Quarks of Love

It’s been a while since I did much poetry, however I was going to be writing a poem today (and still will be). However, I got started early yesterday.

Once again I’m on holiday, this time not in Prague, but in Birmingham. I’m down for the British Science Festival, which is brilliant. So far I’ve been to the following talks and events:

  • New Psychology of Leadership,
  • Discovering Dyslexia
  • Planets Outside the Solar System
  • So What’s New in Particle Physics
  • What Yeast Can Do For You

The other event I’ve been to, and this is where the poem comes in, was “There’s Science in my Fiction (And Poetry)”, which was an open mic for writers and poets who use science in their writing. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean science fiction, whereby future technologies are emphasised, but current science, and historic science that exists.

It was a really good event, there were poems on one of the first morticians, (his rise to fame, and subsequent fall), short stories set in a lab, a piece aimed at children which was all about how earth got its moon (which was really interesting), and a poem about horses.

I umm’d and ahh’d about entering, but a friend convinced me (@maryrperkins), and so yesterday afternoon I sat down and cobbled together a piece inspired by the particle physics talk earlier that day.

Here’s the great thing – I went, and I stood and I read my poem out. Shitting bricks I was, I’m not exactly a public speaker kind of person, and I know my voice, and accent (when I acknowledge I have one), don’t lend themselves to the job either. I came third in the competition, and have one a year’s subscription to BBC Focus magazine, (which I’ve never read before, but apparently is all about science, technology, and the future, so I’ll bet it’ll be interesting).

Now, we’re on to what this post is for, here’s the poem that did me proud:

Quarks of Love

Up, Down, Charm,
Forces attracting you and me,
Fundamental interactions,
Fades in the distance,
Yet still increases our attraction,
Strange, Top, Bottom,
Our basic matter a perfect fit,
Lost in orbit, your orbit.

And this is all too real,
Love gains mass.

Like the up quark,
Existing but for the moment,
Infinitesimal charge,
Destined to combine,
With your down quarks,
The beautiful neutron,
Precious foundation,
Destined to combine,
The beautiful nucleus.

Elemental forces,
Their waves alter us,
And the strong force,
Binding our love to protons,
Making us into atoms,
As one, as many,
As grains of sand,
Nuggets of gold,
And precious jewels.

And this is all too real,
Love gains mass.

Up, Down, Charm,
Forces bonding you and me,
Molecular complexities,
Build beautiful life,
But always from our force of love,
Strange, Top, Bottom,
Our basic matter a perfect fit,
Lost in orbit, your orbit.

©, Jonathan Lawrence 2010

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