Cosmic Gall by

Neutrinos they are very small.
They have no charge and have no mass
And do not interact at all.
The earth is just a silly ball
To them, through which they simply pass,
Like dustmaids down a drafty hall
Or photons through a sheet of glass.
They snub the most exquisite gas,
Ignore the most substantial wall,
Cold-shoulder steel and sounding brass,
Insult the stallion in his stall,
And, scorning barriers of class,
Infiltrate you and me! Like tall
And painless guillotines, they fall
Down through our heads into the grass.
At night, they enter at Nepal
And pierce the lover and his lass
From underneath the bed – you call
It wonderful; I call it crass.

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Limerick poem about gravity

A Brief History of Gravity
by Bruce Elliot

It filled Gallileo with mirth
To watch his two rocks fall to Earth.
He gladly proclaimed,
“Their rates are the same,
And quite independent of girth!”

Then Newton announced in due course
His own law of gravity’s force:
“It goes, I declare,
As the inverted square
Of the distance from object to source.”

But remarkably, Einstein’s equation
Succeeds to describe gravitation
As spacetime that’s curved,
And it’s this that will serve
As the planets’ unique motivation.

Yet the end of the story’s not written;
By a new way of thinking we’re smitten.
We twist and we turn,
Attempting to learn
The Superstring Theory of Witten!

 

This marvellous poem describing how scientists have  developed the present ideas about gravity was a winner in the 1996 limerick competition held by the American Physical Society. The complete collection of winners can be found at

https://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/features/limericks/

Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare

Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare.
Let all who prate of Beauty hold their peace,
And lay them prone upon the earth and cease
To ponder on themselves, the while they stare
At nothing, intricately drawn nowhere
In shapes of shifting lineage; let geese
Gabble and hiss, but heroes seek release
From dusty bondage into luminous air.

O blinding hour, O holy, terrible day,
When first the shaft into his vision shone
Of light anatomized! Euclid alone
Has looked on Beauty bare. Fortunate they
Who, though once only and then but far away,
Have heard her massive sandal set on stone.

– Edna St. Vincent Millay

Corona (Solar Eclipse)

Deep in the time of eclipse
As birds bed down and dusk creeps up
We see the Suns halo and crown
Reaching out to her children
Light in the darkness

Sunlight scatters from escaping electrons
Bounces off minute dust particles
While stripped atoms glow as crown jewels
Incandescently hot
Ethereal furnace

The act of seeing makes real
The fact of knowing sees beauty
The inner joyousness of the Universe
Lifts me
Up to the light

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

 

Astro-Gymnastics

Go on a starlit night,
stand on your head,
leave your feet dangling
outwards into space,
and let the starry
firmament you tread
be, for the moment,
your elected base.

Feel Earth’s colossal weight
of ice and granite,
of molten magma,
water, iron, and lead;
and briefly hold
this strangely solid planet
balanced upon
your strangely solid head.

– Piet Hein

Piet Hein is a scientist poet. And one of the great scientists of the 20th century.