —

pooling on the sills and

trickling from the gutters.

The world grinds to a halt,

just for this moment.

Breezes blow in

through the insect screens,

rustling branches

and carrying

wafts of petrichor

that connect you

to the world you swore

you’ve escaped from.

A few more minutes

out here

couldn’t hurt.

Sycamore

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Winds of change,

carry me away,

I will spiral

as I ride the currents,

to still waters,

to green pastures.

The gale will wail,

but I will not falter,

it’s fury will take me

somewhere new,

I have faith.

I will put down roots,

I will stand as tall as I can,

from midsummer,

through first frost

but, here, I cannot stay.

Winds of change,

I will follow your lead,

I fear no obstacle,

you have carried me above them.

Though you have set me down,

I will not rest,

The sun sets in the West,

I will face East,

and take in the morning light,

no matter the hand I’m dealt.

Winds of change,

carry me away,

I wish to see the world,

carry me away.

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Life’s Lemons

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Half-empty,

or half-full,

just remember to drink deeply

and you will feel refreshed

in either case.

Every drop in the bucket,

contributed

to its current state.

A smattering of shattered glass

can lead to

angry wails,

or end with

a beautiful mosaic.

Sit down and do your scales,

I guarantee you

with dedication

you will be able to play more

than “hot-cross buns”

and “Happy Birthday.”

Today is worth it,

not perfect,

because the best way

to find a beautiful view,

is to keep climbing.

When life hands you lemons,

fix yourself a drink,

and add some zest

to everything you do.

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Wading For It

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Beware of any oasis,

because nowhere in this world of oddities,

will you cross the same river twice.

Try, try, try, as you might,

leaning into the current,

cannot bring you to the past-

grasping for the rain drops,

will not help you

stand steady and weather a storm.

No matter how torn,

you may feel,

there are times you must leave it all behind,

you’ll know it when you see it.

But so be it,

and fear not,

you never have to leave green pastures,

if you can bring them with you,

in tempests and torrents,

deserts, meadows, canyons, summits.

So long as you’re still going,

you are always exactly

where you need to be.

If you’re a fish out of water,

I really hope you’re a mudskipper.

Microplastics

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Even in crystalline

waterways,

you will find

traces

of traces,

that divide with time

but never disappear.

They have multiplied recently,

added up immensely,

but won’t be subtracted.

Humanity has left fingerprints,

evidence,

Of wastefulness,

And decadence.

Washed-out facial scrubs,

Crushed-up soda bottles,

And toys discarded long ago,

All have lost their usefulness,

Yet refuse to decay.

All have altered Earth’s circulation,

Left her face mottled,

Bruised, and scarred.

Think twice before throwing things away,

Just because you can’t see something,

Doesn’t mean it won’t stay.

Paper Tiger Meets Straw Dog

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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.