Monthly Archives: April 2014

Re-Visioning the Hero, Chapter 8: Athena’s Aviary











Chapter 8: Athena’s Aviary
Re-Visioning the Hero, A Story From Sestina’s Chapel

Winded and windy atop an imposing Doric column, Creator
notes golden light’s dusk. He turns to Steve Boston, his hero.
Alas, the chauffeur has departed, without attracting his notice!
Creator sighs, noting his pedestal’s a unique position to explore
Parthenon’s realm, Acropolis’ history strewn in pieced reflection.
Yet honestly, no one would have tagged him as a Greek history trust.

Body turning carefully, his fear of heights breeding mistrust
the man startles at a sphere-bound owl with beady stare! Creator,
yelps in un-hero-like syllables. I am Athena’s Aviary, reflecting,
Owl preens then continues, on gods and heroes,
immortalized here in historic dust, their exploration’s
beginning to end, philosophized far beyond their notice.

Shaking his head, Creator wonders if his notice
is slipping realities. What must I do to trust
what I see is not my imagination gone exploring?
What if it IS your imagination exploring, Creator?
Imagination’s the very ingredient creates new reality’s hero.
Owl falls silent and Creator stands, lost in reflection.

I am here, he muses, so light’s reflection
can reveal next action to be properly noticed
by those who will fund, endorse, and become the heroes
my Earth needs. Owl’s head turns 360 degrees, I trust
a well-rounded perspective is welcomed by you? Creator
nods. Then know I admire your purposeful exploration,

though I must tell you, this Owl explores,
er, hunts only at dusk, in the way philosophy’s reflection
reveals just as instruction’s opportunity is done. Creator
sits down on Doric’s column, discovering his notice
craves something solid. Owl continues, I trust
you know as one becomes, or in your case, creates, a hero

truth commands what was any hero’s
path will never be rejuvenated. Past is past. Explore
instead self of worth, creativity, and imagination. These trusts
hold your truth, knowing, and being – in all reflections.
Creator feels annoyance’s surge. I am here to connect a Sun’s notice
In defense of Earth’s beauty – yet you say, look in the mirror Creator?!

The untested hero desires to create heroes, yes? Owl reflects.
Now hear this, Earth will take care of her self. It’s you on notice.
Find your inner-sun misplaced at birth, then trust all is revealed, Creator!

© Lori Fleming

Click here for more of Paul Reiffer’s photography.  Also, a link to a beautiful video of the  Sculptures by the Lake, where this Owl Sculpture lives.

Details on the Sestina poetic form.  Link to Chapter 7.


Re-Visioning the Hero, Chapter 7: Bionic Flight








Chapter 7: Bionic Flight
Re-Visioning the Hero, A Story From Sestina’s Chapel
The words, ‘I AM a MIGHTY…’ are ringing through Creator’s
bedroom, when a loud swoosh! of wind sucks up his Shero, 
disappearing Mrs. Crand-Truth without any notice!
Creator abruptly stops his empowered chant. His eyes explore
the bedroom’s corners and floors, even the mirror, for any reflection,
of what he’d imagined, and more importantly, something to trust.

Just then a 2003 Harley Road King, emblazoned with ‘Thrust-Truster’
in black on its silver tank, roars into the room. Hop on, Creator!
It looks like the Bionic Man who spins with a flourish. With no time to reflect,
Creator’s perched, motorcycle roaring up through the roof with he and new hero.
Where are we going? Creator yells into the wind. To explore!
Steve Boston yells. A connection you’ve created calls your notice!

Really? I created it? Creator shouts. Did you happen to notice
I have no helmet and we’re speeding by airplanes up here! Trust
me, Boston assures, you’re quite safe with me. It seems exploring
thought’s creation means getting someplace faraway in record time! Creator
gulps and squeezes his body a little closer to the bionic hero.
He bends into wind’s force, squinting against sun’s reflection.

Traveling this close to the sun brings to mind the reflection
of the Icarus, a mythical Greek character Creator had noticed
while researching innumerable historical heroes.
Icarus ends up dead in the myth, then centuries later named as the trust
of narcissistic symptoms an Ivy-leaguer dubs the ‘Icarus Complex’. Creator
wonders, am I suffering a bit of Icarus myself? Wasn’t exploring

too near the sun what melted his wax-feather wings? Didn’t the exploration
end in a sea dive and subsequent death? The reflectible
aspect here is I’m spending too much time exploring, instead, Creator
thinks, of taking my message to the masses. It’s the masses need my notice,
to be led, shown how to change themselves and develop trustworthy
solutions to all the world’s problems. They need my re-visioned hero!

