Literary Yard

Search for meaning

‘Field Trip’ and other poems

By: KJ Hannah Greenberg

Field Trip

Before masks and hand gel were commonplace,
At a time when Internet was a science fiction trope,
School districts chartered buses, bid kids to pack lunches,
Sought “wild” adventures at free, public gathering places.

One such quest was the Fifth Grade rite of passage,
Was that annual collection of peanut butter sandwich
Students, to the city’s storage bin of historical, scientific,
Cultural, and artistic artifacts. We best loved the dioramas.

Behind glass (since plastic was yet expensive), aboriginal
People, both local and foreign, were placed with household
Effects. Also, strange beast, all claws, fangs, stood perched
As though prepared to attack. Some children sloughed tears.

The nylon bags in neon colors, filled with a species of air,
Wagging like unstrung puppets, interested us for two entire
Minutes, whereas the acrylic abstracts in hippie hues of green,
Pink, blue, yellow, captured our attention for half that amount.

Confronted by towering sculptures, we pretended they
Sheltered dragons. Sleepy security guards called for us
To cease running around those priceless works constructed
From soda cans, milk cartons, chicken wire, spit, clothes pins.

Dead citizens from outlying lands caught us staring at
Their sarcophagi, inscribed with hieroglyphics, the nature
Of which we’d only previously viewed in our comic books
Full of caped heroes, select bad guys, enough buckshot to kill.


The Colors of Noise

“Black noise’s” silence. “Pink noise,” though, is twitterpated with bass,
Cranked past comfortable decibels. Similarly, “white noise” is obsessed
With environmental sensitivity.

As per “blue noise,” those high-pitched sounds, similar to articulated
Dithering, make peace among audible reverberations. Still, “green
Noise,” ever balanced, stays in the background.

“Grey noise,” alternatively, weighted or not, calms psychotics, puts
Murders and rapists to sleep, pacifies every robber, all manner of
Gang bangers.

It’s “Brownian noise,” however, that aids ordinary folks, culls splashes
Of ocean waves, booms of heavy wind, the inner peace concommitant
To deliberation.



Omitting choice themes when communicating,
Is all but supererogatory, maybe immoral,
Perhaps, likewise, is the worst sort of caesura.

Eliding, whether mañana or else immediately,
Breaks not only the flow of talk, but also
The exchange of truths, similar importances.

Plainly, certain folks insinuate that asemic
Writings, like toddlers’ scribbles, count
Naught against malfunctioning discourse.

Such foolish sorts, ever quarrelsome when
Enacting self-replicating insights, laugh
At core attempts to fashion epistemologies.


Banners for Separating Idealized from Realized Meaning

Rhetorical analyses establish obscured discrepancies.
Idealized vs. realized moral foundations of basic discourse,
Contrary to social myths, contrary to equanimity, utilitarian,
Individualistic, or expressive conventions, hardly ever buttress
The importance of the combined creation/maintenance of our
State, or else aid individuals’ singular, cognitive behaviors.
Rather, these assessments bolster federal fashions for
Conservation, empowerment, private somebodies.

Thus, the morality, which allegedly
Undergirds public edification, differs from
The principles used to mystify our population.
Hence, citizens fail at voicing ideological conflict,
Also, at challenging cultural norms. We cannot
Discuss culpabilities no matter the dangers.
So, our goals become circumscribed by
“Evidence” about “shared values.”

This shortage of knowledge per accountability
Deters our upkeep of civilization. To gain illumination,
We must embrace nonuniversal, accepted conceptualizations
Of beliefs such that dearths of literature on contexts surrounding
Meaning making won’t upset politicians or social scientists.
To clinch interdisciplinary perspectives & fundamentally
Complex collective missions, we must thwart reliance
On technical aptness, not yield sundry truths.

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