Acrostic Sun (Hour 12 – 2020)

Prompt 24, Half Marathon 2: Hour 12

Title: Acrostic Sun

Rays running remarkably, righteously.
Hurrying hopeful, helpful, happy, healthy, heartfelt.
Emerging engaged, energetic, ecstatic.
Advancing affectionately, admirably.

The Nash Equilibrium (Hour 11 – 2020)

Prompt 23, Half Marathon 2: Hour 11

Title: The Nash Equilibrium

He saw equations in a way no one could.
They spoke to him,
revealing the truths of the universe.

Yet with this gift,
came much suffering.
Decades lost and damaged,
by people who had never existed.

Figments of his imagination,
who tore apart the fabric of his reality.

Learning to conquer these apparitions,
brought him back from the precipice.

But it was this unusual mind itself,
which earned him his place in the halls of greatness.

The Guiding Light (Hour 10 – 2020)

Prompt 22, Half Marathon 2: Hour 10

Title: The Guiding Light

A mist spreads over the base of the falls.
Ethereal in quality, but tangible in spirit.
Roaring with the vigor of the very wind itself.

Nourished by its presence, a meadow passionately seizes its moment.
Driven by a desire to thrive, it reaches out to firmly grasp
the outstretched helping hand of the spray.

Though both have their differences, they exist together, in harmony.
Alive in every sense of the word.

As the sun gently peaks over the horizon, it beckons to its children.
The light of the dawn is approaching.

Its arms sprawl out in all directions to meet the landscape.
To nurture the grass and energize the torrent.
With every ray it seems to say,
There is hope in this brand new day.

If You Can Keep It (Hour 9 – 2020)

Prompt 21, Half Marathon 2: Hour 9

Title: If You Can Keep It

We live in a time of great uncertainty.
A plague ravages our land,
while many face the annihilation of their economic security.

Yet the greatest threat of all,
comes from our disunity.
For one side hates all others,
and has thrown out any form of rationality.

A crisis of leadership plagues our system.
And without a return to balance,
dark times will bring struggle with them.

Ours may not be a perfect union,
but the American experiment is indeed of consequence.
The world’s first true multicultural society.
A nation built on the dreams of immigrants.

I long for leadership that I can believe in.
One that will not make me fear,
that the world for my children,
will be plagued by struggles worse than we already bear.

One where civic responsibility,
is taken seriously.
And the leaders of our country,
model the brightest minds of democracy.

It is not an unreasonable request.
Yet, I worry that fear of the proverbial “other,”
will drive us away further,
into a period of tragic duress.

Will the American identity survive this test?

Lux et Veritas (Hour 8 – 2020)

Prompt 20, Half Marathon 2: Hour 8

Title: Lux et Veritas

Four years of late nights,
illuminated by friendship,
emerging together into the light.

Gothic courtyards filled with chiming bells.
Lively debate and laughter as well.

Learning together,
Growing together,

Searching together,
Finding together,

Children entering to form a vivid tapestry.
Adults leaving with a sense of identity.

Light and truth,
are more than words.
With them by your side,
your voice will be heard.
Stand firmly by what is right,
and together, go out to seize the night!

The Final Journey (Hour 7 – 2020)

Prompt 19, Half Marathon 2: Hour 7

Title: The Final Journey

Arrogance is a uniquely human quality.
Only man claims to know it all,
to be the supreme form of intelligent life in the galaxy.
Indeed, a hazardous vice of consciousness.

For centuries, our books said that the Earth was flat.
Then, we declared that our world was at the center of the universe.

Old, deeply incorrect ideas.
Only let go,
burial by burial.

Who are we to do this?
To preach that everything is figured out?

Each year, something emerges from the depths of the Ocean.
Or from the limitless expanse of Outer Space.
A new creature of wonder,
or an astral phenomenon that we could only imagine.

Fortunately, our blinding arrogance is accompanied by another.
Our redemption is attainable through one more aspect of our nature.

Our capacity for reason. Our ability to debate.
To reject dogma and search for truth.
And in doing so, build a chain of knowledge,
that will propel us further than the frontiers of the galaxy or the bottom of the Ocean.
A bridge between peoples.

This journey is a paradox.
Because it begins and ends in one place.
The inner sanctum of our consciousness.

Yes, Arrogance is a uniquely human quality. But so is Reason.
And that is ultimately what will decide our destiny.

The Flavor of Hospitality (Hour 6 – 2020)

Prompt 18, Half Marathon 2: Hour 6

Title: The Flavor of Hospitality

The Grand Bazaar is quite an experience to behold.
The scents of roasting kebabs alongside the rose aroma of a batch of Turkish Delight.
People wandering in all directions, as shopkeepers pitch their wares.
Traditional ornamental lamps displayed in one window,
while another holds a gallery of exquisite carpets.
All around a mosaic of shades of red, blue orange, and turquoise.

One could spend weeks wandering through it,
though we only had hours.

And as we lost track of time,
ambling through the labyrinthine passageways,
our energy waning,
we finally arrived at the calm waters of the Bosphorus.

As we stood, visibly exhausted,
a man approached us and asked us to sit on the veranda of his cafe overlooking the waterfront.
In his hands, a fresh kettle of tea,
golden in hue and embracing the full flavor of cardamom.
Finally, a welcome respite from the buzzing activity of the day.

As we stood up to take care of the check,
we were greeted with a surprise:
“No sir, it would be wrong to accept.
You all are guests here in Istanbul.”

A simple act of generosity that still echoes in my mind years later.
An unusual end to an extraordinary day.

An Ode to the Written Word (Hour 5 – 2020)

Prompt 17, Half Marathon 2: Hour 5

Title: An Ode to the Written Word

There is something satisfying about a bookshelf,
and even more-so of a library.

The way a simple scan allows you to travel the centuries.
A living monument to the pursuit of knowledge.
A memorial to differing perspectives and viewpoints.
A tribute to the thoughts and discoveries of generations past.

And in one’s hands, the sound of a crisp page turning.
Yellowed by age, and touched by wisdom.

I lament the passing of the written word.
With each and every day,
we drift away from its guiding light.

Consumed in worlds of instant gratification,
and gaudy pre-packaged media.

Our ability to comprehend diminished.
And with it, an erosion of our norms and civility.

Yet, I can hope for change.
And I will hold firm:
The book will live on in my heart and in my home.

I Know (Hour 4 – 2020)

Prompt 16, Half Marathon 2: Hour 4

Title: I Know

I wake up every morning next to you,
and with your eyes closed, I see you gently smile.
In that one instant, that one daily ritual, I know.

You understand me and I understand you.

I can have the worst day or the best.
I can laugh with you or cry.
I can share my dreams.

The day is only beginning.
And that gentle smile,
tells me all I need to know.

With you by my side, I am never alone.

The Odyssey of Helios: Three Thousand Miles (Hour 3 – 2020)

Prompt 15, Half Marathon 2: Hour 3

Title: The Odyssey of Helios: Three Thousand Miles

Hours stand between me and my destination, though,
On this path, I have traveled many times before.

Morning comes too slowly for my comfort.
Every moment testing my endurance and stamina.

Cannot tell the difference between night and day, while
On this veritable chariot gliding through the air.

Mountains approach from the horizon,
Illuminated by the sunlight reflected off of the still water.

Now we descend from Olympus like Zeus, a sight that the Athenians could have only imagined.
Getting home is worth the journey.