The Ode

Ode to the Writer

By Tom Foster


We are the lords and ladies of creation, yet we are still just players.
In the beginning we are as in the end.
We do not aspire, we simply do.
There is the dream, tempered by the reality, and given form by the thought.
By our thought, by our dreams, and by the reality we impose.
It’s a madness of the sort that only poets and writers can truly understand, and even among those only a few can comprehend.
Comprehension, that is a truly frightening thing.
We play with words, we are those that can immortalize, and those that can do what must be said and say what must be done.
It is confusion, this comprehension, and in the midst of it all, it is the single word that carries power, the one among all that is ever elusive, ever there, always waiting for us to return to, to remind us what it is that drives us, what keeps the fountain flowing.
Every last soul that has ever put ink to paper, ever put finger to key, every vague idea that swirls inward from the maelstrom we call the world, the universe, and everything in between and without.
For everything that could come, for everything that has and will come, we are there. We are the ones that do not deny the voice that tells us, “this must come to pass”, or “this must be remembered”.
It is who we are, what we do, and through everything, it is the lifeblood of those who cherish this timeless art form, this undeniable urge to say, in their own manner, “I AM”.
We are not gods, we create, and yet in the process, we are created. It is our words, penned and copied throughout the ages that have helped to shape the world, to say that, “WE ARE”, that “WE EXIST”.
Whether tyrant or savior, good or evil, saint or sinner, the words that are put to time’s test are those that will come to define the world we know. Memory is not enough, though it serves.
As do we.
We are the lords of creation, the ones whose words will last and echo into the ages, for all to see, and all to remember.
Is it truth?
The better question is: Does it matter?
We are the lords and ladies of creation, and by our words, the world we know is shaped, molded, and given to the next generation, and so on and so forth until the whole mess ends, only to be rebuilt, and to crumble again.
We are the lords and ladies of Creation, and this is our legacy.


An Angry Woman (part V)

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“What the hell do you mean by that?”

I blanked at that moment, wondering just where the vehemence in her voice had come from. Honestly I was thinking I should have expected it, but she must have seen that hesitation in my eyes since she went on attack mode almost immediately.

“Do you mean it’s busy because you’ve had to work, because you’ve had to do your job? Or do you think it’s a busy day because there are people in the store that are making it impossible for you to just sit around with that little slut on your side of the store and bullshit all day?”

She was talking about a young woman named Renee that was nice, flirtatious, but not entirely bright. Renee was fun to talk to and work with, but she didn’t draw my attention that much since she was more attracted to a younger Latino employee named Ray. To be fair those two were off talking and goofing around fairly often, while I was picking up their messes. But that wasn’t the issue right then.

“So tell me again how busy it is,” she said, positively glaring at me now, “I’d just love for another one of you nitwits to tell ME, just how hard your job is.”

What came next was a low blow, but it felt damned good, I’ll admit it.

(to be continued)

You Want A Safe Space?

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Now and again I ask myself to stand back and see things from a different perspective. It’s fair since I don’t suffer from PTSD, I haven’t been traumatized in a life-altering way, and I don’t know what it’s like to live in fear. But the moment I try to think about what it would be like to need a ‘safe space’ my mind suddenly overloads as the level of ridiculousness this requires is just too much to fully comprehend. The inane idea that a safe space will keep people insulated and secure from the world isn’t the confusing part. It’s the idea that they won’t have to go back into that same world that facilitated the need for a safe space that seems a bit, well, dumb.

It’s like freaking out about getting sandy after swimming at the beach, of course you can go back in the water and wash it off, but sooner or later you’re going to have to come in and you’ll get all sandy again. Get that? The safe space doesn’t negate the world. It might give you a reprieve and allow you to sit with like-minded individuals that need the same crutch (yes I did call it a crutch, it wasn’t a mistake), but eventually you will have to go out and face the world all over again, and unless you can do that then the safe space will be where you live for a good part of your life.

It’s true, personally I don’t feel the need for a safe space since I’ve never been made to fear for my life in such a manner. But even trying to look from the other side it seems far too likely that while some folks might need this quiet spot now and again, others use it to escape the responsibility of living in a world that is NOT nice, that is NOT kind, and WILL break you if you allow it.

Sometimes You’ve Got To….

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Sometimes you’ve got to be controversial. Sometimes you’ve got to be the one that takes things too far. You’ve got to dare to hurt people’s feelings, to piss people off, and to make them think that you’re either insane or a dangerous, dangerous person. Because that’s how innovation works. That’s how moving ahead is done.

