I prefer exceptions
I prefer exceptions
2019, Knara Agasaryan; Magdalena Brzezinska; Albert Brzezinski; Carmen Camilleri; Renske Carbone; Habiba Chouchen; Patricia Emilien; Jim Fleckenstein; Carla Grzywacz; Alexander Guerrero; Judith Gutlerner; Rob Howard; Yulia Ivanova; Anthony Kolasny; Agneta M Lindh; Sole Afra Martinez; Gudny Sigridur Olafsdottir; Renske Oort; Vicky Papageorgiou; Ola Porebska; Deisy Rey; Marjorie Rosenberg; Sonia Roychowdhury; Maria Laura Scasso; Arevhat Simonyants; Margaret Teusner; Zita Toth; Mineko Tsukamasa; Rania Tulba; Samar Tulba; Natasha Vanderlinden; Cynthia Willett No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher. ©
Cover Art: Albert Brzezinski
Illustrations (unless otherwise specified): Magdalena Brzezinska
31. 10. 2019
This is our fifth international collaborative literary and artistic project: the exceptions one. This year, by an amazing (exceptional!) coincidence, not only did we select one Polish Nobel Prize in Literature laureate to be our inspiration, but we also witnessed the winning of the same prize by another Pole. It is a true privilege to cultivate this tiny allotment beside their blooming orchard. In her Possibilities, Wislawa Szymborska says, “I prefer the absurdity of writing poems/ to the absurdity of not writing poems.” So do we, the participants — alongside some other creative absurdities and bonding ridiculousness. It was wonderful to see all the regular and new contributors get involved, and it was just as thrilling to see some past ones come back. Here we are, one more time: diverse, artistic, unprejudiced, limitless, unstoppable — and united.
He died in summer He died in summer. His ashes returned to me soon. I placed them by a lighted candle in our living room. I questioned softly, “Where’d you go?” “To Heaven,” was his answer. “I’m made of air, no longer bear the haunting pain of cancer.” “Our life as one,” I said, “is done. I’m halved, a piece made lame, and you are here as atmosphere while I tend your remains.” And so our conversations go, his spirit form and I, to be continued till he comes to meet me when I die.
Art and poetry:
Cynthia Willett, USA
Child 2 Age 8. Wire sculpture after Giacometti Title: Nervousâ&#x20AC;©
Teachers are not supposed to have favorites. It’s the golden rule. But I prefer exceptions. The misfits, the quirky, even the down-right difficult. The ones that others have given up on. In the world of standardized tests, national achievement standards, normalized bell curves; I prefer the oddities, the anomalies, the ones that are left off so as not to skew the results. I prefer exceptions, almost without exception. She was a small child, much smaller than others her age. Waif-like and dreamy. Her attention alighting on everything and nothing at the same time. Attracted to touching, sensing the world through her fingers, and wandering. Never engaged with the subject at hand, but in a world of her own …and then out of the blue she would comment. Fiercely perceptive and to the point. Teachers were worried. How would she learn to read and write if she could not attend? Finally, a ‘diagnosis’ and rounds of drugs. She settled and she deadened. She tried to listen and follow the instructions but still she couldn’t keep up. Tears and frustration. In the normalized classroom how could such individual attention be provided? But my classroom was the art room, we could make other connections. So, we spent time together every Wednesday after school for many weeks, weaving wire (refocusing attention) coiling and threading (making connections), binding and constructing (scaffolding). Until finally she was done, building and creating her inner light sculpture and her new neural pathways, reinforced by joy and dopamine. I prefer exceptions. She was accelerated by nearly two years from the time she commenced school and her diminutive frame stood out even more amongst her peers because of this. Almost as stark in contrast was the force of her intellect. When it came to her understanding and perception, she was well beyond her peers.
Child 1. Age 9. Wire sculpture based on bioluminescent sea creature. Title: Inner light
But it meant nothing on days when she could not cope, which were many. Particularly when she felt pressured to perform or work to a time frame. Overanalyzing a simple turn of phrase, because in her mind it had extrapolated to complex dimensions that she couldn't articulate; she would shuffle papers and refuse to work. Days and weeks passed, rummaging through the apron basket looking for her apron to avoid commencing work or refusing to pick up the charcoal because she didn’t like how it felt. Other teachers started to worry, even complain, meetings and plans were drawn up. So bright and yet so truculent. But I trusted her. We talked. I threw out the rule book. It’s OK, I said, I believe in you. Work at your own pace and in your own way. So long as you can provide something at the end. Don’t worry about short term deadlines. Everything changed. She came at lunchtime and after school. She constructed, got her hands dirty, corrected and perfected. And the next year the same. She produced the most extraordinary drawings and perceptive reflections. I prefer differences, mutations, outsiders. I prefer exception, without exception.