Flying above the Earth’s convexing landscape, our New England hero
banks the motorcycle sharply southward, bionic eyes exploring
some landing strip Creator is not sure he trusts
exists. Actually, he can’t see anything now that the sun’s reflection
has blinded his eyes. Steve Boston lands the bike, then turns his head. Notice
anything you recognize Creator?

It looks like we’re parked atop marbled heroes on Parthenon’s reflection?
Good work! See the motto carved there in the shadow? Explore, Notice
Reflect and Trust – what do you think it applies to Creator?

© Lori Fleming, 2014

Details on the Sestina poetic form.
Link to Chapter 6 or Chapter 8.

Re-Visioning the Hero, Chapter 6: Mrs. Crand-Truth

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Chapter 6: Mrs. Crand-Truth
Re-Visioning the Hero, A Story From Sestina’s Chapel
Don’t start warbling It’s a Heartache just yet Creator!
Bat-Bob advises. Perhaps you could be your own hero
right now? But, Creator asks, how can I set myself free?
I believe what Hero says might be true.
Tell me, Bat-Bob says, In what ways does this belief
in your self as a weak creator reveal its might?

Why I feel my ability to heal
any one or anything is grossly compromised! Creator
announces. I second guess myself, and my desired belief
of being a key part of a new world, a real-life creator-hero.
Why, if I am a weak creator, all I’ve hoped is untrue.
My life dissolves into a debtor’s prison from which I will never be free.

You know, Bat-Bob offers, Truth can set you free.
Perhaps you call on Truth and get this twisted belief healed?
A curly-haired, petite Mrs. Crand whisks into the room. That’s Truth?
Bat-Bob whispers. No! That’s my 7th grade English teacher! Creator
seems just as puzzled as Bat-Bob. They both startle when the Shero
bangs on the ceiling. No talking! Creator! Spit out your twisted belief.

There is to be NO TWISTED BELIEF
chewing in my class. This warning is free
but the next one will cost the entire class, you immature creator-heroes.
Now, today we are focusing on specifics requiring healing.
I see you’ve done the homework Creator
I applaud your search in personal’s shame’s muck and untruth.

Class, Creator found something blocking him from living his truth.
An insidious, manipulative, evil force hiding in shame, dressed as a belief!
Mrs. Crand-Truth turns to her blackboard to write something. Creator
leans toward Bat-Bob, My mind was always wander-free
when she taught, unlike most my other classes she always healed
my desire to escape. She compelled my attention. Indeed she’s my Shero

Bat-Bob laughs. Mrs. Crand-Truth doesn’t even turn around to face the hero
before yelling, Bat-Boy listen up! I’ll not have you disrupting this class on truth.
You may remove yourself to sit in the hallway until you heal
yourself of the belief
this classroom is anything but laughter-free
until I say you can laugh. And, She turns around, Listen up now Creator!

My heroes, if you remember nothing from this class, grasp this one true belief
Shero’s chalk emphasizes words on the board, The TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE!
Come on now, everyone, repeat after me. I AM A MIGHTY Creator.

© Lori Fleming, 2014

Details on the Sestina poetic form.  Link to Chapter 5 or Chapter 7.

Re-Visioning the Hero, Chapter 5: Creator’s Shame











Chapter 5: Creator’s Shame
Re-Visioning the Hero, A Story From Sestina’s Chapel
Stop it! Bat-Bob bellows, as the Harley spins tight circles around Creator
faster and faster each new turn. You’re centrifuging your hero!
There are laws about fondling a tale too young to be known as truth!
What? Creator ceases his inner ‘I want a Hero’ musical expression.
Come up with another tune. Bat-Bob yells. ‘I want a Hero’, judging
from this psycho spin, is eclipsing your ability to focus on healing!

Shocked, Creator now searches a song that focuses on healing.
Bat-Bob’s spin slows. No, no! Please don’t stick me with that song Creator!
I can’t help it! It’s just what came to mind… really. I’ll try not to judge
you, Bat-Bob sighs, but really? Eclipse of the heart? Yet, I am a Hero
who can ride a Harley and heal, even with sappy songs. Now, do expressly
what the song says – use the ’turn around’ to reveal your inner truth.

I don’t understand what you want me to do. I’ve said the truth!
No, Bat-Bob corrects, you’ve told me what you feel. Healing
involves turning to disempowered and low-worth feelings expressly
to discover who you ‘are’ in truth. Ah, discern my own shame? Creator
offers. Bat-Bob nods. Just like your new plot – it’s the work of a Healing-Hero.
Now, you feel Hero has taken your power, is that your judgment?

