Editors Blog

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 226

We’re in the middle of summer now. Some heavy summer showers are crashing down right outside my window as I type. It’s a great morning to write a poem.

For this week’s prompt, write an informative poem. This poem could give directions, share news from the outside world, or in some other way inform the reader. In fact, it could be argued many poems are already informative poems.

Here’s my attempt at an informative poem:

“Weather Report”

A green blob will grow a yellow yolk
with a tight red center. The green blob
will move up the map in a morphing
fashion–that is, it will expand and
contract (that is, the blob will move in
mysterious ways); it may release
a lot of rain, produce lightning, and
send children running to open arms.

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125 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 226

  1. veronica_gurlie

    We will loose our breath,
    creepy things will get under our skin,
    We will taste blood in the wind.
    We will be forced to eat our own flesh
    and live in shells and only share prayers.
    A rock of doom will sit on our chest.
    We will fall through tears.
    I do not know why, but our world will die,
    and I have some idea of where I will be,
    somewhere will I can get real high
    and scream the death right out of me.

    1. veronica_gurlie

      REWRITE:

      We will loose our breath,
      creepy things will get under our skin,
      We will taste blood in the wind.
      We will be forced to eat our own flesh
      and live in shells and only share prayers.
      A rock of doom will sit on our chest.
      We will fall through tears.
      My- oh my,
      I do not know why, but our world will die,
      and I have an idea of where I will be,
      somewhere will I can get real high
      and scream the death right out of me.

  2. cstewart

    Beach

    The legs and arms were everywhere,
    On the beach where I walked,
    And usually where I encountered peace.
    But with all the confusion of bodies,
    It was a challenge to clear the space –
    For quiet thought.

    The monks walked together in orange,
    laughed and were quiet with
    arms behind their backs.
    Thoughtful in their decisions
    And repertoire of singularities,
    Driven home by opposites.

  3. james.ticknor

    Before Joining The Military

    Before you sign the dotted line, search inside your soul
    Make sure there’s nothing there, to stop you from your goal
    Make a list of all the reasons, of why this is important to you
    Look at other jobs to see, if there’s something else you’d rather do
    Stop and think for a moment, and take a look at the life you led
    Make sure your affairs are in order, in case you end up dead
    Talk to all the veterans, and see what they had to do
    Search your soul again and decide: is this really right for you?
    Even for considering, I give you my appreciation
    For even thinking to protect, the freedom of this nation
    But after all of this, if your answer is still “Yes!”
    I welcome to our fold, I welcome you to the best

    1. Julieann

      True words. Look long and hard, think through it fully. If the answer is still yes, 28 years 10 months isn’t really that long. That’s what my Father did!

  4. Brian Slusher

    NAVIGATING THE MAZE

    Don’t expect quick. Close your
    eyes and fingertip the walls:
    that rough texture is the braille
    of uncertainty. Decide to be
    a river of instinct and flow
    where a breeze nudges you
    or a blade of grass bends.
    You could look ahead and
    see limits, let the squeeze
    of barriers convince you
    you’re trapped, but just tilt
    your eyes up and behold
    the limitless air, a kiting
    bird flirting with the cool
    currents and unworried about
    purpose or the finish line.
    Now check your feet: you’ve
    probably arrived.

  5. Lindy

    Administratrix

    I’d never had to sell land,
    or sue an insurance company,
    or transport a car 1200 miles,
    or transfer property titles,
    or have jewelry and coins appraised,
    or take over someone else’s affairs,
    or sift through their personal belongings,
    or sign a death certificate,
    or pick up their personal effects
    (I’d never even been inside a morgue),
    or purchase a burial plot,
    or plan a funeral,
    or bury anyone,
    or be kind to a killer….

    I had no real personal contact with death at all.

    Do your loved ones a favor:

    Write a will,
    always say “I love you,”
    and get your ducks in a row –
    because you just never know.
    Don’t shelter your children
    from death, as they grow,
    give them space to grieve
    and to let you go,
    without the distraction
    of ending your life.

