I like to study the forms of things,
especially those created by
the action of the winds. Take the barchan,
that gritty croissant whose dynamic moves
threaten roads, railways and communications
or can trap a woman of the dunes.
It migrates, grain by grain, rising up
the gentle slope of a convex arc
to the crest of a well-sorted ridge,
only to fall down the slip-face lying
at the angle of repose. The horns
of a dilemma continue,
the inexorable march of progress
engulfs anything in its path,
passing over and leaving behind.
Too many granules and they link up to form
transverse ridges which migrate on,
the drifting sands a soliton, more than just
a wave, each particle travelling.
What lies beneath the shifting surface,
hidden now, will be revealed in time.
Wherever there is sand and a constant
motive force of wind or water
there are barchans — in earthy deserts,
on Mars, underneath the sea.
Rohan Buettel lives in Canberra, Australia. He rides a mountain bike, paddles a kayak, and sings in a choir. He convenes meetings of Tram Stop Poets, a group of Canberra poets who workshop their poems together. His haiku and longer poetry have appeared in various Australian and international journals (including Penumbra Literary and Art Journal, Passengers Journal, Reed Magazine, Meniscus, and Quadrant).