Solar Filaments

…. —on photos by Martin Yaffee

the sun is intense but placid
teasing this morning’s fog from the river,
at least from this vantage, sitting as we are
at a perfect distance from its orange firebox
safe from its arcing solar filaments,
the eruptions which suddenly uncoil like snakes
and would reduce me to cinders
with their dragon breath if not for
certain equations like those that render orbits
and the change of state that gives
this river its gray vapor coat
in which it rides it’s way to the sea
under the cool red blast furnace blaze
of clouds caught in the cup of two slopes
behind the phone pole’s tangle of wires
to the sound of water over the dam
speaking in familiar alien tongues,

and footsteps curiously synched to my pace,
and the rhythmic exhalation
of my fog-spilling lungs

by Jim Culleny