  6. Mystical-Poet

    FACES TO BE PROUD OF

    ( An Informative Patriotic Acrostic Loop Poem )

    F ifth of July comes after

    A fter the day our nation celebrates

    C elebrates United States of America’s emergence

    E mergence of Stars & Stripes

    S tripes horizontal adding up to thirteen

    T hirteen original colonies our flag flew over

    O’ er the land of the free & home of the brave

    B rave soldiers sacrificed life & limb for freedom eternal

    E ternal Flame lit by widow of assassinated president

    P resident now faced with economy deep in the red

    R ed, White, & Blue’s now almost 250 years old

    O ld Glory will never be plowed under

    U nder pain of death

    D eath may be the end, only

    O nly, I plead the fifth

    F ifth of July comes after

    *****

    © ~ Randy Bell ~ 2013

  7. Misky

    LOOK BOTH WAYS

    We cross busy roads
    as we were taught,
    safety first, listen,
    stop and think,
    but no one taught us
    to first look left –
    and then look right
    before stepping into love.

  8. nessajay

    MAKE-DO WOMAN

    You never worry about empty

    If it calls for vinegar
    you can substitute lemon
    You can splash in
    the forsaken pickle juice
    the left behind white wine
    You can squeeze the sour apple
    with your bare hands
    til its proud spirit falls
    into the bowl
    and we will eat good

    You are a make-do woman

    The end of the month brings out power in you
    the color of tigers springing cliffs in Pangaea

    The spare change in your mayonnaise jar
    is a ringing rhythm section
    making praise to the force
    in your wrinkled hand

    Looking back they will say
    it was a miracle
    the way you conjured
    the birthday cake
    out of nothing –
    a scant quarter cup of millet flour
    faith that it would rise

  9. Julieann

    To help in reading actually spell out “c-a-t” and “d-o-g”

    Learning to Type

    Us older folks learned to type
    By using our minds and memory
    And then positioning our hands just so
    Because touch-typing was compulsory

    Maybe 40 keys to work with
    No delete key to be found
    C-a-t — d-o-g — tap, tap, tapping
    Produced a musical sound

    Each key had its function —
    Upper or lower case —
    Practice makes perfect, they said,
    A timed test? — We’re in a race?

    No misspellings, no extra spaces,
    Pages typed without error
    And then a simple little type over
    Proved more than a holy terror

  10. Cin5456

    Forester

    Bob goes owl hooting every night
    in spring with a bag of mice.
    He keeps low and treads light
    through night blacker than sin,
    hooded by thick canopy and shadows
    hushed with covert life. He cups hands
    around his mouth, covers the end
    and blows hollow notes like a fog horn,
    and a moment later. He calls again,
    like an owl, now and then in a forest
    he remembers from the old days.
    Back then, he marked wide swaths
    of old growth – behemoths destined
    for logging. For now he marks patterns,
    habitat boundaries where owls hunt.
    Every few steps he hoots and waits,
    frozen, listening with every nerve
    for any faint reply. When it comes, eerily
    in the distance, he turns his head, ear to the air
    to locate the source among boles and branches
    above and beyond his sight. Moonlight grants
    inadequate vision, nearly useless in the dark,
    he moves by feel and heel. He hoots again
    and follows a hollow echo, approaching
    with caution, but the quarry remains vague.
    When he feels close, he lets loose a mouse
    Or three, to watch them scurry away and burrow
    into needles and leaves, the quiet carpet
    of the owl-home. Patience pays off
    and he spies a northern spotted owl
    swooping out of the dark. It stoops
    on its prey with aerial stealth and glides
    on strong wide wings. Claws out, it lands
    on the bait. A moment later, a whoosh, it’s gone.
    Bill follows, boots crashing through brush.
    When they reach the nest, he surveys the ground,
    and marks his map with coordinates. His notes are
    titled: “Territory – Spotted owls twenty-six
    and twenty-seven with three hatched owlets.”
    He marks out a range from the owl’s first call
    to the nest to determine diameter.
    He labels the owls’ habitat map with
    the words: “All Logging Forbidden.”
    This night job is during the nesting season.
    The rest of the year he marks trees.
    On the other side of this mountain ridge
    clear-cutting continues unabated.

      1. Cin5456

        The first section is supposed to be this:

        Bob goes owl hooting every night
        in spring with a bag of mice.
        He keeps low and treads light
        through night blacker than sin,
        hooded by thick canopy, and shadows
        hushed with covert life. Now and then
        as he walks, he calls like an owl
        in a forest he remembers from the old days.
        He cups hands around his mouth,
        covers the end and blows hollow notes
        like a fog horn, and moments later again.

