Resistance is futile… join the meme!


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Image via Wikipedia

My post today is in response to a concept I’m only beginning to understand… meme. Is meme noun, or is it verb…? I’m not certain. Does one ‘meme’ by oneself or with others, or is ‘meme’ a process the happens to you over time? Time to do a little research, I’m thinking.

A meme… is described by Wikipedia as follows;

The term Internet meme (pronounced /ˈmiːm/, rhyming with “cream”[1]) is used to describe a concept that spreads swiftly via the Internet.[2] The term is a reference to the concept of memes, although this concept refers to a much broader category of cultural information.

At its most basic, an Internet meme is simply the propagation of a digital file or hyperlink from one person to others using methods available through the Internet (for example, email, blogs, social networking sites, instant messaging, etc). The content often consists of a saying or joke[3], a rumor, an altered or original image, a complete website, a video clip or animation, or an offbeat news story, among many other possibilities. In simple terms, an Internet meme is an inside joke, that a large number of Internet users are in on.

The term Meme was coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 popular science bestseller, The Selfish Gene.[4]

The term may refer to the content that spreads from user to user, the idea behind the content, or the phenomenon of its spread. Internet memes have been seen as a form of art.[5]

So, the reason this new interest in meme is because of  The Pear Tree, an Okanagan based e-zine that I became aware of through a writerly friend, Jazz singer and blogger (so perhaps negotiating my way to The Pear Tree was also ‘meme’… as the definition states that meme is “propagation from one person to others”). My friend told me about The Pear Tree via Facebook, which is certainly a place that one can propagate information and ideas and even friends!

Still not entirely sure how to describe meme in my own words, so bear with me.

In any event, The Pear Tree is launching/initiating/posting/hosting/birthing a visual ‘meme’. Each Friday in September TPT is offering up a photographic prompt, and inviting bloggers to write on whatever is inspired by their pondering of that particular image.

Here is the first in the series of visual prompts posted by Lori-Anne Poirier at The Pear Tree. It’s a warm image, with immediate thoughts of craft, childhood, and simplicity. And yes, Suzan, I also thought of the cover of ‘Bird by Bird‘ by Anne Lamott!!!

My response to this beautiful photograph is to post several poems I’ve written about birds. They aren’t new, so I hope that doesn’t disqualify me from the meme!

Then I will wait here by my keyboard to see how meme truly works. I assume that at it’s most basic I will send traffic through links to The Pear Tree Ezine, that The Pear Tree will send traffic to me. I’m interested to see how viral this thing called meme really is… a tad excited, actually.

So, thanks Lori-Anne for this opportunity to share my writing, and for inspiring me to learn something new about the internet.

Without further adieu, here are my poems;

Songbird

Sun breaks through mid morning.
Your quick movement catches my eye,
single songbird perched on Joe’s truck.
You sing, tail bobbing, happy for the day,
Then suddenly swooping down, you
throw yourself at the mirror.
Again and again you flutter there pecking at the glass,
frantic in your attempt
to make some narciscisstic connection,
or to pass into what looks better
behind the looking glass.
I stand barefoot in the doorway watching,
dog lounging at my feet,
sun warming my toes.

Joe
was that you this morning,
sharing peace before you passed into something wonderful?
Did you sing?
Are you singing now?
Did you flutter, caught between
the present and the reflection of glory just beyond the glass,
and then, in the blink of an eye

……fly away?

Gulls 2

Gulls are drifting inland on updrafts from the sea.
Wantonly weightless they float overhead,
calling boldly to me of flight and freedom.

Creature of the middle earth I stand in salt spray, toes
sink in wet sand, thoughts sink deeper.
I lift my face skyward, consider their foreign tongue.

Then, rusty hinges on the screen door and
you call me from the cottage.
Warm voice carried on the wind, you beckon me.

I turn…
…returning to the welcome parameters of our love and life

Pelicans

Troubadours
Airborne units fly in formation
Low
Heavy
Skimming the space between sea
And sky
Mammoth
Undeniable, like
Heat-seeking missiles
Transcending the deep
And drawing up fish.

Roadside

Blackbird, blackbird, blackbird, blackbird,
Blackbird on a telegraph wire.
Jostling, bobbing head hellos,
sanguine communicados.

Hawk

Treetop sojourner —
feather’s ruffled against the early morning chill.

Expectant sentinel
over earthly offerings that scurry in frosted stubble.

I wait

and watch

as hunger takes flight.

Deadly beauty circles heavy over me and
life ends…
within a sweep of un-gleaned grain.

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