KR OnlinePoetrySpecial Collections

Subatomic Symphony

I
Subatomic particles
revolve in supersonic whirls,
inaudible to the eye
for their frequency’s too high,
invisible to the ear
as light can make them disappear.

Resting in their mass
protons throb heavy as a double bass.
Nuclear notes resonate
in echo-chambers of atomic space,
their tone dependent on
meson disintegration.

The planetary suite
of electrons keeps the beat
with saxophonic wails
in wave-cycles of piano scales,
uncertain of the time
to pimctuate a flowing line.

II
Out of tune
like a touch on a drum
a falter of pulse
vibrates through the long taut chord
of the bass.

Rhythm sways
to the throb of decay;
nucleons jar,
unbound from the force
of their backing bars;

rebound and release
the discord of magnetic clash.
Showers of neutron percussion smash
through the twang
of a too-tight string.

Swung to sound by their spin
overtone neutrinos whine.
The saxophone picks up the theme
as jets of electrons in a high-speed scream.

III
Plucked by a lower pitch
strings’ vibrations
modulate down.
Sounds pitched at a lower key
regain stability.

Their pulse like a metronome
pulls the electrons in.
Each orbit jump carried on
a piano wave quantum.

With atomic number
as key signature, tune resolves
material notes of mass
and energy underneath
spreading like ripples of breath.