Poetry Month Challenges Day 16: The XY Axis of Fear and Control

Outer Control by Maria L. Berg 2023

Fear and Control

On April 2nd, I talked about my idea that all abstractions are on a continuum of fear between the extremes of fight or flight. I created a chart with a horizontal line with homeostasis and harmony at its center to chart all of the contradictory abstract nouns I’m studying this month.

Here’s what that chart looked like with all of the contradictory abstractions so far:

I was surprised by how many of the abstractions I’ve looked at clustered around the center and not the extremes.

This week I imagined another continuum for my chart: locus of control. All of these abstractions are perceived as inner or outer control. To see how this interacts with fight or flight, I created a vertical line (or Y axis) for the continuum of control with the extremes of completely inner or completely outer.

Though the locus of control seemed easy when thinking about it, when I went to put my abstract nouns in space, it didn’t seem as clear.

Today’s Images

Thinking about locus of control, I wanted to play with the new filter I made yesterday of the moving lines, putting outer control in my inner expression. I put my “blinds” over different shaped “windows.”

Gravitational Control by Maria L. Berg 2023

The Prompts


Today’s prompt is to write a poem that involves describing something in terms of what it is not, or not like.

Poem A Day

Today’s prompt is a title prompt: “The (blank) of a (blank),”

The Poem

The pin prick of a future obsession

doesn’t tear a hole
it might bring a drop of blood
enough to bring the finger pad
to the lips, but it doesn’t bleed
it doesn’t even hurt, not really
only a little pressure,
a little surprise ouch,
and though it doesn’t stop you,
it doesn’t curtail your creation,
it lingers, somewhere in the
back of the day, already a memory
and yet, there it is, you can’t help
but touch the spot, the invisible
place of puncture, you can’t
stop rubbing it with your thumb;
you eye the pins warily
as if they plot against you
gathered cozily in their cushion
not a plush tomato, a disguised den of
point sharpening and strategizing;
you rub your finger on your
pant leg as if the betrayal
can be wiped away,
but you will never be whole

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