Winter 2009 - THE POTOMAC

Two Poems
   David W. Wolfe

The Stellar Winds

Helium was such an inert invention
the big bang could have ended in a fizzle
if Einstein had it wrong.

But he didn't and so we had energy galore
each time those alpha bits would fuse
releasing self-propelling fire
magnified by light-speed squared.

Those starry fusion factories keep on giving—
oxygen and even iron when exploding,
then something better from the slowly dying.

Red giants in their final bloated state
are a place where H and O are spun
releasing icy comet spirals
to ride the stellar winds.

It's not fate but gravity
that forms the frozen planets
when those chunks of ice collide.

And what a chunk of luck it seems
to find ourselves in orbit circling
a perfect distance from a perfect sun god
who melts the steely matrices

creating seas of flickering blues
clouds of heavenly dreams

that build a helix from the ashes
and rainbows from the light.

A Song for Snow and Ice

This wooden flute I carry once did sing
a song for snow and ice and water flowing
that reached the hidden thirsty roots of pine
and rose through scented branches toward sun’s rays
to carve this instrument of wind and dreams.

This wooden flute I carried in youthful bliss
to sing my song while treading icy shores
and melt the barbs of loneliness and fear
that filled the heart of hunter turned to prey
by giant polar rulers of their day.

I played for one of them named Roaring Moon
whose eyes caught mine in eerie recognition
when every spring he twitched his ears to hear
my steaming breath traverse the aging wood
reverberating through our crystal world.

That hunting flow where we would meet is gone now.
Shores we knew—they’ve melted into blue
where once I watched him surface stealthily
and burst with ghostly power from the sea
to take a naïve seal for a meal.

A stranger now when wand’ring there alone—
a rocky moonscape void of beating hearts—
I hear the frozen thunder under me
splinter into liquid jeopardy
as arctic beauty gasps in fear and fury.

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