Margaret Teusner, Australia
A Champion Exception It was quite the shock for my son Orin to find himself in a whole new neighborhood when we moved. He was in 7th grade, a very sensitive, insecure and vulnerable age. He didn’t know anyone and no one knew him, but he wanted to play baseball. I signed him up to play and was told he had to go to the baseball field on Saturday to try out for a team. Orin was happy he was signed up until he found out he had to “try out” for a team. “There is NO WAY I am going to do this!” he cried. “ You don’t understand! All of these coaches will be staring at me! And I don’t know any of these kids! They will be making fun of me!” I couldn’t believe he was being so unreasonable. I thought that when Saturday came, all would be fine. I was wrong. I found myself driving a screaming teenager to a baseball tryout he did not want to go to. We got to the field, and I have to admit I was now worried and uncomfortable with what I saw. There was what looked like at least a hundred boys all dressed in fancy baseball clothes, with expensive gloves, tossing balls back and forth to one another. Some were hitting the ball, others catching. Kids were everywhere, all looking so selfassured and excited to play. At the edge of the field, stood the coaches. There were many of them, perhaps a dozen or so. They wore baseball caps and tee shirts and all had clipboards. One or two had toothpicks hanging from their mouths, a few looked as if they were chewing gum or tobacco and spitting. They were an intimidating group of men. They were huddled together making comments and laughing as they watched the teens play. Orin took one look at this scene and fell apart! He surveyed the scene from the car, from all those happy excited, dressed up boys tossing, catching and hitting balls, to the ring of coaches with their smug expressions. There was no way he would ever get out of the car to be a part of this! He climbed into the back seat and started to cry. I tried to talk to him, but it only made it worse. He was pounding his fists on the back of the seats and screaming at this point. I didn’t know what to do but because he enjoyed the game I hoped he could play.
I opened the car door and approached the huddled coaches. They all stopped and stared at me. I stuttered and talked really quickly trying not to look at any one of their amused faces. “We’re new to the community,” I started, ”I signed my son up to play baseball but he doesn’t want to try out. He is scared and doesn’t know anyone. Do you think that one of you might take him on your team anyway?” I pleaded. One of the coaches said, “Sorry, we don’t do that. We don’t make exceptions. He’s gotta try out or he can’t play.” Another coach said, “Let me see the kid!” I pointed to the car where Orin was crying even harder now and pounding his fists. One of the coaches laughed and said softly, thinking I didn’t hear, “I wouldn’t take that wimp on my team”. One of the other coaches heard this remark which angered him so he said,” I’ll take him! Please tell him he is on my team! He shouldn’t be so upset over this!” I went back to the car feeling relieved and assured Orin he was now on a team. Orin became a very important part of this team. The coach was patient and kind helping everyone to play better. The team flourished. They kept winning. At the end of the season it came down to 2 teams, his team and the team whose coach had laughed at my son. The championship game between the two teams was exciting and close. Orin scored the final homerun causing his team to win the championship. After the game, both teams lined up to shake hands. The coaches had to shake hands as well. When the other coach shook my son’s coach’s hand I heard him say with such disgust, “I shoulda taken that kid!” I will always remember the kindness this coach showed us and how making such an exception won him a championship.
Judy Ana Gutlerner, USA
Yulia Ivanova, Russiaâ&#x20AC;©
Variation A golden sun The bluest sky Green as green can be A hurricane, a blizzard Grey as grey can be The fussy, the standout, The inconvenient child, The weeper, the dreamer, The failure, The problematic child. I prefer exceptions Your tantrums, your outburst, Your candor, your nature, Your innocence and love. I prefer exceptions The weeper, the dreamer The failure The problematic child. I prefer You.
