Tuesday, January 7, 2020

What's the Matter?

image from reddit.com

What’s the Matter?

“I think that God, in the beginning, formed matter
in sold, hard, massy, impenetrable moveable
particles.”--Issac Newton.

Do we really understand
much about the basic 
properties of matter?

I mean
what the hell
is the difference between
a lead pipe and iron bars?
Is steel stronger
than both of them?
If so, of course
the Man of Steel could
kick Iron Man’s ass?
When does lead
morph into graphite?
When your libido wanes,
do you have less lead in your pencil?

Why did they pump helium
into dirigibles, but blow
oxygen into balloons?
Is aluminum lighter than tin?
What kind of metal
made up medieval suits of armor?
The modern copies are made of steel.

Why is gold more fetching than silver?
Yet silverware is more popular than goldware.
Why did Paul Revere choose
to be a silversmith rather than a goldsmith?
Are there gold tea sets?
Are Trump’s toilets only gold plated?

Is there any silver in chrome?
Actually chrome is an alloy
made from steel, aluminum, copper or zinc,
then it’s applied to bright nickel plating.

Coins can be confusing too.
Is there any nickel in a nickel?
Is there much copper in a penny?
When did they start putting copper
into the middle of silver dollars?
How much gold was put into
a twenty dollar gold piece?
Strange that statues and lamps
are made out of brass, but old
plumbing is made out of copper.
I guess brass is an alloy
made out of copper and zinc.

I wonder how much different
the elements will be on Mars
or beyond, on astroids and in
other star systems?

Metaphysically, matter only exists
because we will it to, since we shared
in God’s creations as co-creators.
As per usual, the more we learn,
the less we can grasp.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub


robkistner said...

Enjoyed where your mind went with this! A fascinating journey...

Jade Li said...

I like the sounds you've put together in your poem and the mix between chemical properties and rhetoric. The idea of us puny humans of being co-creators is one I'll have to gnaw on for awhile. 100% agreement with the more we learn the less we know.

indybev said...

Hat's off to you, Glenn. This is a brilliantly satiric look at the elements. Bravo

sarah said...

I like your musing. The links between science and language are not as straightforward as we may believe.

Grace said...

I so admire that Newton quote Glenn. I would love us to travel and go to other planets someday.

And really the more we know, the more we realize we don't.

Debi Swim said...

Once you start meandering you go full steam ahead... wow, this was wonderfully all over the place.

Kim M. Russell said...

I enjoyed your poetic metaphysical meander through the elements, Glenn, and you’re right, what do we know about it? I like the Homer Simpson-esque ‘the Man of Steel could kick Iron Man’s ass’ and the question of having less lead in your pencil. And you touched on a question that has bothered me since I learned about American currency: is there any nickel in a nickel?

brudberg said...

And how wonderful to be able to ask all those questions.I think that for the curitous mind there is always more that matters.

Carol J Forrester said...

A really interesting read.
I think original coins were supposed to contain an equal value of metal to the value they represented. It's why some old 1ps and 2ps in the UK are now worth more than their face value because of the material they are made from.

Alexandra said...

I was just reading about how in the waning Roman empire merchants stopped accepting coins at face value, and valued them by weight, because they had so little actual silver in them.

Truedessa said...

I think what matters is that we continue to ask questions and try to navigate ourselves through a river of thought.

JIm Feeney said...

Very clever Glenn! A heavy metal poem! JIM