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March 2019

Posted on March 28, 2019 by sydneymandt

Wednesday Post! (May this start a trend…)

Doug is dutifully and admirably working on his computer, creating visual art to post on Instagram, and I am following his creative example. We sit side by side on our couch, with blanket-filled space between us, both with laptops in our laps.

I’ve been thinking about the poem I posted most recently – Us. I’ve decided that the ending is a bit awkward, because “we”, when read aloud, could also be heard/visualized as “wee”. On one hand, it seems unlikely that a reader would hear this pronoun-heavy poem and think that I was referring to urine with that word, instead of the first person plural pronoun. But on the other hand, I couldn’t get it out of my mind, so others may notice the homophone issue as well. Also, since there’s a precedent within the poem for playing around with words, maybe readers would consider that I threw in a double meaning for fun.

However, I do mean “we”, not “wee”, and since I may read this aloud to an audience someday, I decided to experiment with a version of the poem that is less ambiguous. Here is what I came up with:


This and That loved Those and These

But always avoided Them.

They liked Them and a little of That,

But These were never Their friends.

It felt It didn’t belong with Them,

But was chummy with Hes and Shes.

Them like That and That liked Those,

But neither were fans of These.

One day They and Them met at

A stop with Hes and Shes.

Up walked Those and This and That,

Joined by It and These.

It followed the motley group as It

Boarded a local bus,

And panicked, until It recalled that We,

Together, all make Us.

Posted on March 24, 2019 by sydneymandt

Plan and Poem

Here it is, Sunday, March 24th, and I have not followed my blog posting plan. I may have been too ambitious to set a goal of posting something four times a week, at least just starting out. So I’m revamping the plan to follow that of my husband, who posts on social media twice a week, on Sunday and Wednesday. He shows amazing discipline in doing this, so if I follow his example, and sit down to blog when Doug sits down to do his bi-weekly Instagram drawing, I will be more likely to get it done. I’m hoping it will be like a bicyclist drafting a large truck, going speeds way beyond his or her own leg power by letting him-or-herself be pulled along in the lead vehicle’s slip stream.

The above paragraph fertilized two thoughts in my mind.

  1. According to Wikipedia, “drafting can significantly reduce the paceline‘s average energy expenditure required to maintain a certain speed and can also slightly reduce the energy expenditure of the lead vehicle or object.” Wha….?! Could it be that being followed can actually make the effort of leading easier? When I put it that way, it actually makes sense. But as far as physics is concerned, I find the idea a little confounding.
  2. I’ve been thinking about pronouns lately, both in general (as evidenced by the poem I wrote and will post today, Us), and also those that are gender specific. Notice the clunky “he or she” and “him-or-herself” references above. I suppose I could have used the word “one”, saying “one’s own leg power” and “letting oneself be pulled along”. It works, but it seems a little awkward or old-fashioned to me. Doug brought to my attention that some folks are using the pronoun ze to refer to a person without referring to zeir gender. (I used “zeir” there instead of “their” or “him or her”.) But if ze replaces he and she, what form of it replaces him or her? Zim? Zer? Fertilizer for future writings.
  3. Check out my husband’s Instagram Page, Ethical Creatures. He’s a brilliant artist with a penchant for the humorously bizarre. (Or maybe bizarrely humorous?)

Today’s writing is a poem entitled Us. I’m still trying to figure out if I should put it in this blog post, just refer to it here and post it in full on the poem page, or do both.

For now, I will do both. So here’s the poem, also available for viewing under the Poems heading.


This and That loved Those and These

But always avoided Them.

They liked Them and a little of That,

But These were never their friends.

It felt It didn’t belong with Them,

But was chummy with He’s and She’s.

Them like That and That liked Those,

But neither were fans of These.

When He and She and This and That

And They met on a bus,

It saw Them and These and Those

And started to make a fuss.

Until It noticed Them and They

And Those and He and She,

Along with These and This and That

Together all make We.

Posted on March 11, 2019 by sydneymandt

2019/2020 Spring to Spring plan

“Something Old,

Something New,

Something Borrowed,

Something Blue,

And a silver sixpence in her shoe.”

The above phrase refers to the old tradition concerning lucky objects a bride must have with her when she is getting married.

The somethings old and blue were supposed to ward off the Evil Eye, which could render the bride infertile.

The something borrowed was traditionally the undergarments of a married woman with kids, encouraging the new bride’s fertility. I wonder if the bride actually wore some other woman’s underwear. (Ew.)

The new something signified optimism in the future, and the silver sixpence symbolized prosperity.

As I was thinking about restarting Word Ferd, I thought of this marriage-related phrase and was inspired. I am not getting married, but I am beginning a new phase of writing that I hope is fruitful, collaborative, and full of goodness. (Incidentally, by this metaphor, I am a Blog divorcee on my third marriage.)

My idea is to follow this writing schedule:

Monday: Something Old – This will be a place for me to post my old writings or talk about anything else that the word “old” inspires me to write.

Wednesday: Something New – This will be a poem, short story, or essay I have written during the week of the current blog post.

Saturday: Something Borrowed – Here I will share other people’s words, such as quotes that have inspired me, links to other blogs, or comments on what I am currently reading.

Sunday: Something Blue – I define this broadly as anything that reminds me of one of the many connotations associated with the word/color blue. Carl Jung saw blue as a spiritual color. Blue can also describe inappropriate language, a state of sadness, and it can be the springboard for a million other ideas.

Silver Sixpence – Although I won’t devote a specific day of writing to this lucky object, I will keep in mind that writing practice is helping me to become rich in skills and abilities, which may or may not someday lead to monetary remuneration.