movement obscures the form
the light on the water dazzles us
we can’t quite see

we peer and probe
seeking always seeking
as if there is some power
in depth

as if that surface glitter
is not enough

maybe movement is all there is –

the fine oscillation
of atoms, more space
than substance –

energy transmitted and transforming,
the slow drift
into entropy

flames dancing on the surface
of the universe

 “It is life’s work to recognize the mystery of the obvious”
Jim Harrison ~ Songs of Unreason


It finally arrived – the last day of Jilly’s 28 Days of Unreason project. It’s going to be strange without the daily wrestle with Jim Harrison’s gnomic sentences. Thank you, Jilly, for bringing this to us. 

It’s too hot to poet much tonight. We hit 31 degrees today – unheard of in this green and pleasant land! – so this is my offering for dVerse’s open link night as well.

29 thoughts on “Obvious

  1. I like how you wove in the indolence, the almost dying.”Flames dancing on the surface of the universe”…exactly how it seems to be today. We hit 94F today and tomorrow we go into true heat mode – 100F. Flames dancing indeed.


  2. Seen from “both sides now” and I really don’t think I’ve seen clouds, love, life at all. This came to mind as I read. I realize even though we know we are only charged matter surrounded by charged matter..a constant pull of magnetic forces and yet we feel we are independent, on our own, making our own way, and choices. Maybe no. I liked this a lot.


  3. It’s human nature to seek meaning, to antropomorphize… we’re doomed to shape the world in our own image. But those “flames dancing on the surface of the universe”… they are promising. I was going to say there’s a Phoenix waiting to be reborn somewhere in there, but that only proves my point. I try to wrap them in a human understanding and they don’t need it–they’re happy to dance away without my attempt to explain why or how they do it. They don’t even need my last statement. Or this one.


    • Yes, but… if we are that corner of the universe that has somehow become conscious of itself, then we need to remember we are part of those flames, we are not anthropomorphism, we are rather the part of the fabric, the space, the substance that gives a dern, that glitter, that dance is not there for our benefit, we are part of it. I love all the more, therefore, how Sara has shown the glory of that part that is right before us, the movement, the dance, the slip of entropy, how precious is this moment!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I got lost in your poem, Sarah, and its flickering lights. At this moment, early Saturday morning, listening to the wood pigeons coo, I’m happy to just be
    ‘the fine oscillation
    of atoms, more space
    than substance’
    but one day hope to be
    ‘flames dancing on the surface
    of the universe’.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As these surface glitters are not enough- That gotta be one of a line I ever read to be perfectly relatable to me. That’s like the equation of how my brain works!!! Thank you for this poem!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Archie (A.R.) Ammons was a bard of the obvious — how much there to surface glimmer that we miss. To the empiricist the eye for the real; to the poet, the flames dancing on the surface. Well done. Stay cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sarah, you would be at home in Giverny, in Monet’s lily pad ponds and gardens, where the light dances and changes with the movement of the earth and stars. This poem is so gorgeous and true… thank you!


  8. Pingback: The Forest for the Trees | Daily Inkling – Normal Happenings

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