Thursday, May 29, 2008

Coils

Smoke doesn't rise straight, however still the air—
helixes hypercoiled by the Earth’s rotation
into gossamer corkscrews.

They say that in the other hemisphere
smoke may twist in the opposite direction
like water in a bathroom sink—

but southern snails aren’t left-handed
and the turns of the hangman’s noose
are the same in every country in the world.

Brazilian moths straddling the Equator
samba both ways round the carnival candles
til their wings catch fire.

Only compasses get confused about it.
They have to switch directions when they cross
that imaginary line. And yet, magnetic poles

are not the same as geographic. And this
is what we trusted in, for centuries,
to navigate the oceans? Better to have followed

the coils of smoke.



Collection available! Knocking from Inside

5 comments:

Granny Smith said...

You never disappoint. A lovely poem.

shammi said...

That is a gorgeous poem! Just lovely!

Greyscale Territory said...

Adore the irony!

Gemma

Patois said...

I love your weaving of this poem -- clockwise or counter-clockwise.

one more believer said...

it is always a pleasure to stop by... who would have thought a curve such as this...