Smoke Rises Vertically
(based on the 13 categories of the Beaufort Wind Scale and the
viral tweet above)
Smoke rises vertically. The air is still.
Smoke drifts with air, the weather vanes inactive.
You feel wind on your face, the basic fact of
nerve and turbulence. Flags flap. A chill
stirs the still dust in devils. Papers whip
and flutter. Waves on inland waters break,
umbrellas inside-out. Large branches shake.
The boot braced on the path begins to slip.
The branches fall like leaves from branches. Shingles
shudder, and are shed. The groaning oak
like struck Goliath tilts and topples. Smoke
no longer rises—is ripped away, and mingles
with wind and ozone and ice. The following day
smoke rises vertically from scattered fires:
the trunk-split transformer, gas, downed wires.
“A very rare occurrence,” torn scales say.
A slightly different version of this poem can be found in Daniel
Galef's new book, Imaginary
Click the image to find out more.
If you have any thoughts about this poem (or his book), Daniel Galef would be
pleased to hear them