“Moderate Breeze” & “Fannings”

Moderate Breeze

            Irish hydrogapher and Royal Navy Officer, Francis Beaufort, devised 
            the Beaufort Wind Force Scale in 1805 while serving on HMS Woolwich.
             It measures the force of wind using numbers 0 to 17. This offers precise 
             written images of the increasing strength of wind on land or at sea.


Infants come out a 7: Moderate Gale 
sucking strongly inward—first breath:                     Whole trees 
                                                                                     [or lungs] in motion

before wailing, then wanting 
the woman who birthed them, picking up her scent 
like voles rooting for dark targets. Soon 
welcome rains come, milkdrops drip then gush. 
Every beast needs something to calm their storms, 
something to bring us down to Zero:                      Calm,
                                                                                     smoke rises vertically

What is it about wind? 
The scale is all over the place. The jostled man 
on the subway stares down at some sort of forecast, 
his expression getting darker. Perhaps 
his boss or partner just texted because he went 
from                                                                             Fresh Breeze (a 5) 
                                                                                     to Whole Gale (10) 
                                                                                     where trees are uprooted; 
                                                                                     considerable structural
                                                                                     damage occurs.

Monkeys come to mind when I see two 
women swinging from the hanging straps, 
small gift bags on their wrists, laughing
about the sale they scored on wireless bras 

I give them a 2:                                                           Light Breezewind felt on face;
                                                                                     leaves rustle; ordinary weathervane
                                                                                     [or breasts] moved by wind  

The nose of the first car 
pierces tunnel air, we whiz past 
a platform at solid 4:                                                  Moderate Breeze
                                                                                     raising dust and
                                                                                     loose paper;
                                                                                     small branches 
                                                                                     are moved

which is how I felt just now 
when you hugged our ailing Nana and whispered 
everything will be alright, this storm
won’t last forever, and then her thin arms 
like two small branches lifted moderately, 
trying to return your love.


small pieces: leftovers
after higher grades 
are gathered to be sold—


when packaging 
leaf-tea of high quality 
in selling houses. 

smaller fannings: 


as if 
to be 
a fanning 

was not 

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