Particle Miracle

A glass jug of water
On a white tablecloth.
Zoom in.

Two substances,
Transparent both;
One holds its shape,
The other fills it.

Zoom in.

The curve of the glass magnifies
The fabric’s texture beneath.
Bundles of light splayed out in patterns of glowing lines.
Firm steps on the floorboards set the water in motion.
Quivering reflections,
Dancing dots on white cloth,
And there, there,
The six-striped mark of the spectrum.

Zoom in.
Electrical charges create surface tension
That holds a single drop on the rim
In a finely balanced tremble.
Rays of photons pierce the glass
And leave as they have entered.
Pure energy,
Particles, Waves
That have travelled restlessly since the singularity.
On their path through the glass, through the water,
Some spend themselves, excite atoms,
Make them jostle each other,
And create the heat that will dissolve the rigid grid we call ice.

Zoom in, smaller, smaller.

With glow-worm randomness,
Electrons career on quantum paths
Through a hollow sphere in which nestles,
A mere speck of dust in a vast cathedral,
The nucleus. Here abide,
Huddled together, the protons and neutrons,
In endless communication of charges
- plusminusplusminusplusminus -
Of those oddly flavoured,
Those exotically coloured quarks.
Up, down, strange.
They swarm about each other,
Adding up impossible thirds.
Free to stir in close proximity,
They are bound all the tighter
The further they move apart.

From here on, the zoom fails.
This is all we see:
Up, down, strange,
In a graceful dance of forces.

And yet, and yet: jug, cloth, water
And all the colours of the rainbow.

Annette Kupke

If you have any comments on this poem,  Annette Kupke  would be pleased to hear them.