In the middle of the ocean, no landmarks in sight,
with just wood, bits of mirrors and an almanac Ė
and the knowledge to decipher an angle of light,
you will never be lost. The horizonís a tight
and trembling line between blues as you tack
in the middle of the ocean. No landmarkís in sight
but you wait for the shadows to teeter: the height
of the sun will disclose all the secrets you lack.
With the knowledge to decipher an angle of light,
you can map all the world Ė but the airís turning white
with the mists of the dead and the sails hang slack
in the middle of the ocean, no landmarks, no sight.
All your charts and your tables are useless, despite
their elegant copperplate: a cloud can attack
the knowledge to decipher an angle of light.
The mistís turning black and the anchor ropeís tight.
Youíre dreaming of water, not of what youíll bring back,
in the middle of the ocean, no landmarks in sight,
with the knowledge to decipher an angle of light.
Thanks to The Writers' Greenhouse for the prompt to write a villanelle about a scientific instrument and to the Oxford History of Science museum for their wonderful videos and explanations.
See the new NaPoWriMo poems as they pop up, complete with pics of the handwritten drafts, and suggest titles for them, via whatever social media you call home:
All my poems on this site are now #FreeForPoets to play with, to write hybrid forms such as glosas, coupling poems, golden shovels, acrostics, centos, and erasures. Full permissions here: #FreeForPoets.