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Two Poems by Mike Alfred

The Poet Struggles with Physics

There’s this force that can make stuff out of nothing.
Is this god or something else entirely?
Maybe nothing is stuff in another form?
A nothing-like form?
It appears that the force makes a universe from nothing:
stuff we call gas and elements, atoms and things,
suns, planets, black holes, nebulae.
And does the force make god?
Is the big bang god in his wonder
yet another incarnation?

The universe makes earth, and
earthlings make Star War films,
drop atomic bombs.
Physics proves it can be done!
Creativity provides where nothing was.
Constant coming into being –
from the sea, out of volcanoes.
Blank canvas today, Mona Lisa tomorrow.
I’m beginning to wonder whether it’s a model in the brain,
the way our brains are programmed
to create chaos from equilibrium?
There was peace, now there is war.
Something out of nothing out of something;
There was plenty now we are starving.
Nothing out of something out of nothing.
And entropy, something decaying
into confusing nothing,
or something else?


If I’d had the money
and you hadn’t died,
I’d have taken you to
the last two places on
my list. We’d have taken
that miniature mountain
railway up the hills to
Darjeeling, enjoyed roaring
fires [bought you a Sherpa
coat], risen early, hoping
to catch sun flaming the
crest of mighty Everest.
And everywhere we went
your silver hair would
be met with nods and
smiles, your beauty,
offered much Namaste.
In Kyoto we’d have walked
in green dark forests and
visited Buddhist temples
where, reverently,
we’d offer thanks for our
great good luck. We’d have
embraced on futons and
chuckled at our chopstick
clumsiness. Maybe we’d
have been offered a tea
ceremony if we could
have stopped kissing
and laughing and
our hands.