Reverse Orbit

Earth is a small blue fingernail
whose distant seas and undulations
spill colour on early spring mornings

here in space I conjure in my imagination
primroses, daffodils and tulips warming
a leafless woodland that still drips with winter thaw

space is a colourless formula
a soundless, boundless set of laws
that keep me orbiting, a philosophical reminder

that the white light emanating from each star
contains a prism of colour that you will see
light years after it has delighted me.

Kim M. Russell, 2017

Reverse Orbit

Image found on Wikipedia

My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Physics with Björn: Space time and the special theory of relativity

Björn tells us that one thing that has always fascinated him in physics is how the concept of time changed as he dived deeper into its definition. On the one hand, we can measure time with extreme accuracy, we are taught to put it into formulas to predict the orbits of a satellite; on the other hand, we cannot really visualize it as something real. It’s just a parameter that can only flow in one direction.

He reminds us that Einstein’s paper on special relativity started from a very simple postulate that nothing can move faster than the speed of light in vacuum, which led some interesting consequences, of which the best known is that energy and matter are the same according to the formula

This has led to nuclear power, atomic bombs and more importantly, space-time. Björn says the easiest way to understand the concept is quite intuitive: for two things to coincide they have to be at the same place at the same time. Space and time connect, meaning that that time can run at different speeds depending on the relative speed in which you move (time dilation).

The prompt today is to write about space time. We could start with a concept such as concurrent events or with the problem of meeting in the fourth dimension of space-time. We could go further and think about the consequences of time on earth or space. The prompt is Björn’s, but the poetry is ours.


19 thoughts on “Reverse Orbit

  1. I’m taken by the point of view of your poem. It leaves me wanting to know everything about your speaker… what else does she see? Do the primroses she imagines into being look as real as the galaxies I’ve populated in my dreams? I love your take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your orbiter sounds a bit lonely to me, wistful for the remembered on-the-ground view of earth. A beautiful poem, which makes the point well.

    Liked by 1 person

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