What I Meant by Sferic Inklings

What I Meant by Sferic Inklings June 2, 2017

How do you know but every bird that cuts the airy way
Is an immense world of delight, closed by your senses five?

[Wm Blake]

As the Earth turns, molecules of air

Rise past the edge of the Earth, and are

Struck by photons. Excited, they

Release apparently random

Squeals we can hear if

We know how to listen.


Astronomers call these sounds sferics

(That’s short for atmospherics)

And call them the Dawn Chorus,

Because they sound much like

Birds calling, each to each,

As they wake with the first light

And fly off to find their daily bread.

It is always dawn somewhere on Earth.

The Dawn Chorus is always there

If we know how to listen.


An inkling might be a dot of ink.

Tolkien and Lewis and Williams called

Themselves the Inklings, reading

Their magical fantasies to each other

At Oxford, during the war.

An organist inkles when he plays

Little randon riffs and phrases before

The liturgy lets him play a melody.

We have an inkling when we have a clue,

A hint, a guess at what is really meant.

We cannot find answers unless we guess.


Random is when we cannot

See a pattern yet.

Birds are sferic inklings:

They give us a hint

Of what we may hear

When the true music begins.






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