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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.

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My Epic (a poem)

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I wanna write an epic.

I wanna write a tale.

Should the villain be a dragon?

Should the henchman be a snail?

I think I’ll write an epic.

And I know just what I’ll write.

I’m gonna write a novel

I’m gonna stay up all day and night.

I might get kinda tired

It might take really long.

Should the maiden be a fighter?

Should the hero be real strong?

I’m gonna write an epic

I’ll make a great fantasy.

I wanna write an epic

But I can’t I’m only three.

-It was late and I was tired. Sometimes the strangest things come along when you’re not really thinking straight.

Every Generation Has Done Something Stupid

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It’s true that we’ve seen a lot, and I mean A LOT, of idiocy these past two years when it comes to younger people. Who in the world looked at a Tide pod and though “yummy” who wasn’t a little kid? The idea that they look like food is kind of negated once you get a whiff of them and realize what it’s meant for, but that didn’t seem to matter to those that decided to get in on this insane and extremely dangerous challenge.

But it’s not Millennials. At least, it’s not JUST them, since you can’t really judge an entire generation of people based on what a handful of dopes are doing. If that was the case then every generation since the turn of the 20th century would have been thought to be a bunch of nimrods in the estimation of the older generations. You can argue that this might have been the case anyway, but think about when the advent of the teenager years came around. Keep in mind that the teenage mindset didn’t appear until the 1920s, but the actual rise of the teenager came around in the 1950s.

So for decades now older generations have been looking at those coming up behind them and basing their entire generation of the actions of the few that have loose wiring upstairs and seemingly no one to tell them what’s what about the world. How else could we possibly explain the insanity that’s been gripping the internet in the last few years?

The challenges just keep getting worse and more harmful.

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Does anyone even remember the Ice Bucket Challenge at this point? Some people actually claimed it was dangerous, it was harmful, but in truth it was a cold bucket of ice water poured over your head, that’s it. It wasn’t snorting condoms, it wasn’t salting some part of your body and then rubbing ice on it to leave a scar, it wasn’t eating a substance that cleans your clothes. It wasn’t anything that risked life and limb. So what in the hell happened?

Well, remember drag racing way back in the day? That was pretty dangerous. How about chicken? How about numerous other things that all of our generations have done over the years? Those individuals that do these things to get noticed are morons, that’s been proven without a doubt, but they don’t represent that generation in the least bit.

Belonging to a generation doesn’t define you, it’s more of a descriptor for the time period in which you were born.

You might be born into a generation, but you can easily take on the characteristics and mindset of another generation based on how you’re raised. For instance, a lot of us from various generations look at these supposedly innovative individuals subjecting themselves to bodily harm for entertainment and can only hope that they’ll wise up if they survive. If not, well, then natural selection is still alive and well. That might sound horrible, but dumb decisions can lead to dumb outcomes.

Every generation has that merry band of idiots that will engage in some sort of behavior that a lot of people, especially elders, don’t agree with. But put your trust in this: it doesn’t define the generation.

That’s just an easy copout.

The Little Things (part II)

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(continued)

Anacortes, WA

December 3rd, 2018

“Where’s Maple buddy?” Todd asked, dusting himself off a bit more. His black sweatshirt looked all funny with melting snow on the shoulders, but Linus didn’t laugh, he wouldn’t because his sister would say it was rude.

“She’s at work,” Linus said, lowering his eyes, “She went to work at the Windermere Office where she works and makes money and stuff.”

Todd nodded his head as he always did, his thick black hair getting dusted with snow as it was falling again. This winter had come on pretty strong this year, and it snowed all the time it seemed like. Well not all the time, but enough to get on people’s clothes and in their hair.

“Why are you out and about bud?” Todd asked, “I thought Maple said it wasn’t safe.”

Linus lowered his eyes even more, “Because I’m stupid,” he said, “Because I’m stupid dumb, stupid stupid dumb.”

“Linus,” Todd said, his voice warm and yet stern, “Look at me please.”

Linus did as he was asked, but he could only raise his eyes to Todd’s stubbly chin. That was good enough though as Todd started talking again.

“You are not stupid. You get distracted and that’s a little dangerous, but you’re not stupid. Okay?”

Linus nodded, not wanting to say it. Todd wouldn’t make him say it, but he wanted Linus to, he could tell. Todd made him feel like he was smart, but he knew he wasn’t. Maple didn’t make him feel dumb. But then why would he think she threw things at him and got so mad? Because she did get mad, but not at him, nope not at him. She got mad at other people that treated him bad but not at him. Nope, she’d always said she would take care of him.

“So what’s got you out here bud?”

“The bad man took her ring and lost it,” Linus said, looking down again at the snow and ice-covered ground, “He took it and he lost it. I saw him lose it, it dropped on the ground, I saw it.”

“You mean your mother’s ring? The one she gave to Maple?”

Linus nodded, “The bad man took it, he said not to tell, but I didn’t tell, and now Maple will be mad at me if she knows I saw him take it.”

Todd blew out a sigh as he looked away and rolled his eyes. He knew the faintest gesture in Linus’ direction would make him think that he was perturbed with him. In truth, he was now thinking of the ‘bad man’ that Linus was describing. It was Maple’s longstanding ass of a boyfriend, Clinton.

What had he done now?

(to be continued)

Bring the Paine (part II)

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(continued)

Pacific Ocean, 201 miles off the Oregon coast

May 12th, 2019

There are three decks above the water line on this craft, leaving only the engine room to be surrounded by water on all sides. I’ve been through this ship extensively since the last of my crew finally succumbed to his wounds. I might have cried had I known them any better, but I didn’t. Plus, I haven’t cried since I was a little girl, and I don’t plan on doing it now. I knew how my life was going to turn out by the time I was fifteen, and I don’t regret much of it up to this point.