MarĂa Laura Scasso, Argentina
Youth Currently opens a period of carefreeness But not of thoughtfulness Time of belief in outrageous greedy leisure In a forever life of joy and pleasure Nevertheless, the dream of innocent sweet love Beguiled with hope of endlessness happiness Concealing the regardless will Of a quick access to success Despite the time of serious studies Wishing fate to unveil clues of the future Disclosing on an unpredicted offer abroad Revealing an awesome way of life Opening the door to new friendship With view on an enriching education Leading the way to a well-anchored job And a serious desire of a blooming family Holding the lead of your future Loose and tight accurately Opening with lucidity the gates To welcome an unbelievable concealed fate.
Patricia Emilien, New Caledoniaâ&#x20AC;Š
but true ||
in the moment
silence to being the birds
disguise Art and poetry: Agneta M Lindh, Swedenâ&#x20AC;Š
Mineko Tsukamasa, Japanâ&#x20AC;Š
I prefer exceptions Haikus I follow the rules. But I prefer exceptions. Life is just not fair. All those boring verbs. But I prefer exceptions. e.g. ‘go, went, gone’. I studied music. But I prefer exceptions. Now I teach English. I come from NJ. But I prefer exceptions. Now I live in Graz. I have worked with kids but I prefer exceptions and now teach just adults. Should I retire? But I prefer exceptions. Still enjoy working. Nice to have free time but I prefer exceptions and work weekends too. Is tech what I need? But I prefer exceptions, pen and paper too. So many questions. But I prefer exceptions I do it my way. Marjorie Rosenberg, USA
Embrace Exceptions can take Shapes of all sorts. A generous smile, Some unexpected support. A crumpled message in a pocket, Or a small flower sheltered from the storm. Exceptions keep me awake And, sometimes, they make me wonder. They reveal their secrets, And expect compassion. It is my turn, then, To change the course of action. Exceptions bring to my ears Some sweet sounds of the past. Landscapes of unknown countries, Friends whom I trust. They carry all that, And some words from their hearts. I also prefer exceptions, Like an author wrote once. I cherish their fragrance, And their theatrical way to act. But what marvels me most, Is their ephemeral life.
Art and poetry: Sole Afra Martinez, Argentinaâ&#x20AC;Š
Yulia Ivanova, Russiaâ&#x20AC;©
I prefer exceptions I prefer the sea to the countryside; Perhaps because we are surrounded by it, And fields we have not many. I prefer the Amazon jungle Yet we choose to burn it up to build more concrete jungle masses. I prefer the chirping of the birds and the humming of the bees But, I ask, where are the trees? All I hear is the clanking of horns and braking of high sped cars. I prefer blue skies But all we get is smog and clouds of dust That hang like a blanket in the air. I prefer holding babies, cute and small. To running errands, breathlessly chasing the clock. I prefer a joke or two, a drink and a smoke too. I prefer movies that make me cry For laughing out heartily and loud. I prefer singing and dancing to the golden sixties songs Yet my body gives up when Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m in pain. I prefer a tightly knit circle of close friends Yet on Facebook I have plenty of so called â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;friendsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; I prefer heaven to hell And in spite of it all, I can say That, Here on earth I have experienced both.
Carmen Camilleri, Malta
Reflections On An Aspiring Artist Her paycheck was earned selling flawed imperfection, Years spent working under constant peer pressure. All work that was done, constantly counted and measured Subjected her to heartbreak that came with each rejection. The time has arrived to go out on her own, Breaking free like a butterfly, confined sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been waiting. No need to postpone, or delay speculating, Hidden talents imprisoned can break free to be shown. Her artwork now able to reflect rare perceptions, Creativity bursts forth, she feels so alive. The passions once bottled, have arisen, revived Composing beautiful artwork, filled with expression. The paintings so able to reflect strange perceptions, With strokes and bright colors leave viewers aghast. Revealing figures and spirits and images splashed Enticing, alluring, show a depth without question. Offering others a glimpse into her personal sobriety, Her energy comes from deep in her soul. Reminiscent of Pollock, Matisse or Warhol Each finished miracle a page in this artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own diary. Her paintings reflect some amazing perceptions, Inspiration comes forward out of thoughts so unique. The canvases composed by her alien techniques, Distinct, unexpected, she remains the exception.
Art and poetry: Jim Fleckenstein, Johns Creek, Georgia (USA)
Exceptions I’ve dreamt that I’m free. From all doubt and sorrow… Free from the fear of tomorrow… I’ve dreamt that I’m safe. In the midst of the storm… Safe, when dark clouds would form… Each day was its own. And with it came grace. To do. To love. To bear. To hope. To trust. To care. And I knew. Just knew: In all of it, He was there. Eternally loving, guiding, And just to Himself, smiling At the thought of how he wants To give. To bless. To heal. Now I’m awake And I feel. I know. I hear: “Child, this can be real!” So few live in the here and now. Trusting, laughing… but somehow… …I knew: I will be one… And so will you!
