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The Heart of Matter

Now we know everything we know
is stitched together of electrons and quarks
tiny ménages a trois named

up, down, top, bottom, charm or strange
in a psychedelia of red, green, blue
particles behaving more like waves.

Quarks and gluons forming
protons and neutrons, leptons
becoming electrons and neutrinos

this whole choir of fermions
carried through the aisles of existence
by heaped legions of bosons

including a new one called Higgs
physicists finally caught up with.
So much exists we do not see:

the universe in its blind vastness,
a magnitude of numbers
we struggle to comprehend

space-time’s fourth dimension
that marks our human life span,
Earth’s gravity that comforts us

and a force magnetic that draws us
as it did young Einstein
when sick in bed he turned

in his hands a small compass.
Petal, feather, table, moth wing:
how can one field permeate

the whole of creation and hold us
small fish in our  earthly tank?
What I know this summer night:

one tenuous moment of our being
subtle rhythms of our heartbeats,
atoms of our cells merging with

quivering uncertainty, the quanta
inside us and everywhere, elusive
and mysterious as faith or love.

Published in Emrys Journal, 2014