I’ve had a good life to be honest. It’s been hard, but it’s been fair for the most part. Whatever I’ve earned I’ve been grateful for, and whatever life’s taken from I don’t regret losing all that much.

The monitor on my hip just went from calm green to red on the soundbar. The kid’s waking up already like I knew he would. I was hoping that I’d get at least a little more time, but it’s all or nothing at this point, and there’s no such thing as a reprieve. The Coast Guard’s already been alerted to leave this vessel alone until further notice, and I doubt my employer is going to give the green light until satellite images show me popping green smoke or the boat is no longer visible on the waves.

One way or another it’s got to end today if the Coast Guard is going to do anything. The owner of the vessel must be popping a few blood vessels by now, but he wasn’t given much of a choice. We had to appropriate his vehicle with his permission or steal it and tell him to bite the big one, so to speak. You can guess which option we took. Rich people don’t often want to share their toys, especially if it means they won’t get them back in one piece.

This tub is wired with enough C4 to put a hole in the Great Wall of China, meaning that the moment I dial up the number on the cellphone I’m carrying, speed dial thankfully, there’s going to be nothing left of this craft but a drifting cloud of black smoke and a charred frame waiting for the Pacific to claim it.

I can hear a lot of grunting and straining as the kid wakes up. He’s trying to break his bonds, which would be impossible when he’s calm and contained. But as I continue to listen I hear the guttural, demonic-sounding voice that has plagued my waking and sleeping hours since I met this kid. What kind of condition he’s got I don’t know. The kid is either a mutant like from the old comics I used to love, or he’s possessed. It’s hard to tell since he has the strength of a goddamned bull when he gets going and the temperament of a pissed-off badger.

You think I’m joking? I literally saw him rip two fingers from the hand of one of my guys and shove them…well, that part doesn’t matter. He’s a tough little bastard, that’s all that does matter. And as I keep listening I can hear the sound I was hoping against hope wouldn’t come. The sound of nylon straps ripping and snapping under intense pressure, the cracking of tile as the kid hits the floor, and the animal-like growl that tells me he’s coming.

Game on.

(to be continued)

Damage Control Is Pointless When the Bomb Already Dropped

He changed….one…word. And that’s supposed to make it better. Who are Trump’s writers, who are these folks that think one word being changed out of the entire debacle that happened in Helsinki is going to mean that much? It’s almost as if saying “I’m sorry, you misunderstood my intentions when I threw you under the bus. I didn’t mean to throw you under the tires, just under the bus.”

I would ask at this point if Trump is for real but for the past year and a half it’s become quite clear that we’re not sharing a nationwide nightmare that some people think is sprinkled with pixie dust because of the few good things he’s done. Trump put another nation before his own in terms of who he could trust the most, leaving it very clear on where he stands and just what he happens to think of the USA as opposed to Russia.

He’s ridiculed the USA’s allies, tried to put them in their place by doing and saying whatever he pleases, and is continuing to alienate people even as he tries in a very half-hearted fashion to explain why his faux pas wasn’t what people thought it was. And he changes…one…word. At this point one has to wonder how he passed his exams in college. Did he have another group of writers or fellow students rather on his payroll making sure he passed and was made to look like a genius?

Whoever his writer’s are now, they’re either not being paid enough to care or they’re being paid too much to produce absolutely nothing. Wait, it is a government job…..

What Defines Us?

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There are so many things that define a human being, but many of them have to do with how we see ourselves in this world and how we react when this world attempts to see something different. Life knocks you down with ease as you grow and experience its many different facets, but one thing that defines the human race is that we continue to get back up.

We’re tougher than we think, smarter, and far more determined than we know. While Mother Nature and Father Time can sweep us aside without a single bit of difficulty the truth is that our species continues to rise, to get back up and continue to trod forward no matter what happens. One of the many meanings of life is to go forward, to stride into the future without worrying about what happened in the past. From the moment we fall, and it will happen, we are learning. From the moment we get back up, we’re stating that we might fail, we might fall, but we won’t be stopped.

There is much learned by success, but there is more to learn from a fall, from a failure, as it teaches us how to get back up, how to find that defining moment when we won’t simply back down, when we won’t admit defeat, and when we won’t go gently into that good night (thank you Mr. Thomas). Our species is far from perfect, but we’re not quitters when it comes to life. Like any creature that’s ever walked, flown, swam, or crawled upon this world we know only one direction, and that’s forward.

What defines humanity, at least in one aspect, is that we won’t simply stay down.

We’re All Going Crazy Together…According to Trump

“While I had a great meeting with NATO, raising vast amounts of money, I had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russia. Sadly, it is not being reported that way – the Fake News is going Crazy,”

https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/17/politics/white-house-mood-donald-trump-vladimir-putin-news-conference/index.html

How’s that saying go? If it’s one person it might be nothing, if it’s a few people it might be something, but if it’s everyone then it might be true that everyone’s out to get you? I’m very certain that that’s not it, but in this case it might be time to coin a new phrase just for the POTUS. Let’s try this on for size.

“It’s not fake news if everyone’s saying the same thing.”

It might need a little work, but it certainly does seem to get to the point since at this time the only ones thinking that Trump performed admirably in Helsinki would be Trump, Putin (maybe), and those few supporters that aren’t busily scratching their heads wondering just what he was thinking about when he tossed the USA under the bus.

Even his most loyal supporters are wondering what happened. A few of them might be delusional enough to think that he simply had a bad day and didn’t prepare enough for his speech, but let’s wait and see how things turn out before we all really dig in our heels and sharpen our pitchforks.

Remember, his presidency isn’t over yet. Oy.