Yes…but with that dang ‘turn around’ song cycling, the judgment
seems less black and white. Bat-Bob queries, Is it true
your power and worth has been taken by Hero?
Well, Creator considers. No, I mean, not completely. But I’m not healed
am I? No, Bat-Bob agrees, we need to replace your feeling with truth. Creator,
Can you tell me three ways your power and worth now express?

Maybe. But why three? Three turn-arounds lock in new neuro-paths expressing
your beliefs to yourself, Bat-Bob explains. Oh. Uh – there’s my awards and judging
from what I’ve created before, I can do it again. But he’s telling people, Creator
begins to whine, that I am a weak creator! I have to shut him up. That’s the truth!
Is it true you are weak? asks Bat-Bob. No! I just told you I’m not. Heal
me. Stop with the grilling, I’m not the problem here, it’s Hero!

Next thing you’re going to be saying is my new plot’s undeserving of Hero!
Well, let’s turn that around, is your new plot deserving of Hero’s express
talents and ability to draw audiences? Bat-Bob is quiet while a healing
ray of morning’s light enters the room. Is it possible, Creator, that the judgment
you want to vanquish Hero for, is something you fear might be truth?
Bat-Bob watches awareness flow over the face of Creator.

Ugh! My stomach churns! You’re right my Healing-Hero, who am I to judge
if my new plot’s expression of shame to empathy’s path will deliver new truth?
I feel ashamed, horribly un-healed. What if it’s true I’m a weak Creator?

© Lori Fleming, 2014
Total Eclipse of the Heart, sung by Bonnie Tyler

Details on the Sestina poetic form.  Link to Chapter 4 or Chapter 6.

Re-Visioning the Hero, Chapter 4: Bat-Bob

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Chapter 4: Bat-Bob
Re-Visioning the Hero, A Story From Sestina’s Chapel
Tossing and turning as the clock registers 2:38 a.m., Creator
lies awake replaying yesterday’s ill-fated meeting with Hero.
The man had stomped out, yelling for all he was worth
(and all to hear) how insane Creator was, with his girly plot points.
For hours Creator has been mulling a myriad ideas to power
compelling Hero’s tongue suddenly be otherwise occupied.

He startles when a filmy outline appears at his bedside, a form occupied
by something sitting on a Harley, in a Batman suit, sporting the face of Creator!
Wha…? Creator’s eyes bulge. Who are you? Why, I am you powering
the brand new plot’s creation and outcomes! Just an aside, I’d cue this hero’s
anthem music, but it’s night and Bonnie Tyler is a bit loud. My point
is, there’s time before the end of the night to prove my worth.

Eyes blinking, Creator’s search for words is worthless.
He must be manufacturing a detailed mirage to occupy
his mind in a way that confirms Hero’s bull-horned point.
All right then, let’s get down to business Mr. Creator,
You remember you call me Bob, right? And that I’m the version of hero
you designed fully endowed? Crickets chirp. I mean, with power.

So I designed a Harley-riding Bat-Bob who looks like me, sporting power?
Yeah, I’d say your imagination is getting its money’s worth!
Where did I get Bob from? Uhm, let’s see, apparently Bob Newhart’s a hero?
Honestly, you create this crazy stuff, I just do my best to occupy
it. Now let’s move to the hero-healing tasks your creator’s
memo wants addressed before the end of the night. First point:

Assess Creator’s challenge points,
identify what he’s feeling. Is he empowered
or disempowered? Well let me think, says Creator
sitting up in bed. Stop it! Bob commands. Thinking is worthless
right now. Close your eyes. Hold your hands up. Let them occupy
the space in front of you. How do you know they’re still there my blinded hero?

Uhm, I feel them? Exactly. You don’t ‘think’ they are there, do you hero?
Now keeping eyes closed, tell me another thing you feel at this point
I feel…I feel like Hero’s a sphincter who won’t let me occupy
the role of Creator because I suggest interacting with power
in some new-fangled way. He’s broadcasting I’m insane, weak and worthless.
Stop there. Now let’s see if I can describe what you feel here, Creator.

Is it fair to say you feel Hero has taken your power?
And at this point he’s taking that power while denouncing your worth?
Yes! He occupies a form of evil to be vanquished! yells Creator.

© Lori Fleming, 2014

Details on the Sestina poetic form.  Link to Chapter 3 or Chapter 5.