Art and poetry: Zita Toth, Hungary/Scotland
Set adrift on memory bliss The things we used to have are the things that we now miss and appear reflected in each sunrise of a country full of faith and hope. In a world like this it's okay to have expectations Every day lived, every hour, every breath shows that you just have to take the step that every expectation must be taken and brought to reality facing expectations No light, no freedom, years of regret expectation of expectations with fear but with hope to a new reality creating memories creating roads creating paths to those who follow my tracks.
Deisy Rey, Venezuela
Natasha Vanderlinden, USA
I prefer kindness. Empathy and seeking to understand; heartfelt, stumbling words and awkwardness-driven-by-kind-intentions to polished, smug parroting of meaningless condolences; childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s laughter; crayon drawings and appreciation; cats over dogs, but parrots are wonderful; lending a hand and receiving aid, but only when there are no strings attached. I prefer harmony. Sunrises, songbirds and the flutter of wings; stillness and moments for reflection; to keep trying; handwritten letters; socks. Singing and creating music, amateur passion to professionalism; majestic landscapes and the beauty in details; mending differences, reaching out, withholding judgement, and exploring my own suffering; common ground; sleeping in. I prefer contradictions. Travel and staying home; being understood and remaining an enigma; solitude and companionship; rigor and ease; calm and stimulation; safety and adventure; silence and symphonies; excelling at what I do and the fun of being hopeless at something. Choosing my challenges, facing my fears, doing the unexpected; the promise of change, but only when I am comfortable with goodbye. I prefer conversation. Picking up where we left off; public speaking to small talk; not having to talk; blunt candidness to elusive subtlety; meeting new people. Not meeting new people.
Gudny Sigridur Olafsdottir, Icelandâ&#x20AC;©
I prefer my bread three-quarter toasted to all-out abrasive, which I then prefer to slather with marmalade instead of butter and to eat before it cools. I prefer steaming cappuccinos and freshly-brewed hot tea, lightly sweetened. I prefer realness. People who are trying; explanations to excuses; commitment to convenience; working hard to idling. The everyday events of friends’ lives over the media’s apocalyptic hyperbole; a home that is “lived in and loved” rather than a spotless interior. I prefer order to chaos, but have accepted that my hair will always be a mess; freedom to oversight; figuring things out to being told; making a difference to getting paid; encouragement over incentives; the frenetic energy of Dutch Blitz to the repose of Scrabble or chess; quiet evenings at home. I prefer hope and life.
Natasha Vanderlinden, USA
As a matter of fact It is in fact true Sitting outside looking in Does not limit me Be in looking out? Be part of a â&#x20AC;&#x153;familyâ&#x20AC;?? Or ignore all this? As a matter of fact Who wants to be in looking out? Exceptions are swell. Blur the limits, yes! Be the unexpected norm. Stand out as you must.
Art and poetry: Vicky Papageorgiou, Greece
Renske Carbone, the Netherlandsâ&#x20AC;Š
Do I really prefer exceptions? A Dutch saying: Behave normally, that is strange enough. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stand out. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be loud. Be modest reasonable thoughtful. Once the norm, now the exception? Standing out or being modest. Being loud or being thoughtful. There are feelings, reasons, doubts and intentions. Every person is unique, every person is an exception. I think I do prefer exceptions.
