Tuesday, 21 of November of 2017

Tag » Chemical elements

Arthur Sze – Fault Lines

He pours water into a cup at room temperature,
the cup is white, but, after he microwaves it,

and before steeping a tea bag with mint leaves,
he notices outlines of shards have formed

above the water. As the cup cools, the lines
disappear, but now he glimpses fault lines

inside himself and feels a Siberian tiger
pace along the bars of a cell–black, orange,

white; black, orange, white–and feels how
the repeating notes send waves through him.

His eyes glisten, and he tries to dispel the crests,
but what have I done, what can I do throbs

in his arteries and veins. Today he’s going
to handle plutonium at the lab and won’t

consider beryllium casings. He situates the past
in the slight aroma of mint rising in the air.

Sometimes he’s an astronaut suspended
above earth twisting on an umbilical cord;

sometimes he’s in the crosshairs of a scope,
and tiger stripes flow in waves across his body.

Arthur Sze


Jane Hirshfield – For The Epiphytes

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dedicated to: Lobaria, Usnea, Witches Hair, Map Lichen, Beard Lichen, Ground Lichen, Shield Lichen

Back then, what did I know?
The names of subway lines, busses,
How long it took to walk twenty blocks.
 
Uptown and downtown.
Not north, not south, not you.
 
When I saw you, later, seaweed reefed in the air,
you were gray-green, incomprehensible, old.
What you clung to, hung from: old.
Trees looking half-dead, stones.
 
Marriage of fungi and algae,
chemists of air,
changers of nitrogen-unusable into nitrogen-usable.
 
Like those nameless ones
who kept painting, shaping, engraving
unseen, unread, unremembered.
Not caring if they were no good, if they were past it.
 
Rock wools, water fans, earth scale, mouse ears, dust,
ash-of-the-woods.
Transformers unvalued, uncounted.
Cell by cell, word by word, making a world they could live in.


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