F.J. Bergmann

The Hydrologic Cycle,
Long Before the Invention of Meteorology

At first, they say, the earth was surrounded by moisture.
—Aristotle, Meteorology

The snow had come suddenly a few hours ago. The silence meant someone was coming. The night skies were filled with warnings, although the human did not know what to do with the information (their reckoning of time is also incorrect). Curse them both!

He stared at the cat, struggling for words. That seemed to please the animal even further. Their gazes locked for a long moment, and instead of fire coming from their mouths, they uttered harsh words toward one another. From even the lowliest beast comes wisdom. They would soon have to part forever.

A third of the pure water turned deadly. The ocean itself was becoming tinged with an unnatural, bloody hue, clearly alarmed at the situation. A huge swell arose. Fire lit up the sky. The flames subsided, and glowed with only natural radiance once again.

He watched the water that housed darker things fall slowly down on him. The darkness parted to reveal the light. He splashed and pranced, yelping now and then with what was clearly frustration. Though I am named after the fiercest of beasts, I cannot cast him into the abyss. It began, again, to snow.


Source & Method

“The Hydrologic Cycle” is a a cento taken from a bargain-bin fantasy novel whose title and author I can’t remember, since lost and not online.

F.J. Bergmann edits poetry for Mobius: The Journal of Social Change and again, temporarily, is editing Star*Line. She imagines tragedies on or near exoplanets. Work appears irregularly in places that should have known better.

Issue 24

F. J. Bergmann

Issue 20


a thing dreamed

quiet, modest



would spare

only birds

build a wild

little death


Source & Method

an erasure of “A Dream of Trees” by Mary Oliver

F.J. Bergmann has never been to Niagara Falls, but is still under the impression that she would enjoy a honeymoon someday, preferably a cruise to an array of exoplanets.

Photo by Cristina Gottardi

F. J. Bergmann

Issue 16


These are the things we do
And do not do.
Give us the money and walk away.
We’re going to do things.
If we gave you 2.7 million dollars
What would you do with it?
Call us back in half an hour.
The difference is scale.
The way we’re hearing
It’s supposed to happen.
Tractor-trailer trucks
Backing up.

SOURCE: Taking ostensibly relevant notes, verbatim, during a presentation.

F.J. Bergmann is a foundling who once was lost but now is dumbfounded.