What Do You See? – A Poem

Three pairs of teacups

Or is it two pairs of three?

Waiting for loving hands

Or is it more a mystery?


A pair of pictures

One dark and one light

An ominous warning?

Or a universe’s insight?


A lone vase 

Filled with branches reaching

The seated figure

Meditating or teaching?


The elegant teapot

In front of the chair

In front of that wall

Of hope or despair?


Our eyes’ observation

And mind’s interpretation

Won’t know the artist’s intention

Just our own assertation


Three pairs of teacups

Or two pairs of three

It only really matters

If we disagree

Image credit; 五玄土 ORIENTO – Unsplash 
( For the visually challenged reader, the image shows a table set with six teacups, a teapot and a glass beaker. The wall at the back is adorned with oriental art and a flower arrangement)

I stole Sadje’s title for this poem for her “What do you see?” Picture Prompt #40. I love reading different responses to the same prompt. It just proves that we really do see things differently based on who we are: our experiences, preferences, points of view all contribute to our interpretation of the information from our senses.

Kate’s Friday Fun prompt – Pairs was the big contributor to my interpretation of Sadje’s prompt. If you remember your elementary math, the number 6 can be made by two different multiplication pairs: 6 and 1, 3 and 2. It doesn’t matter if you have 3 sets of 2 or 2 sets of 3, the result is the same. This is called the Commutative Property and it holds true for addition, as well as, multiplication. (Who said you don’t need math if you’re going to be a poet?!)

With all the different opinions going around about school reopening, I always check to see who the opinion is coming from. Opinions from teachers, especially those who are also parents, have a lot more weight than opinions from politicians or even administrators who don’t have as much at stake. Everyone thinks or feels they are doing what is best for the children – from their point of view.

We have to make a decision about whether to send our kids back to school this week and it’s not getting easier. Writers – if you have sent your child(ren) back to school, what factored into your decision? How was it for the kids? What safety measures did your school take? Do you prefer 2×3 or 3×2?

Anyone who can see the future by reading tea leaves, please chime in as well!

©️ 2020 iido

Otherness – A Poem

I think of your Otherness

When I see your hand held out in front of me

Your five fingers extended from your curved palm

In that universal sign that means both

“Here, take this” and

“Please, help me”


I think of your Otherness

When I see you walking on the side of the road

One foot in front of the other

The same way that all babies walk

Since they learned to take their first steps


I think of your Otherness

When you turn your head to smile at me

In that international meaning

That needs no words to say

“Hello, I see you”


I have to think of your Otherness


When I see you,

I would hate myself for looking the other way.


I had written this poem and then posted it really quickly on Sunday night to make the deadline for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #228 – Otherness. If you read and commented before I was able to totally finish this post, thank you! I hope you get a chance to read this 2nd part of it.

The week the schools closed here because of the pandemic, I had taken the kids to Target to grab a few things. On our way home, at the corner where we had stopped to make a right, we saw a homeless man carrying a sign asking for help, as he went from car to car.  Usually, I have a little baggie with some granola bars and a few dollars that I would hand out however, on this day, I didn’t even look at the homeless man, trying to avoid making eye contact with him.

The light turned green and we turned the corner, and my kids asked me why I hadn’t given him anything. Hesitantly, I explained that I was worried about getting the coronavirus and that our safety was more important right now than helping the homeless man. My 9 year old then said, “But he probably doesn’t know about the coronavirus if he’s homeless. He probably doesn’t have a TV or a cell phone to get the news. He just knows that he needs help and we didn’t help him.”

Her astute perception has stayed with me.

Especially as more Americans file for unemployment benefits, the line between Self and Other, “Us Who Have” and “Them Who Have Not”, is blurring. In a lot of ways, we are all “Those Who Used To Have”.

Will we be able to see each other’s similarities now instead of focusing on our differences?

Will we be able to see “The Other” in ourselves?



(c) 2020 iido