The Coriolis Force

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic


Poem from Writers' Group challenge

Submitted: March 23, 2018

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Submitted: March 23, 2018

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THE CORIOLIS FORCE

By Alexander Guinevere Kern

Copyright A. G. Kern July 1996

 

"Causes winds to change direction

To change direction . . . "

********************

Understand me, I do not believe in Goddesses, per se. Quite a laughable concept, really.

Just a rude excuse for women to assume an importance, and a puissance, that they never

held in reality. Though, mind you, I don't subscribe to the chain-'em-to-the-stove-

and-keep-'em-pregnant school of philosophy, either. Why . . . after all, I consider myself an

enlightened man.

I'm Dr. Terrence P. Fontaine. A cosmopolitan gent, too, if I may say, known in

academic circles as a dignified, highly-regarded professor of Sociology. Skeptical in the

scientific way, and well-traveled, well-read. I've nothing against the weaker sex. Women

have their place, that's all. They are, bluntly expressed, constitutionally ill-equipped to

manage power. However I will concede . . . when one has a dire problem of a, shall we say,

personal nature, and all other known options have been expired, there remains nothing left but

the wisdom of feminine Mystery . . . 

Well, what else could I have done? My dilemma refused to yield to ruthless intellectual

analysis. Women are supposed to be more insightful when it comes to matters of the

heart. Yet, even as I hastily made preparations for a swift departure, I told no one at

the University of my intentions, lest they regard me with suspicion and disbelief.

I, of course, retained my own suspicions and disbelief with which to contend.

Once I arrived my destination, I was taken to her shrine blindfolded, drugged with

enough opium to assure them I would never be able to recognize narcotic conjurings

from truth. Secrecy was vital, apparently. The directions, the bearings, the critical

landmarks, the telling sky-signs of the constellations: these diagnostic data were denied me. 

So be it.

If I wanted her divine assistance, I was told, I would have to relinquish my understanding

of direction. I averred I was willing to suspend a modicum of my dubiety. Priests,

psychics, counselors, soothsayers, gypsies -- I had petitioned them all for guidance, and all

had relieved me of my money before leaving me alone again with my disabling crisis.

Yet to say I was apprehensive would be an understatement. We had surely been traveling

the dusty, uneven road for hours. We were rising in elevation, for the air grew thinner, and

my heart rate and respiration increased in order to compensate for the decline in oxygen.

My pack mare snorted and stumbled under me, displeased with her foreign burden, no

doubt. I am inclined to portliness; the pleasures of the table rank damn near the ecstasies of

the mattress, in my view. Still . . . for once I was embarrassed by my weight. The horse

could nearly have been said to be gasping as she plodded on without rest or pause for water. 

The ravening wind swallowed the thermometer's mercury finger, and gnawed at my

extremities until they retreated into a defensive numbness. I heard persistent bird aria and the

strident marbled baaaaas of a shambling mountain goat. These disconcerting sounds only

served to promote a mood of even greater unease. I imagined the spirit of Menace was

setting my course, just as surely as Anubis shepherds the dead.

At the beginning of our journey I had once or twice detected the fresh redolence of

wild flowers, a trace whiff of fir trees, and a earthy peat odor, like farmland. Wheat, perhaps,

or mud-thatched roofs. I no longer received those olfactory inputs, but the opium continued

to chatter in my veins, so I could not trust my faculties of perception anyway.

Still, I am a scientist, and thus a curious fellow. Several times during the arduous, (and

arse-jolting!) horseback ride I could have defied the orders of my guide and peeked beneath

the blindfold. But I was in a gloom of despair, and so I dared not jeopardize this chance. For

all I knew she was Legend after all, and morning would find me murdered among the

cornflowers, my wallet and my life abducted because of my naivete and desperation.

"How much longer?" I wheezed to my guide.

The wind tossed his voice back after consuming the volume.

"When she wills our arrival!"

Yes, then, so be it.

******************************************************************************

My preliminary research had not prepared me. Then again, nothing could have

prepared my mortal orbs for the sight of this Elemental Sorceress, whose wisdom I sought,

and for whose direction I was prepared to offer any price.

Once in her opulent chambers I was stripped of my blindfold and forced to prostrate

myself before a jade-carven altar, upon which chrysanthemums had been amassed like ivory

clouds. I noted a phalanx of candles, their lambent slips of flame bent nearly horizontal by

some mysterious gust of air. Before I dropped to the floor I quickly and surreptitiously

surveyed my surroundings.

The reverberant din of beaten gongs, the clanging of cymbals and deep-muttered mantras

cascaded from the inner sanctum of the temple, but I beheld no monks at all. In fact, I saw

no one. I have visited many Buddhist temples, with their ceremonial tapestries, the cloying

atmosphere of an overabundance of fragrant flowers and sultry incense. There is always a

plethora of sacred gilded trinkets and statues of their idol Sakyamuni Buddha wrought of

every precious stone imaginable, rooms so rich with ornamentation the eye cannot bear

the excessive stimuli. Soon the infidel visitor gleans that it is easier to close the eyes and

pretend to meditate than to try and absorb the visual orgy. But I labored to understand all

aspects of this ancient religion. I had not even shied away from an intense scrutiny of the

Tantric art, which colorfully depicted graphic acts of sexual intercourse with man, woman,

beast, god.

Her sanctuary was not like this.

I held my breath, too stunned to cry out. The walls were covered, inch by inch, with

holographic weather maps! I could observe in three dimension the storm cells fermenting

over Europe, the cold fronts charging down from Alaska, the mercurial travels of all the

air masses as they churned alarmingly over Earth's surface. The inscrutable patterns of

wind, rain, sleet, hail, hurricane, tornado, fog and snow, formed and re-formed like

phantoms in a dream. Nearly swooning with fascination, I watched my home planet sucking

in radiant energy from the sun, and then spewing the excess back into the dark bowl of space.

The chamber in which I stood transfixed then roiled with miniature clouds, some of

which scuttled back and forth before my very eyes. I recognized their atmospheric portents

by their distinctive shapes. Cirrus, the high-flying feathers, shredded and tossed to the skies;

Stratus, the foggy scarves seen best in the still night air. Cumulus, the pillowy air-ships in

whose delicately sculptured contours one may pretend to see a multitude of fanciful images;

Nimbus, those pewter weepers, a warning to seek shelter before the imminent Fall. Names

of deceptive whimsy for these fascinating but troublesome sky ghosts. I watched their

shadow silhouettes dapple the floor of the shrine like raindrops against a windowpane.

I was alternately freezing, sweating, shivering, roasting. A veil of rain suddenly dropped

upon me like a guillotine and I began to wonder if I was being served this drama by

Morpheus or this occult Goddess, whose name I still did not know. Just as I wondered

when she would appear, a tree of blue-white lightening erupted through a fissure in the

ceiling. I hastily ducked my head under a rain of shattered stone. The air stank of ozone

and premonition. But, for the brief moment before I collapsed to the floor of her shrine, I

was witness to it all.

For several minutes I lay in a pool of my own sweat and the benediction of a warm

tropical rain. I would have mumbled a few prayers, if I had known any. But I was a

skeptic, and an atheist, which means, I suppose, I believe in nothing but the terms of my

own un-belief.

Presently I heard footsteps, or, rather, a rushing of wind packets, which emitted in an

identifiable pattern, like church chimes or morse code.

"Rise, fool."

Her voice was not robed in thunder, as one would presume after so much meteorological

fanfare. No, she spoke in Power, in the nexus of Eternal Force. There are no words the

human speaking apparatus can evoke which could serve to convey the effect this deity's

voice had upon me. Winds moaned through the chamber transversely, and all

the candle flames were summarily extinguished. But it did not matter; I could still see her in

all of her magnificence, for she was her own source of light.

And her voice was like a tumbler of rough whiskey on a storm-heavy evening.

"I said, rise fool."

Quickly I obeyed her command, and stood before her in my sodden clothes. Terrified, I

began to jabber like an excited monkey. My primal intuition urged me to run -- but I had

invested so much time, and depleted nearly all of my considerable finances. 

If I did not find a solution to my sorrow, I would have to resort to the fatal self-inflicted

gunshot . . .

Then those frantic thoughts were swept away, and I could but stare. Beautiful, so

unspeakably beautiful . . . this Goddess.

I gazed upon her glorious person until I was nearly blinded by the solar disc blazing

between her breasts. She was shaken by the cosmic forces within her; I could observe her

rapid transformations plainly, but Woman she surely was. Every female of my acquaintance

often spoke with great bitterness about the internal distress they were forced to endure every

month with the arrival of their menses. The blood, the crushing pressure, the ache, the bloat,

the wet flow: how they resented this body flux which caused them no little discomfort and

inconvenience.

Yet here before me was the instrument and channel of tumultuous natural forces, and,

vibrating though she was within her raiment of climate, still she was unified in her power and

impossibly lovely to me. Her oval face was alive with collisions and compressions, which

caused her exquisite features to flex and adjust in constant counterpoint. In her eyes: storms,

squalls, saturations, turbulences, tides, volts, stars. Her vaporous tresses spun around her

like a gown as she strode towards me, a silver-green fringe of forest rain; and her protean

body swelled with forms and birthings and the subsequent dissolvings, all of the upheavals

and chaos which accompany the wonders of weather. One moment her skin was moist with

condensation, the next it was scour dry and friable as the desert. She stroked my cheek and

sand particles crumbled into my eyes. Her blue veins glowed and flashed like electric roots.

