Enter the mirror / and find a thousand / other
patterns that Dirac had seen in his equations
that vast sea / suspended, infinite
‘two dimensional numbers’ known as matrices
see yourself / approaching from / the distance
emerged from the mathematics of matrices
if all goes well you will be like the field
the ‘vacuum’ would be like a deep calm sea
the simplest terms / your overwhelming Yes
relative to which all energies are defined
the drum to beat / in each tiny thing
with positive energy relative to the vacuum
perhaps / just there / a sudden visitor
antiparticles, that we can materialize
Lines 1, 3, 5, etc, are phrases from poems in The Drunken Elk, by Shane McCauley, Sunline Press 2010. Lines 2, 4, 6, etc, are fragments from Antimatter, a popular-science book by Frank Close, Oxford University Press 2009.
Dwellingup, Western Australia
Foresters (said the sign) choose trees
for particular purposes.
A perfect tree, tall, straight,
is taken for construction.
The handrails of the treetop
viewing platform. Its planks.
Its high, deep-planted poles.
The new stumps
of an old cottage. Its rough rafters.
Its window-frames, weatherboards.
So a twisted tree is allowed
to grow, like Zhuangzi said?
Blossoms for singing
Sometimes (said the sign)
a perfect tree
is left to seed the forest.
A twisted tree might do
for an occasional table,
sanded slice of gnarl or burl
on a tripod of lumpy branches,
or a spinning top,
of the spirit of the trees.
And a perfect tree, a truly
might well enfold enough depth
to make a bass guitar,
or encode enough delicate strength
“Enfold” alludes to the enfolding of information in the “implicate order” that physicist David Bohm has suggested may underlie the universe. This is discussed in his book Wholeness and the Implicate Order, Routledge 1980, chapter 6, pp. 140–171.
I let my legs and arms come off
and lay them in the dust
My long muscles melt
all over the boards
and out across the universe
The head comes off the neck
like a paddymelon from a dry vine
in late summer
between a fence and a highway,
rolls away and falls in a hollow,
earthing itself like the skull
The pelvis, heavy, unclicks
from the spine
like the rusted truss
of a forgotten chair
by the side of the road
Ribs fall away and stripe
All that’s left: