A Limited-Time Offer

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Black and white montages

of your every day

average Joe

miserably failing

at mundane tasks.

Cut to open,

blinding white,

well-lit

studio space-

a prophet enters

to offer liberation.

His promises are grand,

his obligations are reasonable,

he tells you

salvation is yours for the taking;

he shows you

the sacred code

to speak with one of his disciples.

They beckon you

to pay your indulgences,

and enter the promised land

of Convenience.

Judgement day is upon us,

the prophet sweetens the deal,

if you are among the first 200

to accept him,

he will give unto you

a sacred chalice

that is impossible to spill

because of its NASA-inspired design,

but the clock is ticking.

You dial the phone,

but the line is busy.

You cannot live a life

of fear and ignorance

anymore.

When the words of the prophet are with you,

who stands against you?

Once more you dial,

and it rings for 3 minutes,

limbo.

Evil will not prevail today,

you tell yourself,

but you’re not so sure.

You walk in the shadow

of the valley of death,

into the kitchen,

where the reception is better.

One ring begets two,

which begets three

and on the fourth,

Hallelujah!

You have been welcomed

to the pearly gates of Convenience,

where every widget

is yours to order,

for 5 easy payments

of $19.99.

The angel on the other side

Is pleased to inform you,

that you are the 156th caller,

you have earned a sacred chalice

of your own,

what a steal!

Reflections From the Wind Tunnel

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The abyss looked through me,

and I had no answers for it.

But I couldn’t just walk away,

avert my gaze,

throw my hands up

and call it quits.

“Assert yourself,”

I commanded,

The wind caught my words

as they left my lips,

and sent them somewhere

No one could hear.

There was only so much I could stand,

So I marched again,

and I marched again,

I marched until I was beaten back

to where I started.

The Ravens croaked above

coasting on rising thermals,

and they looked down on me

holding still.

Someday I’ll be airworthy.

Today the abyss looked back at me,

And I’ll look back on the abyss fondly,

For all it taught me.

DECLASSIFIED: Hydraulic Jump

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You can read the original poem Hydraulic Jump here.

Water’s strength, in Taoist terms,comes from its ability to yield.

Just as Rome was not built in a day, the Grand Canyon was carved in increments by the flow of the Colorado River.

Gravity, erosion and time can cleave mountains, though it can take an ample amount of that last ingredient.

The through-line? It’s automatic. Insofar as the Colorado River is left largely to its own devices.

And what looks static in the course of a day, a year or a lifetime is actually constantly changing with the topography of its surroundings.

With no mind to straighten their courses, rivers end up as magnificent squiggles, rending valleys and mountains alike.

When a river flows downward (usually in the case of waterfalls) the friction can cause a small portion of the stream to flow in the opposite direction of the current.

This is the eponymous hydraulic jump.

And in that vein, sometimes order can look a whole lot like entropy.

From different perspectives, rivers can take on many different forms.

But at the end of the day, life moves with the squiggles, and is in no rush to adjust.

When you recognize things as they are, then change comes easily– imperceptibly, even.

Extremophiles

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Bacteria,

Stuck to the side,

Of a hydrothermal vent,

Metabolizing,

With black smoke,

Rising,

Or,

Encased,

In ancient salt crystals,

Photosynthesizing.

Processing cyanide

Or sulfur,

To grow,

Then split.

Residing,

Where it’s corrosive,

With high temperatures,

And/or,

Intense pressure,

Dissolved metals,

Minerals,

Or chemicals.

Found,

In massive, arid, vacuous deserts,

The bottom of the arctic,

Or gaps inside boulders,

Or the vacuum of space.

Extremes are not insurmountable,

Just because they are not conducive,

To life.

It’s full of proverbial suprises,

After all.

Maybe You Were Right

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Doubt,

Seeps in,

Through the tiniest crack,

And contaminates everything.

It shrivels up,

Whatever it’s touched-

Leaving behind stains,

And an awful smell.

What can rejuvenate,

What it has poisoned?

Only trust does that.

Swallow your pride,

Say begrudgingly,

“Maybe you were right,”

I guess.

But be preemptive,

Plug the holes first,

So it can’t percolate.

Unintended Consequences

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If I heard you sneeze,

And I forgot bless you,

I hope there’d be no ill-will,

To be found,

Nor curses,

Abound,

Nor evil eyes,

Around.

That way, if there’s an accident,

I need not ask,

Was it me?

Sorry if I let some demons enter you,

They won’t cause much trouble,

If you exorcize the next day.

Sorry if I let your heart stop,

For a second,

But they are resilient things,

So don’t be too worried.