Poetry Shelf Monday poem: E Wen Wong’s ‘Catalysis’

Catalysis

 

I’m sitting and pondering catalysis

musing on fumes from our molten exhaust

hydrogenation of oils makes the margarine sitting in our fridge

white dyed yellow like the lace dress you wore in 1973

snagged beneath the catalytic converters you stole for platinum.

a lot has changed since then.

if you were here you would see our city made of roads

shadows posing as guilty silhouettes

distorted paperclips of the bus stop where I wait.

in its file you would see reams of trees cloaked with marmalade leaves

it is autumn in August, and I see catalysts in my eyes.

alkylation makes the petroleum veneer beneath my feet

grey-on-grey the word “hydraulic fracking” conceals the black with blue.

the world spins too fast for our reaction to wait

salt masks the centreline

the activation energy dips beneath the level we call normal.

and I breathe powdery white clouds into this world of roads

watching as they lose themselves in the thick body of smog

as my bruised heart moves through midnight traffic

riding on the million catalysts that pepper our city of roads.

my heart rate monitor dips beneath the normal

a laconic glissando as the Bus 29 takes me to the road to the sky.

my heart falters just slightly

lingers at the long line of reactionary procession

the stagnant exhale of our earthly products.

 

E Wen Wong

 

 

 

E Wen Wong is in her final year at Burnside High School, where she is Head Girl for 2020. E Wen has been writing poetry since she was ten years old and was one of the very first fans of NZ Poetry Box. Last year, she was a finalist in the National Schools Poetry Award and Winner of the Poetry New Zealand Student Yearbook Competition.

1 thought on “Poetry Shelf Monday poem: E Wen Wong’s ‘Catalysis’

  1. Pingback: Poetry Shelf noticeboard: Warm congratulations to the winner of The National Schools Poetry Award | NZ Poetry Shelf

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s