the river and the wind


… meet the zeroth law of motion.

We’re dropping out of hyper now
into normal space,
the words of Azulinha, the fluidic pilot,
flashed inside my head,
and don’t touch that,
it’s not a percolator.

Soon there’d be no more
chromatic thought transference—
empathic rivers of the gaseous mind.
It would all be stuttering and stumbling
with optics and acoustics
on the surface of the planet.


We were earthly visitations
in our standard-issue
photophoric phased projection gear
(mine with subtle polka dots)
unremarked by passersby.

I circulated clockwise in a library,
a breeze that whispered down the aisles,
a slo-mo whirlwind rustling the pages,
and through the tinted windows,
I saw sapient blood and sap
running red and green
to the clouds and to the earth,
figures with umbrellas oscillating,
and Azulinha as a light serein.

What is movement when it ceases?

I wandered near the humans wagging tongues,
saw power points and power planes,
one way transmissions,
rites and customs, stones and candles,
beliefs: believed and broken.

Yet the solidity was pleasing.

What is knowledge when it isn’t truth?

So different we were, the river and the wind.
I sought substance, moorings, underpinnings
in that place—
math and rules, even grammar
on occasion, the technical
and technocratic.

I’m staying here, I told Azulinha.

Here? Where not a soul
will dip a toe 
into the water? 


When she reaches the sea of endings,
Azulinha will weave herself in tides,
spin in swirling countercurrents,
and lap on stranger shores.

And what is the wind
when it stays behind?

A graceless coffee cup
with symbols on a symbol,
floating in an airless solitude
until the force of gravity
decrees it must obey.

The three states of matter. The fourth state is plasma, or ionized gas, not counting Queensland.

sound waves


24 thoughts on “the river and the wind

  1. Another doozie! Such a crass word to describe the sublime! I really resonated w/ the stanza abt wagging tongues and beliefs believed and broken. The subtle polka dots remind me of pj’s. And I learned a new word: serein. 🙂

    • Thanks BG and for mentioning the beliefs stanza. <3 We can judge others, beliefs that are too rigid. or the opposite, too flexible and vaporous, but I've come to realize how easy it is to fall into one trap or the other with my own views (apart from always being right, obviously hahaha). My pjs have old-fashioned stripes, 🙂 and I like serein, and the word and the meaning if that makes sense.

  2. gosh darn it, my keyboard’s freaking out, so I apologise if weird things happen, like this appearing where it shouldn’t which it tried to do already…
    but I laughed out loud at your explanation…
    and “don’t touch that, it’s not a percolator”. Absolute gold. I want a t shirt with that on it.
    It’s well and truly time WP had a love button 🙂

    • Thanks Vanessa, and no need to apologize for weird with me 🙂 , although I didn’t notice anything. One thing I was taught when I started in research was that the strongest emotion permitted in a research paper is “interest,” ie, you can describe something or other as “interesting.” Mind you it was a very dry English professor who told me that, but I think it’s true. Maybe after many years of limiting myself to “interesting” something finally snapped, which explains what I write now. 😜 Mmm did I have a point? Oh yes, so maybe WP need an “interesting” button. BTW I’ve seen many things happen with buttons and switches in high voltage laboratories, that line comes from the heart.

    • Yes I would imagine something would snap eventually. And I found when I moved to the US, that “interesting” means different things in different cultures hahaha (as I am sure you probably found out with the travelling you have done?) I was using it genuinely, whereas they informed me it was something people said when they weren’t sure, or didn’t like it, but were being polite. so I had offended a few people unknowingly. But I also accomplished that rather nicely just with my humour. that’s another story 🙂

  3. Wonderful, as always! I write a lot of poetry about the four elements but now you’ve opened up a new “world”: the four stages of matter. Off to Google because I feel an idea for a poem coming on…

    • Thanks Randy. 💚 Have to admit I was pleased with this piece. It’s a bit longer than usual, and I enjoyed trying to describe humanity without being too negative.

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