  11. seingraham

    HOW TO PAINT LIKE JACKSON POLLOCK

    First, get as drunk as possible without
    actually passing out
    Begin to doubt yourself as the genius
    you’re known to be
    Then, take all the bits of paint left in cans
    spread around your studio floor
    And with whatever comes to hand — a
    branch, a toothbrush, a piece of dowelling…
    And whatever dark thoughts your mood
    dictates…

    Start prowling around whatever it is you
    have haphazardly decided to use
    as a canvas this time;
    It will be on the floor of the studio/garage
    you use for such purposes
    —and not necessarily laying flat—
    Next thing you know, you will be flinging
    various gobs of paint at the canvas
    You will start to feel better as the colours
    collide and mix and mingle,
    Lift up corners of the canvas and let
    some colours drip and dribble
    Grab scissors or a knife and cut off bits
    you don’t much like, and toss them off

    Keep going as long as you have the energy
    and intent to do so
    If dirt or grit or sand gets mixed into the paint —
    So be it — it belongs to the work.
    Don’t stop until you have exhausted
    every possibility flitting through
    your alcohol-soaked brain
    When you are done — pass out
    knowing when you come to,
    you will have a reasonable facsimile
    of a Pollock laying beside you…
    Or not…

  12. Connie Peters

    My List

    My list, for your information
    Here’s how I spent my time today
    Since you are always wondering
    What I did while you were away

    It’s all highlighted in yellow
    My list, for your information
    Beginning at your departure
    To work for the corporation

    Care for people and pets, clean house
    Yard, bills, meals, and study a bit
    My list, for your information
    But that is only half of it

    Got a sitter, packed my luggage
    Now I’m headed for the station
    My list, for your information
    While I enjoy my vacation

  13. swatchcat

    Teaching

    What do you think you’re doing?
    That’s not the way.
    What the heck?
    Let me show you how.
    There is a special way.
    You’re screwing it up.
    Stop that!
    No, no, no.
    Let me show you again.
    There are steps and procedures.
    Slow it down, lighten up.
    Try again.
    Now you’re getting it.
    That’s the way.
    You’re getting the hang of it.
    Super!
    Now do it yourself.
    See I knew you could do it.
    You’re on your own.
    I’m proud of you.
    Nice job.

  14. swatchcat

    Prey

    Prey as your heart depends on it
    Do it in the car, on the toilet
    He is your friend and you can tell him anything
    No one else can you share this with
    Tell him your worst secrets
    your lies
    your infidelities
    your fears
    ask Him any question
    You may not hear Him
    You may not see Him
    He is there, He is everywhere
    He judges but He forgives
    He believes in do over’s and restarts
    You can feel Him
    He is the voice of reason
    He is you
    He is me
    He is everything
    There is no other
    Thank you
    I am sorry
    I will do better
    Help

  15. deringer1

    Informed

    Before you lie in your coffin,
    before you become only ashes in an urn,
    tell us now.

    Tell us of your love,
    tell us family stories that we have never heard.
    Before it is too late, do the things
    you want us to recall with joy.

    Put away the past and all your pain.
    Bury them deep and cover them over
    with God’s grace and mercy
    so that when we think of you
    it will be with a smile.

  16. Schrodingers cat

    How to enjoy

    Preheat your oven to 350, before long it will start to glow.

    German chocolate cake, to mix, and one-third C. evaporated milk.
    Better add a stick and a half butter softened, it gets brown and silky.

    9×12 greased pan at the ready, just barely enough to cover with this brown brew.

    In the glass measuring cup one bag of carmels, one-third C. evaporated milk.

    When your pan goes in the oven, microwave glass 6 minutes (half-power 5).
    Ding take both out, pour half a bag semi-sweet chocolate in to your cake pan,

    Pour over both and mix your carmel goo, now for the rest to go on the top,
    haphazardly just toss it about, it doesn’t matter it will spread out.
    Now back in the oven for 20 minutes, and get ready for pure ecstasy.

