glyph 633: Africa, African Cheetahs, George Ayittey, Magatte Wade ... lunar men, Manchester, England ... steam, atmospheric pressure, condensation, removal of obstructions . human energy, vision, venture, exploration, quest ... what makes things go

I wrote this after reading the ms of Magatte Wade's The Heart of the Cheetah; Jenny Uglow's The Lunar Men, about the people who created the age of steam power, including James Watt; and William Rosen's The Most Powerful Idea in the World, about steam. The creation of a vacuum to get power from steam, and the removal of obstacles to enable human quest — one source of work being driven by the atmosphere, the other by humanity's inherent curiosity, wonder, and love of adventure — struck me as a vivid metaphor, as it did the imaginary creators of the megaliths, set in place in the year C.E. 2077.


Manchester-Dakar Megaliths

steam & quest

Manchester, England, Dakar, Senegal
Megaliths placed by industrialist Jameson Watt
and visionary poet Magatte Ayittey
C.E. 2077

Heat from burning coal
Made steam,
Cleared dead air from cylinders.
Obstacles gone,
As if waiting for freedom,
Live air of mind and spirit
Drove pistons forward.
Cheetah energy
Dreamed and built.
A world beheld
The renaissance of Africa.


George Ayittey's talk on Cheetas and Hippos (TED)
Explorers Foundation vortices
Watt & Cheetah
May 14, 2022; edited/updated July 1, 2022

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