Magnetic metaphorica

Writing leads me
on so many journeys

today it was
to the center of the Earth

it all started with
using “compass”
as a metaphor
which led me to wonder
what really makes a compass work
why the needle points
to magnetic north

which led me to
the magnetic field

and crystals in the Earth’s core

and to the discovery
that these crystals
are a type of snow

(iron snow,
but still)

snowing there
in the molten middle
of our planet

and now I’m swimming
in metaphor
the compass nearly forgotten

because in my mind
I see it snowing in Earth’s core
and I know
it doesn’t look
anything like what scientists
are guessing at

and that’s okay
because I started
with only a compass
not even a tangible one

and I found myself
pulled into fiery living snow
hidden from human eyes
and I felt the flapping
of a majestic blanket
as it rippled far
into the heavens

making the auroras dance
to its rhythms
trailing their long veils of light

-where was I?

Oh, right, the compass.

The journey, the journey.
It’s why I write.

NASA’s THEMIS Sees Auroras Move to the Rhythm of Earth’s Magnetic Field.
NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. CC BY-NC 2.0


14 thoughts on “Magnetic metaphorica

  1. Thanks so much for taking us along on your journey this morning. I love following the flow of your poem from that compass (rich for metaphor indeed!) into oh so many directions. I’m captivated by the idea of snow in the center of the earth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was captivated by snow in the Earth’s core also, Molly. So incongruous. I tried to envision what iron snowflakes would look like. Scientists are basing this conclusion on instrument readings only, for of course no one can get in there and get a sample…makes me wonder even more what astounding mysteries are there. I was also captivated by the magnetic field (my “majestic blanket”) making the auroras dance to its rhythms. That’s power.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I felt so much as I read your words. Somehow how it flows wrapped me in the magic of writing. I feel like I need to read it over and over again to understand better your craft moves or simply to experience the magic that reading brilliant writing brings to the reader. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fran, your writing definitely takes you to places filled with awe and wonder – from the snow and the bowl of snow cream to the center of the earth and the snow churning there. I am riveted by these words:

    and I found myself
    pulled into fiery living snow
    hidden from human eyes
    and I felt the flapping
    of a majestic blanket
    as it rippled far
    into the heavens

    A majestic blanket – – the aurora! I’ve seen it only faintly but would love to see it again, more vividly like the one in your picture. That blanket rippling far into the heavens is exactly what I want to see – not the dim lights of green and purple that I saw, but the actual hem of an angel’s gown skirting the nighttime skies.
    As always, your writing is breathtaking.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Ooooh, Fran, I can’t wait to read it! I’m already thinking about a picture I saw with a green ribboning effect- emerald hem of an angel’s gown skirting the nighttime skies …emerald might lead to herald as another patterning word. You are a master wordsmith and I can’t wait to see what you write!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I know poetry isn’t your usual comfortable place, which makes this piece even more magical. Last week’s journey was realistic, and this one sci-fi. You’re crossing genres even as you play with writing styles! I hope your share both with your student writers, to illustrate how we can play with words in so many different ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am working on embracing my inner poet, shall I say? I do share different types of poems I’ve written with students. Sometimes they help me problem-solve. they ask fantastic questions. I must share a bit of our work together from earlier this year. I’ve been waiting on an elusive photo but I may have to go ahead and post without it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The compass, the compass. YES! I could get lost in that metaphor (which sounds like the start of another metaphor?). And then, my geeky lil’ brain starts spinning (again, like that needle. these metaphors won’t leave me alone!). But here’s the thing. North has not always been true north. The poles of our earth have shifted over time, and will continue to do so. So even that sense of a compass being a guiding, permanent presence is true-ish but not.

    I may have to dig a little deeper (dang there it goes again) on this one myself…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh indeed, I was reading how magnetic north and true north are not the same ALTHOUGH they apparently aligned in September 2019. Boggling! I get lost in this kind of thing for a crazy length of time…one thing leads to another and I am occasionally alarmed at how much time has passed. Like a time warp. Now I must restrain myself from chasing THAT thread…

      Liked by 1 person

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