Friday, November 11, 2022

the archangel fuel
Greetings, all!  I'm hard at work trying to order an adult poetry manuscript for submission, a new challenge for me (one that makes me think it wouldn't be so bad just to specialize in submitting single poems for the rest of my life).  Because of this project, I'm reading or rereading some of the collections on my bookshelf, and here is one that surprises me (where and when did I acquire this?): ONE BODY by Margaret Gibson (not our good friend Margaret Gibson Simon, a different Margaret Gibson!).

 Published in 2007, I've just read a poem entitled "In January, the Morning After the State of the Union Address, I Go Outside to Stand in Snowfall and Cold Air." But that's not the one I'm sharing with you.  It's the next one, "Fuel," that reaches me here as COP 27 continues in Egypt, as the world tries to quit its addiction to power and money. Fuel.


Fuel | Margaret Gibson
I am, said the voice in the oil spill of rainbow radiance,
the angel of El, from the deserts and gulfs of El.

I looked for a face, flesh and blood I might hold
accountable, a name.  It saw right through me. Uriel,

Eliel, Emmanuel, Fuel, said the angel. Fuel? I replied,
and a human form stood before me, a merchant

who turned to measuring my life as if I were cloth,
judging length and price by the distance between his elbow

and the tip of his middle finger.  The arm wore camouflage
the shade of sand and bone.  You do what suits me,
Fuel smiled. He tossed the dead man's arm aside. Grenade,
he said.  Arched his eyebrows, shrugged. 

And now, for the kids sitting cross-legged in the front row, a definito:


We have Buffy Silverman to thank for hosting our Poetry Friday party this week at her blog. I hope her neck of the woods is still gold-blooming today; here on the East Coast we have the edges of Tropical Storm Nicole drenching us---a late hurricane fueled by climate change.  Maybe don't drive today if you can help it?


  1. The opening lines of Gibson's poem pulled me in. (El in Hebrew is a name for god, all powerful--and the god of fuel has unfortunately become that.) Love all the connections in your definito. Thanks for the gold-blooming shout out--it's been unseasonably warm in Michigan but the gold-blooming is a memory and snow is forecast for tomorrow.

  2. So chilling, when that human-masked FUEL measures out the speaker's life. The last line of your definito is powerful, Heidi.

  3. Quite the pair of poems. The Other Margaret Simon packed a powerful punch. That arched eyebrow and shrug at the end could mean so many things...

    Your definito is spot-on: "Now we burn our ancient world..."

    Here's a tidbit from Seth Godin's blogpost today: "In one hour, a gas-powered leaf blower will emit as much carbon dioxide as driving a typical internal combustion engine car 3,000 miles." We could make a huge change in our use of FUEL if we would have the courage to ban gas-powered leaf blowers! (More details here:

  4. Thanks for these two very powerfully voiced poems Heidi. I heard a voice from COP 27 saying we have a very small window of opportunity left to help our earth, how about we start by banning all these high combustion engine leaf blowers–you can't hear the leaves fall from their horrible din!

  5. Wow, Heidi, as always such power in your poetry. "Now we burn our ancient world"... I can't shake this line. So, so good.


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!