Tuesday, June 16, 2015

word of the day: ventifact

… The bus veered south into
A land of lunar ventifacts and umbrella pines
… Rainstorms still pursued us.
Horizons turned to a calamitous black,
And the streets of obscure towns steamed
In the sun …

— John Ash

definiton: A faceted stone shaped or altered by wind-blown sand.

from the Oxford English Dictionary, which quotes J. W. Evans, “for any wind-shaped stone, we might speak of a ‘ventifact’, on the analogy of artifact.”

One might note the oddity of a wind-shaped stone being called "lunar" what with there being no wind on the moon.

source: “Stations,” a poem in In the Wake of the Day by John Ash

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