There are limits of course, you don’t need to scare people intentionally be controversial, though it’s going to happen, believe that. People often feel challenged and afraid of something they don’t know about, they fear what they don’t know, and as a result many will lash out, they’ll call the person that introduces this idea a fraud, a fake, a madman, anything and everything to make themselves feel comfortable.

They’ll try to discredit that person, they’ll find ways that can be used to make it seem as though this individual is less than stable. Hell, they’ll even dig into the past to make sure that people know ‘who they’re dealing with’. Some people and their ideas are truly dangerous to society as a whole, while others are made to seem this way because it fits conveniently into the narrative that those that are trying to sway society want to push. Yes, yes, conspiracy and all that, blaming people and blah, blah, blah.


Those that are truly innovative and find a way to push their idea without rancor, without bias, and without anything but the genuine need to help those around them, to shake things up without tearing them down, will definitely find a way to be accepted in their own time, or in an era that will come later that might see what they were trying to achieve. Some think that later is no good, that something that works needs to be delivered now. But that’s not how controversy works with humans. As a species if we see it, don’t like it, and can’t understand it, then we seek to either vilify and destroy it, or push it away and simply ignore it. Not always, but sometimes.

But if you recall from history, controversy is how things move forward. It’s how we learned our world is round (sorry, not sorry flat earthers), it’s how we learned that a slew of things about our existence that we once thought were heresy and just a bunch of scientific mumbo jumbo. Someone came along to shake things up, and in doing so opened our eyes.

Sometimes you’ve got to be the one to do the shaking, if only for the hope that people will wake up and see the world for what it is, not what they want it to be.

If You Know Then You Know

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It says a lot doesn’t it? I know very well that some folks are going to scoff at this and tell me I talk too much, that I post too much, and am therefore a hypocrite. But confidence does a couple of other things and doesn’t do a couple of things that makes it obvious who’s got it and who doesn’t.

For one, those that are confident in what they do and what they stand for don’t feel the need to talk constantly. They don’t go on and on about how they’re so great, about their accomplishments, and how they’ve achieved this or that and have done so much for others. Confidence is the quiet knowledge that you’ve done something you can be proud of, and the awareness that the people who have benefited are grateful.

Confident folks don’t feel the need for accolades as the good feeling that comes from a job well done is the greatest of rewards. But then again the wise don’t shun the recognition of others, seeing it as appreciation for what they’ve done and a chance to help people even further as they show them the kind of grace they exhibit in being lauded for their work. Confident people know how to bask in the attention and not demand it, thereby showing that they can accept praise without needing to be constantly applauded.

Those that live with confidence know their worth. They live with the knowledge that they’ll make mistakes, that they’ll screw up from time to time and learn from it.

People with confidence in what they do don’t feel the need to tear others down, which in today’s world is almost a foreign concept at this point. The need to excel and push past others, to tear each other down for our differences rather than accept them and move on or accept them and be united in our goals is far more prevalent, and despite the admission of confidence in those that would do such a thing, this trait is still heavily stained by the need to diminish others, which is a decided lack of confidence in oneself when it comes to their own life.

Confidence inspires, it builds, it allows us to understand one another, and it allows us to help others up rather than tear each other down. If you understand what it is to be confident then you understand what it is to build other people up so that they too can reach their overall potential.

An Angry Woman (part IV)

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To this day I still don’t know why I went and talked to her, but I did it, and as of now I could come up with a lot of reasons that don’t feel right but could be used to explain it. Maybe I was just tired of the shit that she was unloading on people, maybe it had something to do with trying to work in a place that seen three people quit largely because of her, one of them a newbie and two of them that had been there longer than she had. Or maybe I was looking for a soft spot beneath that hardass exterior.

No, that last one doesn’t feel right at all. I know I wasn’t trying to ‘put her in her place’ if that’s what you’re thinking. That was never my intention since I don’t care to do such a thing to anyone unless I know they have it coming. Considering that the lot of us that worked with her didn’t know that much about her I didn’t have a lot of call trying to break her down since I had no idea just what she might have been dealing with outside of work. But there’s a way to deal with your own personal shit so that it doesn’t affect others, especially when you have to rely on your coworkers at some point.

I really think I went in there just to talk, to see if I could get her to say two words that weren’t laced with contempt. Our break room wasn’t huge but it was big enough, and I could have easily picked another table to sit at. Instead I plopped my butt right into a seat across the table from her. She noticed of course, it’s hard not to when someone my size sits on the opposite side of you. But instead of saying anything she just dismissed me in her quiet way and went back to fiddling around on her phone.

“Busy day isn’t it?”

Huh boy, if I’d known what kind of shit-storm that simple question was going to cause….I’d still have said it.

(to be continued)