Science Odes

Ode to Dark Matter

Ode to a Baking Soda Volcano

Ode to Inertia

Ode to Dark Matter

In gossamer sleeves
o’erflowing languid arms of galaxies
a-twirl the ebony floor of glittered night,
astronomers found a slight…

discrepancy, They checked the calculations,
repeated independent observations,
concluding at last
galactic ballerinas spin too fast.

To reconcile excess velocity,
they said, there must be mass we cannot see.
Proposing Dark Matter fixed the flaw
and so kept distant stars within our law.
• • •
I believe in air —
which I can’t see, and yet it’s everywhere —
in germs, electrons, DNA as well,
though not in heaven or hell.

If mathematics says it must be so,
how can I say no?
By equals signs each fact to fact is pent,
kept honest by experiment.

With galaxies, as icebergs: peak in view,
an unseen mass below we must construe.
Behold how spidery legs of digital code
support this very ode!
• • •
And yet how pre-Copernican to suppose
our view of things from Earth encircles those,
and much-footnoted laws that we disburse
constrain the breaking wave of a Universe.

Irrational pi, its trillion digits spooling,
the circle’s self-devouring serpent, fueling
numbers ever-bending;
leaks in laws of nature, never ending.

Swirl, Andromeda, never chained —
phenomenon explained,
though not yet understood — swirl home,
whipping mystic sprays of starry foam.

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Ode to a Baking Soda Volcano

Explosion in slo-mo, a close-up view,
no risk of burns while witnessing the wonder,
an instant transformation, roiling brew,
with energy freed and atoms torn asunder.

But what the fuck — does matter lose its shit,
can solids turn to gas,
when vinegar — from the pantry! —
up and goes acidic on their ass?

Be cool, your world’s the same it ever was;
from time to time, the ground is bound to shake.
Uncanny things can happen; that’s because
we’re made of molecules that give and take.
• • •
Please note that’s not how real volcanos blow;
they discharge magma, ash that chokes the air.
Bicarbonate volcanos simply show.
how chemistry’s in action everywhere.

Oh, shit, I’ve felt that fizz when I drink cola,
the foaming in my throat,
like bubbles ’round a drain.
You glug that ugly glug, that’s all she wrote.

Be cool, and careful what you swallow. Fact:
your body knows more chemistry than you.
Your stomach, blood, and brain will soon react
if something funky’s floating in their stew.
• • •
By mating charges, atoms hold together.
When atoms see an opportunity
to make a better bond, they slip the tether,
and atoms left behind meander free.

Damn, it’s sad how bonds…will just give up.
They’re there for you, then boom.
And all that’s left’s a cloud
of CO2, the spoken air of doom.

Be cool: it’s Newton’s second law, where all
dissolves eventually to waste. The home
we knew, our loves — but stains in time — appall.
That’s life, a sudden ride, on sour foam.

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Ode to Inertia

O sluggard goddess, elbow on the bar,
thy cheek a-slab thy propping heel of hand,
it’s closing time, and hope must hustle far
if we’re to have a chance encounter, as planned.

Thy squinting, gauging eyes!

The liquor holds its level in thy glass,
a sodden cherry ever semi-sunk,
eternal floater, bob of incompletion,
a metaphor that lets the moment pass.
Yet “om” has neither grown nor has it shrunk,
thy store of lukewarm smiles beyond depletion.

When Night was young, the evening, still surmise,
a drink there must have been that got you going,
that coursed from cerebellum to your thighs
and led to further rounds, your aura glowing.

Pursuit of Happiness!  

Poor mortals think of bliss as a plateau,
but it’s a peak that puke runs down, in swift
o’erspreading flows on unsuspecting laps.
Abide, O deity of status quo,
thy mojo disinclined to droop or lift.
You’ve got Temptation hooked on sly “Perhaps.”

Come on, unravished bride of quietness!
The jukebox wails “can’t get no satisfaction.”
Your knees askew, in that little black dress,
a cape magicians whoosh, sublime distraction.

Who’s in the pickled jar?

Barkeep, keep ’em coming. Hurrying near
are steps deciding what’s to be or not.
A change of scene could jump-start this endeavor.
Come on, baby, let’s, get outta here.
A winsome smile, thy whisper sweet. “I’ve got
a thought. You and me. Right here. Forever.”

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