poem15 Oct 2012 11:37 am

Instead of noisy static, we hear clear beats

grouped in patterns of seven and eleven.

Our entire team is galvanized; not even

the frequent napper holds back to see who gets

to break this code. At last this is the breech

in the chaos where we’ve plunged our heads

for years. If this is more than just a glitch

in our equipment, we’ll do as it bids.


We work around the clock like beings driven

by unseen forces. Take-out pizza boxes

fill up the lab. All effort goes toward solving

the encrypted message. The smell of pizza mixes

with smells of a gym locker room: not even

the need to run a clean, tight ship relaxes

the grip of this obsession. Where it leads

is up for grabs. In face of all the scads

of data, interpretation lags behind.

Prime numbers turn to other universals –

Planck’s constant, pi, the speed of light. The mind

of each researcher is party to rehearsals

that leap from a quantitative kind

of knowing through sensual feeling parcels

to mountains forests horses starlight art

and magical perceptions of the heart.


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