EarthWe've changed the world
With our theories

Bent the flat plane of earth
Into a molten sphere
Because we feared the ether

Then cast ourselves adrift
In an endless sea of stars
Because we doubted complexity
And Ptolemy's design

Needing to name all our parts
Proton, neutron
Up, down, and charmed strangers
Of red, green, and blue
Imprisoned by nuclear forces

We can't feel
Inventing what we can feel
The Higgs boson proposed
To explain our mass
And gravitons to explain our falls
Strings and p-branes and big bangs

Back to the childish world
Of toys
And schoolyard nicknames
The MACHOs and WIMPs
Competing in quantum leaps
To represent our new views
The Unified Theory of Everything

Which doesn't postulate
Why we need to know
Why we built machines
To hold our thoughts
All the arguments against a god
Or many gods or any design
That can't be expressed mathematically

So our breath draws itself
Without thought
While we burrow into an atom
And postulate reason
That will never name our souls
We scoff and scorn
The cunning simplicity of a flat world
One that ends in ether
If you wander too far from home

* MACHO: Massive Compact Halo Object
   WIMP: Weakly Interacting Massive Particle

Copyright © 2011, Rae Spencer

Image Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Reto Stöckli

Rae Spencer is a writer and veterinarian living in Virginia. Her poems have appeared in print and online, and her poetry received Pushcart Prize nominations in 2009 and 2010. She can be found online at: