Poetry Corner

25.12.20 A Hymn to Science

by Barbara Muniz, courtesy of unsplash
Frozen H20 floats immiscible on ponds
 As blades score surface with festive bonds.
 Snowflake fractals float upon a breeze
 Defying gravity, concealing lost leaves.
 Ilex aquafolium bleeds a hoary frost,
 waxy cuticle, cloaks shivers – no water is lost. 
 Satsuma segments of time zones split
 and the world's turn slows on the axis
 as tinselly-string theory explains Santa's sleigh
 reveals just how Yule became Christmas Day.
 Mercurial thermometers to now cook our feasts, 
 iced with frosted carbohydrates, not least 
 those pudding-pie vapours with their angels' share
 evaporates into crystalline, midwinter air.

 A Fibonacci of branches claws upon high
 Woodcuts onto a flambéed sky,
 While below, a wood-wide-web of fungi 
 peacefully shares the wealth of the Magi.
 Saturnalian starscapes acting as prisms,
 to mighty Polaris – who anchors asterisms
 in a winter triangle, where scorching Sirius bathes 
 evening dog walkers in their Bedouin swathes.
 Burnt-out Betelgeuse – the pom-pom of three, 

 diamond dusted with Geminids strikes the black canopy.
 Electrons bounce out, releasing wild Northern lights,
 as the auspicious comet did on that holy night  – 
 reminding us we are but stardust on granite, 
 Carolling about on our Goldilocks planet.

 Monoxide manifestations in gaslight conjure
 ghosts of Christmas futures foretell a blur
 when snow and ice melt, winter spells broken,
 and Dickensian ice-ages are forever forsaken.
 Skeins in the sky, now gaggling on land,
 mock mankind's bottom-heavy sands.
 But until Twelfth Night flames will rise –
 of chemical salts, halide metals oxidised –  
 jewelled in blue, green and pink burning
 hypnotic embers of our willing hibernation.
 For when we emerge from our iron-earth sleep,
 dreams of 2020 visions – snow-blank promises to keep.
 Winter wonders of science will become evergreen
 spreading tidings of joy, 
                                            and a miraculous vaccine

 Suzanne Fairless-Aitken 

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