Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Strange Way to Make Peace

It's the Last Bus before Christmas. That has a sad sound to it, but never mind. At the wheel of the Totalfeckineejit's greatest invention, the Poetry Bus is the poet and recent medical-crisis survivor The Weaver of Grass. She told us fellow poets to make something out the word STAR. As there are many kinds of stars. this should get interesting. Follow this link.

Always an obedient chickita, I wrote a poem and stuck the word STAR in it. It was fun to write because I decided not to have me the poet/narrator appear in the poem to confess any personal emotions, and furthermore, you couldn't appear in the poem either. It was to be an observation poem without an observer, but it still needed to have an emotive impact on the reader. Does it hit the mark?

The other enjoyable part of this poem is its repetitive references to the principles of fractal geometry, which I taught myself in about two hours this past week. (Ha.) There's some interesting stuff on the Web about fractals, which are beautiful geometric shapes formed by infinite replications of similar units. PBS has a great program about fractals here. They're all around us and in us: branching trees, our lungs, watersheds and river systems. I hope the poem works for you.


A Midnight Course in Fractal Geometry


Sleepless again....a repetition of many nights
Windows in the pentagonal glass room reflect
endless patterns of white Christmas lights
Cheerful chaos erupts
from ordinary roofs and shrubs
Curves and angles and loop de loops
swing in a wind with a storm in its arms
A rope of blue transforms the invisible
fence....Now waves on a blue sea
undulate again and again and again
In the looking glass
infinite points of light
form infinite replicas of stars
repeating themselves until they vanish
into the midnight place....Men know how
to wrest order from chaos
They can turn these patterns into formulas
explaining why the shapes make sense
but they can’t say why
the stars make peace
on a December night





25 comments:

TechnoBabe said...

How did they get the name Wise Men?
The stars make peace on a December night to teach humans how to make peace the rest of the year.

Peter Goulding said...

Oh a brilliant ending!! Wonderfully woven, linking the repetition of sleepless nights to the pentagon windows.
Have to admire your ability to grasp and stay with a subject like fractal geometry. If I don't get something in five minutes, I lose interest.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Beautiful!

Helen said...

You have altered the way I will process patterns, shapes and images ... fractals are indeed fascinating!

The Bug said...

Oh lovely - yes, science does seem to struggle when explaining things of the heart.

I read a murder mystery that was somewhat based on fractals (or, really Mandelbrot sets). It was pretty darn fascinating - although I'm not sure I ever really understood it entirely.

Scott said...

I love how this piece ends, in peace :-) You tie techno and order together with inexplicable peace. Wonderful, as usual.

Karen said...

I became interested in fractals when I saw them on the covers of some math books we were reviewing for adoption. So I did what you did...Googled and read, but for me, just enough to grasp the concept. It is fascinating, and I'm fascinated by your poem and how you endlessly loop the fractals throughout. Wonderful linguistic representation!

Carolina Linthead said...

This is exquisite, Chris, particularly the ending, and I love your description of the "cheerful chaos." "Sleepless again..." I know something of, indeed, especially in winter, it seems, when the sun's absence weighs, as do too many ghosts. Peace to you in this season.

Magpie said...

I think you hit all the marks. Great job.

A Fistful Of Moonbeams™ said...

What everyone said! Adeptly layered, a treasure trove of fresh images and phrases, but this, THIS I AM IN TRULY IN AWE: "swing in a wind with a storm in its arms".

the walking man said...

Never fractaled anything but a bunch of bones. There were three in the ankle 6 ribs 5two vertebrae and an elbow not to mention more than most of my knuckles. Jeez maybe I should have tried harder in algebra so I could have gotten to geometry.

120 Socks said...

Love the end, as it embraces all the things we don't understand because of a wisdom beyond us. Gives one a lot of hope.

Carrie Burtt said...

You get an A+!!!! Fractals another amazing part of this world....to me proof there is an awesome God.
Hope you have a wonderful Christmas! :-)

Niamh B said...

what a brilliant title first of all, and an interesting mind melting poem to follow
great!

Syd said...

I like this poem. Geometric shapes are so essential in what is around us. Neat stuff. We can explain so many things but there are some that remain inexplicable.

Dick said...

A wonderfully sinuous and hallucinatory journey through the glories of fractal geometry, culminating in a triumphant celebration of mystery. Some find God in it all, others science. I'm there celebrating the mystery. Great stuff, this.

Gwilym Williams said...

Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. I couldn't watch the pbs video you linked to because, as the copyright notice said: there are "restrictions in your area".
I first came across the term Mandlebrot effect when crop circles began appearing in southern England. I'll have a look via Wiki and YouTube and update myself. Thanks again,
gwilym

Gwilym Williams said...

My pet rat Petra and I are EO's 199th Compadre! I shall forthwith feed Petra a portion of mandelbrot(almondbread).

Heather said...

Your poem is so clever, fascinating and beautiful. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving me such nice comments. Hope your Christmas is the sort you like best and have a Happy New Year with plenty of clear nights for stargazing.

Kat Mortensen said...

I really liked this, but the "wind with the storm in its arms' got me the most.

Have a good Christmas, Chris. Stay strong (as I know you will).

Kat

Jinksy said...

Peace is good any night, not only in December...

izzy said...

Loop-de-loops indeed! mixed with geometric-yowsa...dizzy with colors.
Thanks!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Like the fractal imagery - almost expected to see santa and his sleigh.

RNSANE said...

I sometimes think men are failing miserably out of making order out of chaos - but I thought your poem was beautiful.

Marla said...

You make poetry look so flowingly simple and yet I know it is not. Such an incredible gift, Chris.

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