Sonnet XL

Custom, Gaskets by Ontario Gasket Inc.

Sonnet XL

The rubber’s fed on a machine,
it’s heated up to fit the mold,
then pressed until the foam is very lean,
and punched, or cut – it’s all controlled.
They’re fitted on a metal head,
to seal up gas or lubricants,
resistant seals are used widespread;
so many shapes with usefulness.
Gaskets aren’t clearly visible.
They are there, sealing and forming.
They’re optimal, reliable,
elastic and high performing.
Harsh and varied technologies
use them without apologies.


Written for:

Machine Dreams

Also Posted on:

The Think Tank Thursday # 96 News

The challenge for this week, by chazinator, was to write a poem that references in some way the technological or machine spirit of our time.

This week, I was fortunate enough to attend the Space Craft Technology Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

I went on a Press pass because I have a column on Nanotechnology now (see the right side of my page, there’s a link.) My column is writing poetry. Ontario Gasket, Inc. had an interesting display of their gaskets. Since this gasket topic does not fit the nanotechnology column, I am posting on my blog.

I decided to write a sonnet about this. Why? Well, I figured everyone else would be writing about some kind of technological system, or maybe something philosophical about the impact of technology on mankind and society and all that. I was certain (still haven’t looked) that no one would take one specialized vital part and write about it.

In case you wonder how vital gaskets, o-rings and other seals are in machines, look up Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and learn that it was a Viton ® O-ring that failed and caused the explosion.

Image credit: Bat-Ami Gordin  © 2012 all rights reserved, credit if you use it, please.

About zongrik

For those of you who do not know the handle "zongrik," that would be Bat-Ami Gordin. Most people call me "Tammy." Bat-Ami means "daughter of my nation" in Hebrew. It's a heavy name to carry around. I answer to either name. I also answer to "mama." Some Basic Things about me: Animal lover, mom, poet/writer, dramatic soprano, photographer, teacher/tutor, CERT/Technician and, oh yeah, aerospace engineer. I consider myself "The Astro-Poet." To learn more about the origins of the word "zongrik" see whats-a-zongrik?

Posted on May 11, 2012, in D’verse Poets Pub, Poetry, Poetry Blog Roll, Poetry Pantry is Now Open, Sonnets and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Gaskets are more a part of our lives than most are aware. Very nicely done!

  2. Sonnet for machines, very different but great idea!

  3. You make some excellent points, I like how you approached the prompt. I enjoyed the picture and well remember watching the Challenger Disaster. I look forward to following the links.

  4. hobgoblin2011

    Very inventive, love the angle you took here, very creative. The last two lines might be the best out of any of the pieces put forth this week, I just love it, Harsh and Varied technologies use them without apologies. In context or out of context works great and a neat little thing about this line is depending on how it’s said, it is one of those sentences/phrases that can change meaning depending on where you put the pause, comma, at but of course that’s looking at these last two lines by themselves. But I do that all the time, especially when it’s a really cool line or two. Great write. Thanks

  5. Excellent. Although it’s gaskets, the pic reminds me of some of the Meccano parts I used as a kid (many moons ago)
    Great work!

  6. I love gaskets and I’m glad someone finally wrote a poem about them! In a sonnet, no less. This poem is why I wish I’d had your work for my prompt on science. Such straight-faced facticity. Love it.

  7. Very nice take on the prompt…one of those “invisible” little gadgets that we’d be lost without. Great ending lines for you sonnet too!

  8. Very nice sonnet,Tammy–and one part malfunctioning can indeed destroy the whole and everything and everyone that depends on it.

  9. really cool and i expect nothing write poetry about science better than anyone else i know….and in form no less…smiles…

  10. This was truly fascinating. Who’d ever think that gaskets could be a worthy subject of a poem? You made it so!

  11. I am always amazed how you can make poetry out of science, like gaskets and seals and in a poetry form of a sonnet. Cheers ~


  12. Very well done. Agree with Grace. K.

  13. oh wow tammy…really enjoyed this one much…and yeah…those small part like o-rings etc. are def. vital in every machine…and very cool on the space craft tech expo as well

  14. A lot of firsts there for me. A very original piece. Not just the poem, though: the whole post is interesting.

  15. Great rhyme and sound throughout.

  16. “Harsh and varied technologies
    use them without apologies.”

    How very true,Tammy! That’s just how an elastic rubber can be toughened to serve mankind. Great write!


  17. Well Done and you are so right, “It is always controlled” says so much~
    I love how you compared the two! Brilliant way to express news 😀

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