Renske Oort, the Netherlands/ Germany
Rania Tulba, Egyptâ&#x20AC;©
McDonalds! My little one said when I asked: "Where to eat today?' And I wanted to say many things. I wanted, for example, to say I wanted it to be an exceptional day, but her excitement thwarted my desire to appear wise, and to moralize. I respected her desire to be no exception â&#x20AC;&#x201D; to be like everyone else; to stuff herself with all kinds of burger, labeled with names that aspire to evoke happiness, high-carb happiness and high-fat happiness, to be followed by milk shakes twice the size of her little face. Her big smile revealed two missing teeth and a cavity; she was as beautiful as ever, so I was grateful to Mac in spite of myself. As I was munching my way through my Caesar salad (the healthiest thing that McDonalds could offer) and taking a look after another at my little one's big, tired, after-school eyes, I began to think about 'little me', the one that lived inside me 33 years ago. I was 6 years old, a very little child, perhaps too little, with a big, round, curly head and massive, strange eyes. I didn't know anything about McDonalds back then, but the thing is: even if I had known about it, I would not have wanted to be part of it. I was, simply, that white elephant of a child who would prefer milk to soda, and fruit to potato chips. My parents were proud and most of our friends were always impressed and even envious, whereas a small minority frowned upon me the way they would do upon a too well-trained poodle, dismissing me, the whole of me, as an unhealthy phenomenon, and predicting that one day I'd collapse, that the 'old-child' guise would give way, and from underneath there would appear 'the' normal child.â&#x20AC;Š
Rania Tulba, Egyptâ&#x20AC;©
But it never didâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;that normal child never showed up. The old child survived as an oddity that went to bed every night with an unpopular book, and never managed to like fast food or anything fast or noisyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; one that kept faith with ugly ducklings and unwatched movies, and roads too much taken to be savored, the often-seen but rarely breathed in, the rarely embraced in full. I was different, and happy, and sad, and lonely, but I was always me. And I wanted to tell it all to my little one. I wanted to tell her that it was ok to be like that. But the moment I looked at her, that slyly prudent spirit left me. All the sophisticated thoughts and memories left; that urgent desire to convey experience and wisdom felt criminally selfish. A strange peace invaded me, generously and unpretentiously, as my little girl took a last sip of her all-too-ordinary milk shake, because the look on her face simply continued to celebrate the exceptionality of being unexceptional.
Samar Tulba, Egypt
Ola Porebska, Poland/ Australia â&#x20AC;Š
Blizzard Eve was my first true friend. We met at age 6, and became inseparable for the next 10 years. We spent holidays and weekends together; we dressed the same way; had the same haircuts and hair colour. And yet we were very different, Eve was the shy one, an artistic soul. If she only walked by some plants, as if by magic, a bouquet would grow in her hands. She hid her feelings, could love secretly and almost no-one would have guessed for years. I did. She liked being a good girl and to follow the rules. I was the leader and instigator of adventures, whilst Eve followed, intrigued and amused. We started skiing as teenagers, but with the snow being more whimsical than consistent, we were not progressing very fast. This did not stop us from having fun, however. I would always lead us to the more dangerous slopes, going through a forest or just letting go and skiing down really fast, often ending up collapsing in a helpless heap, more from laughter at our lack of abilities, than real falls. Still we needed our poles for most manoeuvres, including emergency breaking. One February Sunday, we went skiing, just a day trip. We skied a bit, before going for tea and cola at the top of the mountain. Once in the bustling shelter, a blizzard rolled in, forcing us to shelter a bit longer. When the sky cleared, we went out again. The sun was sitting low now, we had time to leisurely ski down and catch the last bus from the mountain base.
But Eve’s ski poles were not with her skis anymore.
someone made a mistake and took hers, leaving a pair behind. We were looking for the spare pair, but they all were bundled with other skis. Eve started panicking, there was no way she could ski all the way down without poles. I offered one of mine, but Eve knew she needed two to make it. Time seemed to have sped up and we were running out of it. I tried to reason with Eve that if someone took hers, they must have left theirs behind, thus she also needs to take a pair. Eve flatly refused, she would not budge. That was against the rules. We were stuck. The sun was setting, it was a long way to ski to the bus stop and we weren’t even moving in that direction. I handed Eve my poles and told her to go check the trail map, which ski run we need to take to the bus stop. I went and picked the worst, crooked pair of poles I could find. I caught up with Eve and we raced down a run which would typically take us 45 minutes, in the 30 minutes before the bus departure. So as you can see, as a rule, I don’t steal, but I would do anything for my friends.
Ola Porebska, Poland/ Australia
The Wild One While everyone slept, You sat awake... Alone in the darkness which none could take. When others courted with roses, You couldn't care less... For me, it meant love For you, a thorny mess. Like a lotus in a swamp, You stood out tall... Work hard was your maxim, To rise in life, among all. A breath of fresh air, the wind blowing in my hair... A bird in the sky Who wanted to fly high. A free soul was 'he' Being tied down, he thought... "Not a part of me". To love or not, Was hard to decide... I preferred exceptions I chose his side.
