Poetry Month Challenges Day 18: Opportunity and Opportunism

Opportunity in Opportunism by Maria L. Berg 2023

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. 

Henry Ford

Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough. 

Abraham Lincoln

Opportunity & Opportunism

An opportunity is a situation or condition favorable for attainment of a goal; a good position, chance, or prospect, as for advancement or success; an appropriate or favorable time or occasion. We’re all on the lookout for opportunities and are told we should be open to them and seize them whenever possible. But an opportunity changes to opportunism when it serves one person by preying on the suffering of others. Opportunism is the policy or practice, as in politics, business, or one’s personal affairs, of adapting actions, decisions, etc., to expediency or effectiveness regardless of the sacrifice of ethical principles.

I found an interesting section in The Mind at Mischief called “Talking to the Dead” that talks about one aspect of opportunism and what makes people susceptible to it:

The average person, having passed through some sorrowful bereavement, craves satisfying assurance that his loved one has only passed on to enjoy the pleasures of a better world. The bereaved soul is tortured by anxiety and uncertainty, and craves that which will demonstrate and prove that his loved ones have survived death—that they enjoy consciousness beyond the vale. . . .These and many other questions throng the minds of mortals and clamor for an answer; and as long as they are there, spiritualism will have an excuse for existence—and an opportunity to deceive and to delude.

William S. Sadler, M. D.

Today’s Images

Opportunism makes me think of ambulance chasers, people who swoop in to make money off of other people’s suffering. Ambulances and hospitals make me think of the symbol of the square cross, or balanced cross, so for today’s images I used two different square cross filters, one an open shape with hot glue randomly drawn over it, and the other the cut-out shape placed in an open circle. I see the distortion of the shape through the lights’ overlap as the way that opportunism distorts opportunities to help people in need into greed making a bad situation so much worse.

Opportunism in Opportunity by Maria L. Berg 2023

The Prompts


Today’s prompt is to write an abecedarian.

Poem A Day

Today’s prompt is the third two-for-Tuesday prompt, which means you get two prompts, and they are:

  1. Write a love poem, and/or…
  2. Write an anti-love poem.

dVerse Poets Pub

At dVerse the Poetics prompt is windows.

The Poem

Love is Not a Zebra in the Rain

Arnold gazes out his window through the raindrops and the ache
Bianca glances at the barren and the beholden burdened
Carlos sees characters carousing and clearly cheating
Darla doesn’t see anything through the dirty windows
Eugene’s eyes are closed to the ethics of opening envelopes
Franny’s fancies run feloniously far afield
Grant applies for grants that should go to good charities
Hannah helps the homeless hurry further from her home
Ivan ignites the suffering of the people he ignores
Jenna sells journeys into one’s own jealous mind
Ken kills everyone slowly and silently with chemicals
Laura lives for luxury but never looks
Monty mourns and will do anything for momentary relief
Noni never needs to know the numbers
Oscar often observes opportunism but opts for obscurity
Petra peers through panes at public parks and imagines pavement
Quin questions the quality of the quantity of others
Rhonda rues regarding the riff-raff and runs for office
Steven swoops in an steals from the suffering
Tara is tempted by the tears of the tormented
Ulrich understands your pain while paid under the table
Vera vows to vanquish the blemishes of the vain
Walter washes windows while watching and wondering
Xandra signs next to the X in every signature but her own
Yurik yearns for your missed payment with plenty to loan
Zara stares out the window at all the zebras in the rain

There’s Still Time for the Nonce Scavenger Hunt

Yesterday, while reading other participants’ poems, I visited Monty’s Blahg and came across the Nonce Scavenger Hunt. Murisopsis at A Different Perspective defines Nonce poetry forms as poetic forms created by poets for one-time use, and provides a list of twelve to try for the hunt.

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