Outside, the winter frieze has banished all
except the shadows from the streets. Beneath

it all, a final subway train engraves
a drawn, unhurried course across its tracks.

Its sound reverberates through the grates, an
electron in its shivering orbital.

Here, colder still, in the railway tunnel
of the MRI, the liquid helium

embraces in its coiled magnetic frame.
The shutter trips, and I become a flash,

protons cascade, a corona of light.
Etched in the scanner's screen like the Turin

shroud, a self-portrait. The cranial tumor
a frosted silver, like a crown of thorns.


  1. Short link - http://bit.ly/s4He002

  2. Anonymous6:08:00 PM

    Adventurous poem. The cranial tumor is a shock, and with it the poem falls into place.

  3. So real to be a witness to your own mortality and tell it like it is. I wasn't gonna come to your site because I judged you as being egotistical. Now I apologize. I wish you continued acuity of vision in your observations of life. I pray you make it thru to the other side(whatever that is) painting for us a color portrait of what it means to be human.

    One Love

    Tiger Windwalker

  4. Elegant, elegiac, and exceptionally clean and clear writing. And a fine poem. I have yet to come here and find one that wasn't.

  5. oh dang...wonderful write...the tumor at the end stirred some tough emos...nice gut punch...smiles.

  6. Helium presents, with great subjective concision and poetic flair, a journey encompassing elements of art, science, history, and mortality.

  7. Anonymous10:38:00 PM

    I didn't expect the shift. Great imagery.

  8. Anonymous3:07:00 PM

    With your usual brilliance, you bring us into your world ... then drop us to our knees.

  9. Again, brilliance. The lexicon from whence you draw your words is worth a pirate's booty, and the syntax of your verse is that Raphael's pen. A beautiful piece Sam.

  10. Wooowww!! What brilliant imagery and fantastic analogy!! I am truly speechless here! I started on the lines of Winter, and found myself in a claustrophic channel... my brain translated into a chromatic display!

    Really.. a breathtaking one shot!

  11. This is one of my favorites - I love the relationship between a subway tunnel and an MRI - and not just the similarity in the visual, but the cold, lonely feeling that can accompany...

  12. Excellent you are so good...the shroud of turin the crown of thorns....Yes!!! vivid and powerful for one with such a cross to bear....bkm

  13. Wonderful poem.. I liked your words..
    'Its sound reverberates through the grates, an
    electron in its shivering orbital.'
    a lot... it appeal to the engineer in me.. ;-)
    Thanks for sharing..

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Twitter @VerseEveryDay

  14. Congratulations for this blog.
    See mine too :
    I am your new follower.
    If you like mine, please do the same.
    Great regards
    Juan Cuatrecasas
    Bilbao, Spain

  15. Hi Samuel-- I can't tell whether i posted my comment on Ablution-- a perfect title-- on the post-- something happens when I try to click there. But again, it is an absolutely fabulous poem-- everyone should read it and pass it on, in this time in which we are so, for want of a better word, fallen, lost. xxxj

  16. With 'Time Zones' and 'To a Woman in Her Home', this is one of three poems which have been included in the arts and literary journal, The Poetry Tree. My thanks to Renée Sigel, publisher and managing editor, and the staff at The Poetry Tree for allowing me to be a part of their journey.


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