  17. Nancy Posey

    FYI

    The garbage truck comes every Thursday,
    even on Christmas and the first of July.
    If it’s not there on the curb by six,
    you’ll have to smell it for a week.
    The dog can’t eat the bargain brand;
    he’s not finicky, just sensitive.
    Disregard at your peril.
    I’ve posted numbers by the phone—
    the doctor, plumber, handyman, the vet.
    The laundry knows you like light starch.
    No need to leave them notes.
    The postman appreciates—expects–
    a bonus or a gift on holidays. Forget
    and you may find mail bent
    and folded, even mutilated.
    The neighbor’s name is Stan, not Stanley.
    He’s told you several times already.
    As have I. The rest is up to you,
    to figure out by trial and error.
    After all, this is your house. Would
    have been, could have been, our house.
    If you’d just paid attention earlier.

  18. Arash

    Thistle Unicorns

    by Arash

    Out here there is only wrong and wrong.
    And thistle unicorns that deluge
    A land spread once so barren and barbed,
    Barren still, but now with magpie’s song
    coming from horns of fancy like sweat
    Of he who knows he can not belong.

    —————————————-

    This poem is informative in the sense of the values of this land described though this may not be clear:

    I don’t usually explain my poems, but the unicorn here is sort of the person’s imagination or art or creativity or whatever. In this land there is only wrong, no right. The land is also barbed and practically speaking we have no freedom nor any potential for life and creativity that leads to freedom. But it it is our imagination that can free us. And the imagination comes from the pain and sweat of knowing that we do not nor can ever truly belong to the the the environment, to our physical surrounding. So we take comfort, and we give ourselves to the imagination and fancy, to sexuality, to music, and to religion and spirituality as well. Each seems to take us out of this barren land.

  19. taylor graham

    COMMON DEFENSE

    Up the slope behind the house
    wielding my 2-stroke weed-eater, deadly
    as a saber against thistle, wild grasses
    turning yellow and flammable;
    advancing toward the military crest
    of our five acres, above the county two-lane,
    where a faulty muffler, or a cigarette
    tossed from a speeding car
    could threaten these peaceful pastures;
    wildfire raging up the swale
    igniting our neighbor’s field and tool-
    shed, someone’s barn and horses,
    everybody’s oaks and willows,
    the bullfrog pond,
    our common dreams of home.

  20. gatita79

    Summer’s Beauty

    Sun kissed by the sun, whispered by the wind,
    And embraced with the clouds. Ahh, summer how
    You captivate my soul. Memorized as your beauty blossoms
    Fragile to the touch yet strong enough to weather through. You
    Leave me breathe less every time my eyes capture the moment.

  21. taylor graham

    A NEW ENGLANDER AT RICHMOND
    for Elihu Burritt, 1864

    Here you are, Elihu, at Richmond
    on the Thames, home of that poet (long dead)
    James Thomson (we’ve hardly heard of him
    in these modern days), who captured
    your fancy as a lad. Across an ocean
    in New Britain, you propped his “Seasons”
    against the forge chimney, blacksmith’s
    apprentice learning the magic
    of verse as you learned to cast brass bells.
    What a montage of fountains and ice-
    flows, sheep-shearing and Newton’s physics –
    all this Thomson gave to a poor
    Connecticut boy who couldn’t
    afford an education. From Thomson’s lines
    flew sparks of stars above your anvil;
    jets of thought like flights of exotic birds.
    Oh, you had to hide that book, in case
    the other boys caught you at it. How they’d laugh.
    You always were an odd-mannered child,
    famished for something
    they never dreamed of. They never got this
    far from New Britain. But here
    you are at Thomson’s old writing table.
    It’s appropriate. Your “first love
    in the Pleiades of Poetry;” his presence
    inspirits this place.
    You wouldn’t miss it
    for all of merrie green England.

  22. Jane Shlensky

    TV Education

    Much can be learned from TV sitcoms,
    about how to laugh and when, about
    self-doubt, wondering why canned laughter
    roars. Should we be laughing now?
    What’s does it mean if we think
    a joke is stupid beyond words?
    Is it wrong to think reality is real?

    Even serial mysteries can teach,
    after we accept that the hero cannot die.
    Logistically, he has to live, even broken—
    he can handle a flesh wound, a graze,
    with a big boy band aide and the kiss
    of a winsome woman who can survive
    bombs by getting behind a table
    in the corner and covering her ears.
    Squinting also helps shrapnel blow
    right by, hot to kill off minor characters
    not needed for next week’s case.