Art and poetry: Sonia Roychowdhury, Indiaâ&#x20AC;Š
The world is full of unspoken rules, But it's hard for me to follow them. I prefer to walk among the dreaming souls Than to meet the world's expectations. The world created a perfect sample Of living the perfect life. I didn't accept it, and at thirty-three I'm still looking for my way. The world may think I'm a weird stranger And that it doesn't have room for me, I'll take my chair and will go quietly Inside to my own world. My world consists of its own rules, And even here I may prefer an exception, My world used to be private for me, But I have one more chair for you.
Knara Agasaryan, Uzbekistan
I Prefer Visits I prefer visits, no invitation required. Preparation, not needed. Come as you are, enjoy the goodness of the day. We may highlight activities, or, ponder an event. There might be quiet spells, nothing needed to say. Simply, sharing the moment. There is no agenda, nor matters of consequence. Be at peace, nothing is required, but the exceptional you.
Anthony Kolasny, USA
I prefer exceptions! I like various exceptions! It doesn’t mean I hate the rules, Though sometimes regulations Make people complete fools! They say that everything matters: Money, power, and opinion, of course. I believe that even my old letters Can have tender memories, as rose. Feelings sound old-fashioned stuff For some humans of the mankind, Mercy, kindness, charity and love Are such notions difficult to find. How to treat the animals? To kill them in the street… Poison poor mammals Instead of helping them in need. What to do with property In private living sector? Make them live in poverty To show who is the director! Why to watch the planet? Do we need green trees? Save the water! Do it! Or you'll rest in peace! Help disabled people, If you have a chance. It is rather simple: Just let their souls dance. Cherish nearest, dearest Family's the best! You'll be strong and fearless In the east or west. Humans must be gentle To the world around. It’s the only method To be safe and sound!
Art and poetry: Arevhat Simonyants, Uzbekistan
Rania Tulba, Egyptâ&#x20AC;©
Woman She is the laughter and the tears She is beautiful in her fears She is simple, she is high She is an angel in the sky She might smile when she wants to cry She might sweep when she is full of joy She might be rude or polite She might hide sadness in her sight She hides strength behind her winking eyes She shows happiness when her heart cries The strongest of all mankind A woman who is hard to find Because she gathers all the contradiction Because she is an exception Because she is dark like chocolate But her heart is still a secret Woman, just be proud Woman, you can say it loud Even without intention You know you are the most beautiful world's exception
Habiba Chouchen, Tunisia
I prefer how happy I am, now you’re out of my life, now you’re irrelevant to me, no more trouble or lies. I prefer how calm I am when you have no buttons to push, when your actions are meaningless except to MY LOVE. We’re the exceptions, the ones you can’t control, the ones who put up with your bullshit, the people you wanted to fold. I prefer exceptions to the empty flat we called home, I prefer exceptions to your coldness and tone. But it is you who is the exception, you broke your own rules, your closest kin left in the dark, more exceptions to your rules. I prefer exceptions to the loneliness I once held; I prefer exceptions to your inner hollow shell. I prefer a better life for me and my love, and now we have. I prefer another face, the soft words rolling of their lips, his gentle kiss, soft touch, the laughter and joy he displays. I prefer his smile, his approach to life, the importance to family he maintains. I prefer the relationships I have and cherish fondly, the ones that have grown, the ones that support and are never ending. I prefer my one big family, all the extensions and impurities, I prefer to rid myself of ONE big vanity ………………. and that's you. But most of all I prefer the life I have now over YOU.
Carla Grzywacz, Great Britain
Antisocial Media The world is full of rules and laws Things that keep us from our flaws The grand design to make us formal A simple plan to keep us normal Yet social media gives us voice But what you see is not by choice People whine and people moan I wish they would put down their phone The underdog now has a pulpit Calling out every single culprit They fight injustice right and left Although ideas might be bereft When did we become so objective To bare it all, to be reflective I liked it better when we were quiet And kept our feelings tucked in private But today, we have a way To voice each thought we have to say We agree with comments, smiles and likes We smack others down with virtual strikes Perhaps itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time that we grow up Even better, just shut up To judge, to rate, to even shun Perhaps itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s better left undone
Rob Howard, USA/Poland
I prefer a half-orphan ACoA from a 500 sq. ft apartment shared with three family members behind the Iron Curtain during martial law taking a drawing class at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston
Magdalena Brzezinska, Poland