writing together

Writing poetry or prose with someone else can be great fun, we take a paragraph or two in turn. Neither of us knows where it will go, but we definitely learn how to find the beginning, the middle, and hardest of all, the end !

Start a story in the post box below……

Dancing with Angels

For years, they have been studying neutrinos,

Small flashes of blue light, high energy, not matter,

but born out of it,  born from exploding stars,

supernovae, colliding, collapsing, creating  black holes

that engulf matter, emit neutrinos,

sub-atomic particles from deep outer space.

For years they have been studying them in

heavy water, in blocks of Antarctic ice, and in Hadron colliders,

far below the ground.

Ten billion of them, they say, will pass through my fingers as

I hold them up to the sun.  So small as to be undetectable,

at least to the human eye.

Scientists say that they have found what they have been looking for;

astronomers say that they will revolutionize how we see space.

But me, I say they are angels of a peculiar kind…..

Dancing on a trillion pinheads, faultless steps,

weaving with a purpose beyond our comprehension.

Except that we are in their vision, quite literally.

The substance of angels passes through us, is us.

While they weave, we weep, lost in space and locked in time.

A neutrino is a nano step in the dance of understanding

where we stand on the edge of knowing that we don’t know.

Grasping at particles too fleet to be felt,

we reverberate in the doppelganger waves

of conversations between galaxies.

We hear these partially overheard misunderstandings

as threads of philosophy that the angels weave as a web.

Some see these as a snare for the unwary.

Some see these as rainbow gold.

Some see these as treasure for theses.

Some smile and step between the stars of their imagination,

listening to the music of the spheres and dancing with their angels.

sally fox & peter ball november 2013

A Quantum Tail

Imagine a space, with a corner. And a top, and a bottom. With somewhere to get in, and somewhere to get out.  Fading into view is a cat. Some would say, this is the cat of Schrödinger. Some would say, “And”…. Others may say, “Where is the box? To go with the cat.” Therein lies a curious question, why should there be a box because there is a cat?

Imagine a Philosopher, a Quantum scientist, and a Dog. There is little conversation between them. This may be, in part, because they are not in the same place. However, they all have a view of Schrödinger’s cat. And the box.

And they all decided that reality is indeterminate, that they couldn’t determine if the cat was alive or dead, in one piece or many, or even there or not. And even the box looked different to the philosopher, who said it was a thought container, and the quantum scientist, who saw it as an antimicrobial agent that would preserve the cat if it was indeed in pieces, and the dog, . . . well, who knows what the dog saw.  But the dog knew… because we all know dogs see, and feel, and smell cats, and philosophers, and scientists, and boxes of all different kinds and don’t care about whether they might be real or not or exist simultaneously in all different places at the same time. No! What dogs care about is……..

Imagine a dog. It has hair, long and matted, and brown, and four legs (although one is a bit dicey), and eyes and nose and ears and a tail that wags. Can you see him? Or her? Can you know that he (or she) is really there? Can the scientist in you know that this dog is really there? Can the philosopher know for sure that this dog is not just a blurred representation of the reality he wants to create in his mind? Did he dream the dog or did the dog dream him? Worst still, the philosopher thinks, is he, is his life, just an illusion: a dream the dog had?

Meanwhile, in the reality that just moved in next door, a conundrum was occurring. Consider this, a man opens a tin whilst the dog waits expectantly. At the same moment, they realise that the tin appears to have disappeared. And strangely enough, in an adjacent reality, the cat of Schrödinger contemplates a tin, rotating gently in the atmosphere. With a life of it’s own, the lid lifts from the tin, and hovers gently in the air. The cat, with that impending sense of reality that they always seem to have, steps gracefully back out of range of the unexpected. With gathering speed, the tin and lid cascade to the floor. The cat hugs the carpet, ears flat, waiting for the impact. Waiting for the impact. Waiting…a peep around the corner shows an absence of tin. Or lid.

The philosopher, who believed that he had been opening a tin for the dog, shrugged his shoulders and smiled. The dog, with a subtle flare of its nostrils, stepped sideways into the reality next door. It could still smell the absence of tin, and cat, so stepped again. Frozen into half frames of time, sat the quantum scientist, with a startled expression in one hand and an equation in the other. At his feet, fading out of view, was the box. With unerring accuracy, the dog smelt the cat, smelling the tin, and stepped into the box….

sally fox & peter ball november 2013