Roots, veins, caves, bronchial passages, branches, lightening, earthquakes, migraine

auras, I thought suddenly. Ground-based, sky-based, brain-based, though they be, these are

electric trail markers, fractal poetry; and these are all the same.

Explosions, storms, cauliflower, broccoli, warts, barnacles, eruptions of lava and boils

and blisters, geysers, twisters, rising yeast and shattering orgasm: internal or external, these

are fertile conclusions and these are all the same.

Rain, tears, blood, beer, streams, oceans, sweat, semen, saliva: these secretions, internal,

external, these are Conductors of Life, of Energy, and these are all the same.

"Why have you come?" she asked. Her words shivered through my heart. I thought I

would die, and I didn't care if I did.

"I don't remember," I said, truthfully. A little cloud approached and tickled against my

left ear as it shuttled past.

"I know why," said she.

Turning slowly, she smiled and lifted her arms, palms up. I peered intently, and behold!

a tiny tornado spun her in cupped hands.

"You are suffering," she breathed, "what your species calls a mid-life crisis."

"What . . . whatever you like," I stammered. "As you wish. I'm not a fan of modern

psychology, but if you adjudge me thus, then I'm sure it's true. The tenure . . it tempts me

to stay, but adventure . . . lures me like a wench ---"

"Silence!" she roared. Her bevy of clouds rushed to coagulate over my head and then

commenced to pelt me with chunks of icy hail and slivers of sleet and every other manner of

precipitation they could muster. I covered my face with my hands and pleaded with her to

stop.

"On your knees, Man."

She said this with a curious affection in her voice. I dropped on the spot.

I felt two damp fingers pinch my temples. I suspected that she would jolt me, and she

did. It felt as though a 450 volt skewer had just threaded itself through my skull, ear to ear. 

When I finished vomiting up my last meal of Yak butter and sour bread, she jerked me up by

my dripping hair.

"Do not ever," she intoned, "refer to a female as a "wench" again. Do you hear me,

Man?"

"Yes, Ma'am. Oh, yes, Madame, surely," I panted. "Never again, as you are my

witness." My head thrummed, crackled, ached, worse than any morning-after-bender I have

ever experienced.

"Good," she said." She floated backwards, and upwards, and then returned to her former

position in front of me. I still did not, could not, move.

"You asked for my intervention, though you did not know from whom you sought

assistance in altering your destiny."

It appeared to me in my terrified and medicated state that her voice now consisted of

equal parts vibration, waterfall, and fomenting torrential lust. "I am Coriolis," she continued,

as I trembled and reached for her. "I cause changes in direction."

And again, the smug smile on her versatile countenance. She brought her face close to

mine, and then . . . closer still. My heart was jumping in the triple-digits, my barometer was

rising, and I was panting like a stag in rut mode. I knew that she would kiss me, and that I

would probably explode, or my skin dissolve, or my bones would fissure like ossified

lightening. One way or another, she was going to terminate my masculine force.

"I don't give a damn," I thought. I was sick of scholastic competition and pressures, of

my overcast bachelorhood, my loveless Polar bed. Low-altitude conversations; women with

heads full of vapor and low-speed bodies far from the celestial kind I had always sought for

the heavenly connection. Brilliant though I am, I did not know where to find the excitement

I craved with such indefatigable passion. I loathed the feckless and meaningless direction my

life seemed to be following, like a wave at low tide, riding in with my ceremonial remnants

of empty shells, dead crabs, and shreds of seaweed, snuffling along the toes of Life's

shoreline, begging to be absorbed. I needed a Force to seize and conduct me, like the Moon

arouses tides and women.

"Coriolis," I begged, "give it to me. Whatever you have in your womb-bag of weather,

give it to me. The direction does not matter, the Change is what I need."

"And if it is Death?" she asked as she slid her heated arms under my shirt.

"I prefer it to this stasis in which I stagnate now," said I.

"There will be . . . criticism, reproach, recriminations," she warned.

"And so there is for all dire change," I replied.

I was not really listening anymore. I wanted my mouth on that simmering wetness, I

wanted the searing, the electricity, the explosion, the conductor of Life, and the fertile

conclusion . . . whatever it was, no matter what the ramifications, I wanted it more than I've

ever wanted anything. 

Highs bring fair weather. Compression heats the air and evaporates clouds.

She kissed me and my head went up in a burgeoning shock wave. I remember nothing

after that.

It is said the winds in Tibet are brutal, and its mountainous terrain is among the most

inhospitable on earth. Mongolia's windswept plains are flat as desiccated parchment and

ornamented with the bleached skulls of unfortunate nomads. One can easily find Death there,

and many do, buried to invisible by the sudden unexpected snowfall, or drowned in the

screaming demon thunderstorms. Survival entails a daily battle with Barbarian Nature, but

the proximity to danger has resurrected the fertile forces in my blood.

She has made me Woman; I fear no other forces now.

I favor the challenges here. I think I'll stay.


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