Poem: The Whistle of Heat

Work divides.
The nuclear generating station on the horizon
prompts symbolic meanings to the conscious mind
but the unconscious mind makes associations:
minerals make heat, spin turbines;
the heat, once used, becomes waste.
Waste not, want knots,
which darn the holey socks.
We tease meaning from poems
(like teasing volume from ‘80s hair) –
teasing my cousins in the back of the room
behind the stovepipe screaming
with the whistle of heat –
now I’m finding sounds and steam in both, and steam and water,
and I contain multitudes of waters and I drink in liquid and exhale vapor –
I too am a steam engine and even my sweat comes out
but it oozes, it gathers, like puddles without rainwater,
and there is boiling all around and life is boiling,
life near undersea volcanic vents
– but I’ve never seen those.

I don’t know where I come from. I
was given life, I took life, life took me,
overtakes me,
life grew me. I didn’t have much to do with it, consciously.

I’m likely to let go of consciousness,
believing there’s meaning subconsciously or unconsciously,
but our conscious minds are pretty good at getting us around.

4 responses to “Poem: The Whistle of Heat

  1. Really enjoyed this, read it twice and just love the last two stanzas.

  2. Nice! Like the part about teasing meaning and the associations that follow, and also about life “taking” us, the way our unconscious mind takes us places we wouldn’t imagine. All of life is a process of making those associations, isn’t it?

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