You Are the Wind That Trusted

cave painting

You Are the Wind That Trusted

The barriers I could not place, the incomplete lines and unmouthed
verbs registered in stone, saying I am here,

as if taw were born in evil, and not the fruit of the need to mark.

At what velocity must sand scour these walls to obliterate the hand’s
intent? How may we gauge design? Galileo’s thermoscope

crudely measured temperature variation, but in 1612 Santorio added a numerical scale.

For centuries, T did not produce a miniscule and stood tall in its singular representation.

Hydrated iron oxide, mixed with bone marrow and charcoal, yields
ochre, a formula that predates writing.

Development, not invention.

T’s varying structure may be one of sequence and slippage.

Thermoscopes were open ended tubes dependent upon air pressure.
Celsius originally proposed a scale with 0 at the boiling point.

A cruciform. The capped spike. Blended tongues.

Complexity intrudes with every step: smoke-darkened ceiling.

***

A slightly different version of this appeared in Otolith in fall 2013.

thermo

22 thoughts on “You Are the Wind That Trusted

  1. This is extremely elegant and meaningful. I feel you handle the topic better than Heaney in some of his similar “physical” poems; your verse maintains a lightness and precision that speaks and invites rumination. Wonderful words; thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

      • the poems seem sequential, as if one inquiry or idea opens a new line of thought, the parameters of which are set by the line up to the full stop. what do you think of the limiting function of the poem as a whole?

        i apologize for the incessent questioning, but i am a literature major & in university, though i flirted with poetry mags, i was only interested in poets who were critiqued. there was so much to cover, so much to learn. in the last year or so, finally pulling my socks up to get something published after 10 years or so of studying poetics & writing poems, i am interested in the poems of now, the wealth of poetry, at a fine quality that i can sometimes find in blogs like your own & online mags. my problem is i want to understand the technique of form & function behind them, something i could do with the poets who have been exhaustively critiqued & analysed. i realise though, i can if i am bothersome enough, learn directly from the poets i find. if you’ll oblige me.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I often let the poem emulate my thought process – thus a piece might jump around from discussing the history of a particular letter of the alphabet to music or laws of physics and back to the letter. I find it interesting and challenging to tie them together in some way. The limiting function, whether form or arbitrary line length, forces me to make leaps, to consider alternatives I’d not otherwise consider. So “limiting” is actually the opposite.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are smooth and cool but don’t think I/we don’t see you for what you are – aTexan with a big hat to wear and therefore a new one is in order to stand the weather there – make it ten gallon and you shall have one that fits. Beste wense. B

    Liked by 1 person

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