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Posts Tagged ‘science’

Specimens missing, notes of apology,
the vandalized seismograph, derelict,
in one corner rests, its leads still attached
to an obelisk of granite, to a monitor
(off now) that ought to be showing
the tremors below, too faint for our
soles to pick up from the sidewalk, the street,
the path through the garden,
packed under wanderers and last autumn’s leaves.

But you and I scavenge through Herkimer diamonds,
gastroliths, chrysotile, dendritic gypsum,
and back by the entrance we pick out from
the tumble and sheet three polished stones,
two mica rings. On the drive home we will stand
by the side of the parkway, stare from the split-rail
at Looking Glass Rock, and without any signal stretch
back to the sign, grasping for the word “pluton”
in what we remember
from the little museum under Pack Square.

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Eclipse, Remotely

The moon dimmed opposite
the world from us,
dimmed in a shuttering
we both missed, its slide
a slow eyelid drowsing down
with the waning afternoon, with our
waning wakefulness, waning
attention drawn among too many screens,
our minds like sacking
split along seams and beans
scattering from tear to countertop.
Had I brush or broom,
patch and thread, another mind
and pair of eyes to home
onto the vanishing craters,
the mares muddying the shadow’s cusp,
I might divide my focus,
hold you and the moon
along with the burr and the grind.

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Magnet

Lure, pull, faint like the first
tap of bream on bobbling bait
brushing by the bottom –

a breath, then a breathless, steady
haul to draw a wanded magnet,
plus a key, up from the car wash rubbish,

out from the domed-over bin,
thanks to all the attraction of additive
moments, the grasp of invisible field.

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Bias

I can’t shake the snakes
from my data. From
the bottom they boil,
roil among the points
I’ve plotted from X to Y.

My marks shake among
sinister sinews, drift like
the threads that – on a clear day
with an eye to a steel-bright sky – plague
my vision, pulse just ahead
of my focus, subtle shift and slide
down, down, unpinable,
refusing to be swept aside.

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Rover

All the old ships,
in plank and pitch,
canvass rippling down
under play of drafts and vortices,

all the old ships wore their way
through barnacle and spray,
looking out from the nest
in the wait for dry land.

My watchers in their
grounded nests trail now
a quarter-hour behind
while the land I spy

rests, dry and bright,
the crane in flight no
harbinger of shore
or wetland. No tides

may draw me into harbor
while, a world away,
a long night breaks
under the wait for solid ground.

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Longitude

Miles’ measure is minor when matched
against meridians, whose membranes hew
the globe into grapefruit-bitter bites.

Longitude and light, exchange of dusk
for day, offset of sleep and morning:
I disbelieve how, divided by so many lines,

I might still matter. Far enough away and a pair
of magnets will forget each other,
and even gravity can be escaped

with momentum and a great enough expanse.
I’m off the map with the thought that an evening
of mine could find you only half as far away

as you’ll find yourself with the fall of your next night.
Against this grand immensity I need another
rule, a greater scale to square against the vast.

Liner note

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Trebuchet

After the drop, the kinetic tremble
through leg and wheel:
Sling and careen,
propulsion and threat
inspired by ballast and gravity.

I’m not sure which castle I’m in,
which side of the siege I’m on.

When will the air turn to stone?
When will I know whether
I’ve sailed ahead of myself?

For now, I’ll yield
to the projectile
arc, to anticipation, flight.

 

Liner note

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