Science

Contents

1 A fan club for oxygen

2 A far future pass over

3 A little nervous about the system

4 A moment in the sun

5 A quantum of beauty

6 A taste for sophistry

7 An empty argument

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1

16 February 2009 -0.7

A fan club for oxygen

The Narrator breathes in oxygen

partly supplied by his garden

and puts it to good use

fuelling his muscles,

also, very importantly,

his brain requires a regular supply.

The Narrator ponders this process

and then decides on a first person approach.

I’m particularly grateful

that plants have the ability

to release oxygen.

If that had not been the case

I wouldn’t have been here,

nor would you.

Do you perhaps think we should start

a fan club for oxygen,

or should we take breathing for granted?

The idea is very attractive,

especially when you think

that these words

are shaped partly from oxygen.

I started using the stuff

when my umbilical cord was cut,

(not painful as I remember).

What did hurt

was the first lungful of oxygen,

and when I gave that yell

it burned my throat.

But I got used to it

and now days go by

without me even thinking about it.

And that will be the status quo

until the time I stop breathing.

I wonder what they use in heaven?

……………

2

& November 2007  0.6

A far future pass over

Below our feet

the land masses move,

changing the face of the earth

The escalation of our countries

will bring shores together

that are now alien.

Boundaries will change,

will probably cease to exist.

We are not certain

whether we will be around then,

and how we will live;

whether we will still use

cumbersome sound bites,

or simply entangle thoughts

when we want the sugar

passed over.

……………

3

29 December 2009 0.3

A little nervous about the system    

Our external nervous system

is developing at a furious pace,

the social media let us interface

whatever the time of day or night,

at the desktop or on the wing;

we open books to face each other

among the twittering roar

of real-time rumour.

The nervous system of humanity

reaches each of us

with the grief and unbearable pain

of suffering from violence and disease,

reaches us with the pleasure

of knowing how a team is scoring,

what an idol’s vices are,

how difficult it is

to fire up the LHC.

our thrumming nervous system

is growing every day

with apps ingeniously added,

devices morphing into hands;

it is amazing enough to get lost in,

yet it lacks a brain.

…………

4

9 April 2008 1.4

A moment in the sun

In rock

the very long story

is written

of silt and sand,

layer upon layer,

a very long story,

eroded into shapes

that we think significant

in that slipping,

geological instant

our species

has a moment in the sun.

…………..

5

25 Augsut 2008 -0.3

A quantum of beauty

She has a beautiful head;

by that I mean:

looking at her pleases me.

Behind her mouth I imagine

are words that will extract

gold from impure amalgams,

then dissolve it in the royal water of her mind.

Her eyes are shaped

like a distant cosmos

whose light has reached us at last.

Her ears are the silent

unmoving, listening marble-fleshed Athena,

her hair has captured

the flitting, entangled thoughts

of the new priests,

the quantum physicists.

She is heading my way,

holding a small golden ring,

called beauty – whose beginning

I cannot find

and whose end does not exist.

…………

6

8 March 2010 0.5

A taste for sophistry                 Science

The fly had to vacate

the wooden crate hastily

as Zeno sat down,

wiping his forehead.

If it is true, as you claim,

the nobleman declaimed, stepping into the shade,

that you cannot cross a distance

because there will always remain

a fraction still to be crossed,

how did you get to the agora?

But I’m not here,

Zeno answered, accepting a beaker

of cold water  from a woman.

The nobleman triumphantly touched his arm.

Ah! But you are! I feel you! I see you!

You use myrrh from Antioch in your hair!

I’ve been listening

to your sophist arguments all morning!

You need all your senses

to prove something real,

Zeno answered.

The nobleman’s eyes flicked around in thought.

You haven’t tasted me

and you never will,

Zeno said.

……………

7

4 August 2010 Science 2.6

An empty argument

At the International Spaceology Convention

the main question that was interrogated

was whether

emptiness constitutes an entity.

With a certain degree of style

and sense of occasion

the organisers

had placed an empty Coke bottle from the sixties

on a blackly glowing marble plinth

in order to focus the power

of the assembled intellects

on the problem.

Numerous theses were presented,

all clad in aggressive mathematics, of course.

In the end two main streams

of opinion coagulated.

The first group felt that emptiness

cannot constitute an entity

as it does not have any substance.

In other words, their calculations resulted in zero.

The second group

felt that emptiness itself

is an entity.

This point was made charmingly

by the unfairly ravishing red-haired

Doctor Natalie Nord.

Pointing to the Coke bottle she said:

I don’t think this convention

is about nothing,

it is about something in that bottle.

…………

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