ODOP: The Good Old Days

A woman could be a lady then.
Three petticoats for decency–
And to conceal the weapons.

Prompt: TVTropes Randomization — The Edwardian Era. I’m pretty sure we were actually down to 0-1 petticoats by then, but ARTISTIC WORD ASSOCIATION.

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ODOP: Bullhorn to Whoever’s There

A little father from the earth, a little closer to the moon’s back,
Interrogation inverted—
Give me some answers, or I drop me!

Prompt: TVTropes Randomization — High Altitude Interrogation

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ODOP: Hymn

The Lord made the cosmos, and all the dust in it
From expansion to expansion is only his shadow in the water
(And He made the water).

He is as generous as the length of an elephant’s trunk,
And the flexibility of it (and I praise Him).

He is as unmistakable as the rich odors
On farms and savannahs (and I praise Him).

He is as passionate as the heated fusion
In the center of each massive star (and I praise Him).

He is as fathomless as the empire of ants
That connect my bathroom to underground caverns (and I praise Him).

He is as compelling as the caw before dawn
Of a single bird by a lonely sea (and I praise Him).

His judgment is as severe and as true as the eyes,
Silent and staring, of the starving (and I praise Him).

His love is as wholehearted as the hurtle
And crash and spray at the waterfalls (and I praise Him).

He is as proud as the capital I’s;
Those I’s that are a crumb of his noblesse oblige (and I praise Him).

He is convincing as the silence, and as soothing.
The silence is his voice. (Tune yours with laughter or drink, and praise Him.)

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ODOP: Churls

Dunces, fools, and dullards, us city rats were called,
For we were stult and stuffed underneath
A teacher’s gaze, a caseworker’s survey,
The averted eyes of bosses
And the stares of prison guards.
This went on some generations.
This went on some millennia.
The world went round, and we went down,
It turned but never, lamented our betters, we learned.
We scarcely could grasp when they said the stars were falling and the seas were rising
Were working too deep underground
Didn’t know till walls were knocked round
(But we hear every last one of them’s drowned.)

Windy and wild, but they gave out in the end,
Submitted to our ankles in the end, licking and lapping,
In the end it washed away the grime,
Cleansed our flea-rid sores, caressed our bruises,
Scoured the cuts of many a knuckling and many a rapping and many a beating and many a flogging,
The beatings we took from our betters for not being better,
And left us stung and raw
And ready. At the end.

The sunfloods came, the hills all fell, and golddust rode the winds.
Our memories are cured since then.

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ODOP: twofer triads

only one face in sight,
the clock–
and that’s not a friendly one

Icefalls in the mountains sound like whips,
but we don’t flinch:
In our leafless forests, naked love.

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ODOP: Swan Song

Life and death coterminous. Revolutionaries with wisdom as immense as hers go down in violence or camera flashes. But the unslippered lady with bent neck in the reeds is dying by degrees (her eyes more blue every day); for all her prophecy no swarms invade her glen, scattering the heavy peace, to suck on her twilight song. Anyone with the right ears and righter hearts has come in ones and twos over the riverbright centuries. No rush, no fever.

For she never spoke her word but she sang, and no one can remember a time when she was not singing it.

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ODOP: Old Danilo (23)

Subtitled:The End

The next day Ivan made the home of
Vasilisa, to live happily thereupon
And by his strength to ease her life. The
Rags of Danilo’s cloak healed the wounds she
Had received among the robbers and then
Served as patches for her little sister’s
Kirtle. She and all the children wrestled
And adored him, whereupon he confessed
That he was no more a tsarevich.

“But I told all and sundry that you were
A prince!” said Vasilisa. “Good thing
We never believed you then, dear,” said her
Mother. And said her father, “Anyhow, you
Promised him.” “I know,” said Vasilisa the
Tall. And so they were married at once.
And never again, I imagine, was
Ivan plagued by bad dreams in his nights,
For Vasilisa was a very pretty girl,
And not the sort that squicks too easily.

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ODOP: Old Danilo (22)

Baba Yaga cackled how she had been
Deprived of other prey, but recompense
Was here: a stout youth now for her palate:
Foolish to come, but fair to eat; boon for
A witch in hard times. She would call her hands
From the unseen gloom now to hold him fast —
He glanced at her darkly. “Even without
My brother-hounds, I am still Ivan the
Appetitacious.” And Baba Yaga most
Amiably gave him to eat and drink.

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ODOP: Old Danilo (21)

Subtitled: Bah humbug.

Whatever his looks, the people he passed
Bowed toward him as he tramped back home, a long
Way, and covering many days, and as
He neared Vasilisa (so close) he saw
That same hut, lit in the spot in the woods
Where the way was weariest. Near he drew,
In he went: Baba Yaga and her oven
Greeted him with merry flames. “Dinner!” For
There were Russian bones on the floor, Slavic
Blood on the doors, skulls along her drive.

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ODOP: Old Danilo (20)

Ivan cursed madly, howling in the air
All the way so that, fast as the cloak flew,
The twelve-headed dragon could follow him
By the sounds. Mid-air Ivan drew his fists
And the battle raged long, wounds were exchanged,
The damp wind whistled, and Ivan subdued it.
This time he ate every last bit of it.
Never again for it to grow. The
Flying cloak was in tatters and so were
His clothes, and for once his stomach was full.

Image property of Squidoo

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