Re-Visioning the Hero, Chapter 3: Hero’s Huff











Chapter 3: Hero’s Huff
Re-Visioning the Hero, A Story From Sestina’s Chapel

Seems your head is getting ahead of yourself, Creator
diagnoses. Now is the time to slow down Hero,
be deliberate, explore what spins your self-worth
into vicious, rather than victorious revolutions.
Discover the bends where your spiral’s power
transitions to forward motion through empathy.

Hero argues again, My role is to fight! I vanquish evil. Empathy
is simply what my audience feels as I play the role.
It appears confusion between sympathy and empathy powers
your argument, Creator notes. Sympathy implies recognition of hero’s
plight, while empathy shares our hero’s suffering. Empathy evolves
the group’s unspoken discernment and increases their decision’s worth.

The affinity empathy fertilizes is a foundation of great societal worth.
Why must I develop anything, Hero grumbles, especially empathy.
My role for eons has been to work the plot of good and evil, revolving
principle’s defense into moral high ground’s victory. Tell me Creator,
How does discerning my own shame, make me a hero?
It’s character development, dear Hero, a piston driving personal power.

Name your private humiliations and you will be empowered
to go forward and heal them. The endeavor’s worth
is affirmed when self-healing yields you, our enhanced hero,
to create, rather than vanquish power. Empathy
is the hero-healer’s prescription for peace. Hero-healer? Creator’s
index fingers join at the tip. Yes, it’s how I envision your role evolves.

Being thrown out of the Actor’s Guild is the only evolution
that idea will yield! Haven’t you seen how empowered
my audience feels when they see an enemy shamed? Creator
asks, Are they empowered, or do they just feel empowered? Worthwhile
to discern, just as with shame, this important distinction. Empathy
as a priority, I’ll agree, means redefining the archetypal role of hero.

But why must we re-vision anything, especially me as an archetypal hero?
Shame seems to be working, even in real life! Look how evil evolves
as we heroes shame and stomp it down! Creator is empathetic,
Hear me friend, repeated shaming fails as a positive change agent, its power
is the erosion of both the shamed and shamer’s confidence and self-worth.
This is the truth of ALL parts of self as creator.

Jolting upwards, Hero sends his chair flying, voice filling with angry power.
I refuse to evolve into a new role for a plot so worthless!
Evil will never be conquered by empathy. You are a delusional creator!

© Lori Fleming, 2014

Details on the Sestina poetic form.  Link to Chapter 2 or Chapter 4.

Re-Visioning the Hero, Chapter 2: Shame to Empathy











Chapter 2: Shame to Empathy
Re-Visioning the Hero, A Story From Sestina’s Chapel

It’d be suicide to ignore the demands of our audience! Hero
declares. You forget they wield power you creators
rely on for street cred and profits. Creator laughed, worthiness
of my vision will never rest on how an audience’s taste revolves.
The truth is, one does not force or take real power.
Real power is created, built with others, often through empathy.

True power can come from empathy?
His back-packed load groans while the thought puzzles our Hero.
In truth, he has always appeased the Head Office powers
surrendering his role as personal creator
in a fright-filled pawning of his identity’s evolution.
Thwack! Tar and feathers mount a vicious attack on his self-worth

Hero feels himself sinking, quite trapped and unworthy.
Creator, seeing Hero’s demeanor, feels a surge of empathy –
He remembers shame-filled spells while evolving
his own formulaic, mythical journey. He bets Hero’s
no different. What do you feel just now? asks Creator
Hero sighs considering – like I have no choices or power.

The audience, the studio heads, their power
dominates. I’m just a sell-out, quite unworthy
to be anyone’s true hero. You’re more than that! Creator
says, though it’s you who needs to see yourself with empathy.
Slow and quiet Creator asks, Is it true? Is it true Hero
that you have no choice? That you cannot evolve?

The office is silent while Hero’s thoughts revolve
around the question of where his own choice’s power
might await the chance to fuel something different. Hero
starts to speak, then is quiet again. It was worth
that extra moment of quiet, because his own empathy’s
light slips through a crack, serving as new hope’s creator.

Perhaps to evolve my own lack of hope? Yes! Creator
beamed. Ever had a ‘no hope to hopefulness’ evolution?
See how shame says you ‘are’ hopeless, while empathy
suggests you only ‘feel’ hopeless? Your personal power’s
development begins with cultivating your own self-worth.
There is where you become your own ‘shame to empathy’ hero.

Hero questions, How can I be a creator while beholden to Head Office’s power?
What if my evolution requires forfeiting their dollars toward my net worth?
I don’t need empathy to know the Head Office will simply buy another hero.

© Lori Fleming, 2014

Details on the Sestina poetic form.  Link to Chapter 1 or Chapter 3.