    We don’t need school to teach us
    duck and roll or to avoid nuclear fallout
    under a desk. TV is the great leveler.

  23. JRSimmang

    And to commemorate a birthday today, a shadorma, because I don’t know what forms hail from Russia:

    He did it,
    without trying to
    become so,
    became just
    a tad metaphysical,
    and a lot cockroach.

  24. Jane Shlensky

    Informed Farming

    It’s hard to farm a flood plain
    with the weather crazy, rain
    every day in torrents ’til it stands
    in puddles between the rows
    of tobacco or corn, runs in
    rivulets, washing topsoil
    with it to swollen creeks.
    Hay molds in the fields,
    Food crops rot, fields too wet
    for laborers to harvest,
    for machines to enter.
    People forget that plants
    can drown just like people.

    Now farmers play the odds,
    all daring and poker-faced.
    To risk spraying a crop
    for insects is ill advised,
    for rains carry the poison
    to the ponds, kill the fish,
    and then you’ve got a stink
    so foul no animal will drink
    for months. The oldest
    timers around can’t think
    how they managed in wet
    years, if they ever managed
    such weather. At the store,
    they speak of little else
    but weather, wondering what
    they might plant another year
    that likes mud and flourishes
    under thundering sunless skies.

    Tadpoles or mosquitoes?
    Lotus root and water lilies?
    The only crop they’ll likely
    harvest this year is patience.

    1. JRSimmang

      Eloquent as always. I often overhear the same myriad conversations in grocery stores. Frankly, it’s one of the reasons I love going there. And, you used one of my favorite words: rivulets. Thanks again for your deft explanation of humanity.

  25. De Jackson

    Treasure

    Turn left
    when others are turning
    right. The X marks many
    things, but the fight brings
    a trove of truth. Proof positive of
    the path less traveled, no shiny
    thing has ever unraveled
    a heart.

    .

  26. GypsySue

    NOT TODAY

    Woke up to pitter patter
    Fog’s so thick it’s solid matter
    Dressed to out
    Gave a loud shout.

    “Oh! it’s cold out here.”
    So much for the skies to clear
    Pitter patter is now drums of ran
    Think I’ll turn around and start again,

  27. De Jackson

    Wish I Were Here.

                  Hello, Mother. Hello, Father.
                       Greetings from Camp Brokenhearted.
                    Barely breathing.
                                 Lover’s leaving.
                                       Soul is grieving
                            for the moment
                                           when we started.

    .

    1. JRSimmang

      I love the form here. It’s almost as if the poem is trying to run away and I want to catch it. I love the philosophical exploration here of mother and father. Spirituality is a hard thing to pin.

  28. danceswithhorses

    If you wake up every morning and pretend
    Today is your last day to be lonely.
    If you make the coffee for two, promising yourself
    Someone will share it with you someday,
    Believe that he’s waiting in the wings,
    For your eye to catch his.
    Imagine his hand around yours,
    His I-love-yous in your ear,
    You can get through today.
    Lonely is a point of view,
    And from yours it stretches on forever.
    Imagine a bend in the road,
    You can’t see around,
    Believe someone wonderful waits there,
    And living won’t seem so lonely,
    After all.

  29. JRSimmang

    One Cup at a Time

    It’s been a long time since
    I’ve had coffee at home,
    and my father was up before
    the sun rose over the window sills.

    “Old habits,” he chides as my footfalls
    grow from a 2 to a 10 and
    I stand there with my hands out
    at the bottom of the steps.

    “Die hard,” I respond.
    There’s one chair open across from
    his gaze and he motions,
    the light breaking into shadows.

    “Coffee?” though he had a full
    cup halfway to his mouth already.
    I nod. There comes a point where
    words are lost in their labyrinth.

    “Coffee is delicate.” He says as
    he wanders into the kitchen.
    “Funny thing is, you can’t get it
    to the point to drink it until after it

    has been through a furnace.”
    He does this, dad. Long winded
    diatribes over nonsensical whimsy.
    It must be stamped on a dad card.

    I peered up to him and all I could see
    in the strained morning light was the
    same man who tossed me into the pool,
    who took his hands off the bicycle seat,

    who laughed when I told him I was in love
    and who worked seven days a week
    in a job that took him from home
    for the other days.

