Poetry Corner: Yellow

I wanted to capture yellow,
color as color,
as the directions said.
I didn’t expect
a visitor to make an appearance,
patiently waiting for me to take my shot,
patient enough to wait to be seen
until later, in front of my screen
and far from his wide world

Poetry & photography (c)2018 Michelle M. Welch

This color-as-color exercise from my miksang contemplative photography book yielded something interesting when I expanded it large enough to see the details. Click for full size.

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Stories from Refuge – 105 – “I didn’t much think about who might have heard the codes.”

(c) Serjio74 | Dreamstime.com

Refuge: an underground city built to save people from an apocalyptic world. But how will its people save themselves? Read the stories in any order, or start with the introduction at part 1.

Reconciliation Council report C-26, interview with Curt Cowalcheck, recorded by Mary 80C
RY 100.12.11

I didn’t think it was a big deal. That’s what I told myself, no matter what I did. That’s how I lived my life – make sure I never did anything that was a big deal. I worked for Government, sure, but I didn’t do much, nothing that really hurt anyone. I did the morning broadcast from Media Production, reading the news and sounding the end-of-curfew alarm. Sure, it was annoying to have that stuff piped into your living unit every day, you couldn’t turn it off, and sure it was a lot of propaganda, saying things were great when a lot of people thought they weren’t, but it’s not like I was building bots or torturing suspects in Section 6. No big deal.

Same with the codes, when one of those people asked me to read them. She thought I was trustworthy because I never made a big deal about anything. I didn’t think I was trustworthy, necessarily, but I wasn’t going to make a… Well, you know. I did what she asked me to, pretended to get confused and say the wrong stuff, words that weren’t in the regular script, that sounded like nothing even though they were really secret messages.

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Poetry Corner: Sharp

Look carefully
before you touch me,
I am sharp –
thorns ready to defend
against gnawing teeth and scratching claws –
But what’s that?
Perhaps we aren’t so different
after all

Poetry & photography (c)2018 Michelle M. Welch

The thorns on this palo verde tree are a little hard to see; click to expand the photo.

Stories from Refuge – 104 – “Maybe we could have climbed that ladder fast enough.”

(c) Radist | Dreamstime.com

Refuge: an underground city built to save people from an apocalyptic world. But how will its people save themselves? Read the stories in any order, or start with the introduction at part 1.

Reconciliation Council report B-84, dialogue between A.L. and Curt Cowalcheck, recorded by James 72A
RY 100.12.9

I probably didn’t have to do it. I might have gotten away and not gotten hurt. My best friend – she was a third kid and my parents promised to raise her like their own kid so she didn’t get arrested or sent Aboveground, so it was like we were sisters. It’s funny that she never stopped thinking about going Aboveground, and one day she finally did it. It’s funny that they would have persecuted her just as hard for wanting to get out of Refuge as they would have if they had found out she wasn’t really part of our family, and they would have punished her by sending her up there anyway.

I was going to go with her. We were going to go see the salt playas where they get the lithium for the air scrubbers, we were going to go see that hospital that’s rumored to still be operating, and see if there are any cities around anymore. But then the bots came and I jumped back down to distract them, to make sure she got away. Maybe I didn’t have to. Maybe we could have climbed that ladder fast enough, kicked it down, and run away before anyone could follow us.

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Poetry Corner: Bird #2

Are you looking at me?
Why?
I’m just here
wetting my feet
before taking off again,
a minute like any other,
hardly worth capturing,
unless – of course –
you’re already captured
with two feet that don’t leave the ground

Poetry & photography (c)2018 Michelle M. Welch

Stories from Refuge – 103 – “Did you really mean it when you promised amnesty?”

(c) Svedoliver | Dreamstime.com

Refuge: an underground city built to save people from an apocalyptic world. But how will its people save themselves? Read the stories in any order, or start with the introduction at part 1.

Reconciliation Council report B-83, interview with F.A., recorded by Mary 80C
RY 100.12.8

Don’t you think it’s strange, all these stories we’re telling about living down here, how hard it was, how much we all had to put up with? Just because we were afraid of going Aboveground. They told us the air was poisoned and it gave everyone cancer a hundred years ago and we had to come down here and now we live down here, end of story. Getting sent back up there is a threat or a punishment. Third kids get sent up there. The Commanders got sent up there. I heard they just found a Commander in Refuge, hiding out here and living in secret for a year after the Revolution, and they sent her Aboveground.

Did you ever think some people might want to go up there? Voluntarily, to get away from things down here? And imagine how strange it was, and forbidden, almost unimaginable to even think about it and if you were crazy enough to try you got beaten down and there were nothing but locked doors in your way and you might even get arrested. Just for thinking that getting away from the curfew alarms and the Empaths hunting for anyone who seemed suspicious and the bots ready to break people’s necks if they got out of line and the Government that told us all these things were necessary – getting away from all that was worth taking your chances with the air Aboveground that might or might not still be poisoned.

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