    “Perhaps that’s why it’s bitter,”
    I said, thinking myself clever.
    “Bitter,” he repeated, shifting his weight
    while the grinding incessantly

    droned a chipped homily behind him.
    “There is an aggravated pop. That’s
    how you know it’s reached the end
    of its roast. But you know what

    the most interesting thing is?”
    I shook my head, still dozing in
    the grey preawakening.
    “It’s that coffee is still the breakfast

    beverage of choice.” He smiled at me,
    all those grinding questions that have
    driven me mad over my life
    spinning and chipping in my mind.

    The water on the kettle whistled.
    “The water can’t be boiling when
    you pour it into the press.”
    I could still feel the moment of

    pure weightlessness after his
    hands were pulled from my bicycle
    seat. Part of me thought he was
    still there as I pedaled myself straight

    into the concrete. Anger, it is said,
    resides in fear. What I felt that day
    was fear riding in the hot seat
    behind the handlebars.

    “You want to pour the water in slowly,
    for you don’t want to burn the beans.”
    My fingers could recall scraping the air
    for something to breathe in, while I could

    see him standing there, arms folded
    staring at my flailing body, mouthing
    indifference to me. But as I watch the
    hot water spill into the press, I seemed

    to recall the indifference was
    “Come on, boy…
    “How long is it supposed to steep?”
    I told him, “it’s supposed to steep

    for four minutes,”
    29 years,
    “sometimes longer for the lighter
    roasts.” He grinned and waited for four

    minutes. Then, his steady hands,
    the same that steered me into freedom,
    that taught me to breathe, and feel the
    corners of my heart, pressed down the plunger.

    We had coffee that morning, just he and I,
    like we used to when my fingers
    were covered in paint
    and his face was painted with a smile.

  30. Domino

    How to Daydream

    Find a nice, grassy meadow
    Lie back and take it all in
    warmed by sun, let the wind blow
    Find a nice, grassy meadow
    Lay ‘til you hear the grass grow
    and start to feel good in your skin
    Find a nice, grassy meadow
    Lie back and take it all in

    Diana Terrill Clark

  31. dextrousdigits

    One

    One and One is two,
    Yet when one is with another
    who is hiding inside
    or exploding fireworks
    or leaching life moment by moment
    Then two can equal zero.

  32. PowerUnit

    The grey cap should move away, eventually
    It has been windy, for days
    One would think, anyway

    Maybe this is a revisitation, of Noah
    Could it rain an more, or harder?
    Can it get any colder, in July?

    I’m surprised it hasn’t snowed, this week
    57F is not high noon, in my books
    I’ve had to dig out sweaters, and toques

    The windows stay closed, at night
    and the fleece stays on, all over
    No tomatoes again, this year

    I’m glad I planted mostly peas, 200ft
    They threaten to overwhelm, the garden
    I might need heavy rope, to train them

  33. PressOn

    GOING TO GETTYSBURG

    Travel the main roads till you find
    the town where highways congregate;
    a place where, once upon a time,
    two armies played a common date
    in fields and hills near Maryland’s line
    and there expunged their fear and hate
    in three hard days, and thereby tried
    one nation’s fate.

  34. bxpoetlover

    You Can Learn a Lot From Facebook

    I will not break. I read that
    drinking a glass of water before bed
    helps prevent heart attacks.
    Oppression
    the top 1%
    the rising cost of living
    stagnant wages
    deceptive men–
    God’s tears will protect me.

  35. RobHalpin

    Learn and Live

    We’ve interrupted this broadcast
    to tell you that you’re missing life.
    You may have screwed up in the past.
    We’ve interrupted this broadcast.
    Done and gone, all mistakes don’t last.
    Get up, dust off, learn from the strife.
    We’ve interrupted this broadcast
    to tell you that you’re missing life.

  36. PressOn

    WRITING POEMS

    Blend sense and sound,
    sometimes uncouth,
    to touch the skies
    yet come to ground
    to plead; to pound;
    to confound lies
    and echo truth
    where truth be found.

  37. PressOn

    YOU CAN’T GET THERE FROM HERE

    If you drive
    the lonesome highway
    you will come
    to a turn
    that seques to another
    and brings you back here.

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