Saturday, 8 October 2011

Quantum Future

Oh My Goodness! Have you heard about the Tachyon?
It beat a Photon to a mountain in Alpine Italy.
That’s faster that the cosmic speed of light!
Once a mathematics construct of zero- mass dimension,
A square root of something negative or the like,
It’s now a particle of physics, a collider frenzy target, and
Sure to make poor Einstein spin within his grave.
Perhaps it travels through the cosmos on a radiative pathway
Leaving slow neutrino cousins in its wake;
Or takes a wormhole short-cut between alternating universes
In and out of matter, Dark and Light,
Crossing spherical surfaces including Our particular World of Time and Space.
So take heart all of you Trekkies.....you’ll be proven right for sure!
Dr. Who throw wide the TARDIS door!
The Tachyon is the key to a metaphysical portal, and
Though technology and politics will impose a lengthy wait,
I know I’ll bid you welcome as you step on through the gate!

Bryan Douglas Cook 4 October 2011

Context for Quantum Future

This poem was inspired by a discussion I had with my son Josiah about the recent findings concerning the neutrino called Tachyon. I learned more about the status of the research ( still very speculative) from “Faster Than Light...Have scientists found a particle which breaks the cosmic speed limit” at the Sixty Symbols website of the University of Nottingham at http://www.sixtysymbols.com/videos/fasterthanlight.htm
Some of the wording was as spoken by Josiah and I composed it in a ten minute car ride home from his house.
TARDIS is Dr. Who’s time travel machine named after the acronym for “Time and Relative Dimension In Space”

Read at Tree Reading Series 10 October 2011
http://www.treereadingseries.ca/videos/open-mics/bryan-cook-10-oct-11

Photo is of Kepler's Supernova Remnant, SN 1604, V 843 Ophiuchi, G004.5+06.8
Credit: NASA, ESA, R. Sankrit and W. Blair (Johns Hopkins University)


Juniperus chinensis

Illusion of age, twisted with wire and pruned to conform,
Roots clawing down for life over rock;
Limbs dead and living framing allegory and emotion,
A tree captive in a clay pot....bonsai.

Bryan Douglas Cook October 2, 2011

Context for Juniperus chinensis

At a TREE Seed Workshop given by Mike Buckthought, I learned the beauty and purpose of classical Greek epigrams. This is my attempt to write one such epigram in this style on a personal passion....bonsai.

The classical Greek form epigram is 4 lines with 6,5,6,5 emphases.

Read at Tree Reading Series 10 October 2011
http://www.treereadingseries.ca/videos/open-mics/bryan-cook-10-oct-11




Photo is of a Juniperus chinensis (Chinese juniper) root over rock style bonsai: courtesy Artistic Bonsai Circle
http://www.artisticbonsaicircle.co.uk/es012td.htm

Friday, 7 October 2011

Bill’s Birthday

Is fighter pilot Bill any older today?
I think not....no not a jot!
His step is spry and that same twinkle’s in his eye
As he regales with yet another of his tales!
His memory is strong and embellishment is long,
How many ways could he have met his dear Jeanette?
His one name study shows that the tribe of Arthurs grows,
Dismaying lords of Hamilton with pollution of the lineage,
But Bill’s blood still rises at the call to Bannockburn.
So he sits at his deep desk high in his eyrie over Rideau
Drawing muse from Lampman’s stomping ground,
He never will be silenced and he never will be bound,
He will be flying like his ducks when we’re all underground!

Bryan Douglas Cook 3 October 2011

Context for Bill’s Birthday
A tongue-in-cheek poetry birthday card for Bill Arthur’s, a former cold war fighter pilot who is now living with his wife Jeanette on a bluff over-looking the Rideau Canal where the poet Lampman once had a cottage.


PEI Farmhouse

Joseph Betts chose well when he pioneered Northumberland’s shore;
From brackish marsh and tidal flats
Bountiful in fish, clams, ducks and geese,
His clearing yielded fertile fields up to South Shore’s red dirt road
Which hugged pine-clad cliffs to Rocky Point
And ferry to market at Charlotte Town.
His land rose back to higher pastures and woodlands for the winter fires
And timber to build his farmhouse, barns and byres.

The farmhouse sheltered generations, withstanding
Winter gales and creep of damp and louse;
Until replaced beneath the crest,
With a two-story dormer, trimmed,
Her wood-shingled sides in beige-rust, two- tone.

A century passed with sale and land consolidation,
Manicured emerald green replacing crops and pasture,
Sea- breezed flags now beckon the properly attired to seek a hole- in-one,
Carts align to make the fairway run across the Cumberland Road,
At what cost in natural diversity to fill an economic chest?

The farmhouse stood alone upon its rail-fenced acre patch to face the bulldozer,
Yet another parking lot for Joni!
But this could not be for Steve and Snow despite the risks and challenges unknown!
Lifted and foundationed, gutted, foamed, rewindowed to a fa├žade of proportion,
Tan painted, white trimmed, resplendent with pink door!

Her life renewed, she keeps her perpetual watch over the glories of sunrise and set,
The moon’s wax and wane over shimmering evening waters.
Her watch extends from Hillsborough Channel into Charlotte’s Harbour
Across the Bay past the light of Prim and the slumber of St Peter’s Island,
To Nine Mile Creek from where mussel tenders ply to pluck the harvest of the Bay,
Further beyond the tidal bar towards the Argyll Shore
And the distant Windsor salt mines of Nova Scotia.

The vision and the landscape of old Joseph Betts may be gone,
Still lowing of the cattle and barnyard pungence waft upon the breeze,
Salt hangs in the mist and seaweed tangs the air with the tide,
The gulls align the fairway where once they mobbed the plough,
The fox still crosses Cumberland Road beside the creek,
And Harris House stands proud and grand,
A testament to history and love for this peaceful land.

Bryan Douglas Cook 26 August 2011

Context for PEI Farmhouse
Snow Harris works at Robin’s Nest Antiques at New Haven, PEI. We have been customers and friends for two years and in August of 2011 she invited us to join her and her husband Steve at friends for a social night of music and recital. I wrote this poem for that night to celebrate their successful and loving reconstruction of a century old PEI farmhouse close to where we stay near Nine Mile Creek for our holidays.

Avian Shore

Flocking gulls mushroom the pasture lushing green from evening rain;
A flooding tide replenishes the feast of shrimp and worm,
A migrant dunlin scurries out a shoreline meal;
Caplin scud the calm of sunset water, iridescent tempered steel,
Tempting fate beneath the heron sentinel;
In salt marsh ponds, the piper and the curlew rest in single stance,
While loon and duck are aimlessly adrift in seeming headless trance;
Upon a solitary pillar of red amid the surging waves and torn wrack,
A barred hawk plucks and tears the gull ambushed in dawn’s half light,
He rises angered at my intrusive step
And, talon loaded, glides silently from sight.
As tide recedes the stranded crabs seek refuge in the matted weeds
From squabbling mobs of raucous gulls with frenzied needs;
While high above bald eagles soar,
Surveying all that moves along the Southern Shore.

Bryan Douglas Cook P.E.I. August 2010 revised October 2011

Context for Avian Shore
Tanya and I vacationed from August 1 to August 22, 2010 in a small rented cottage (an old relocated ferry station) at Nine Mile Creek on the Northumberland Strait, South Shore of Prince Edward Island. I wrote an extended poem “South Shore Holiday, Prince Edward Island” which related events almost chronologically as they happened during the holiday. As the first poem I had ever written, I later found it uneven and still somewhat of a slave to romantic rhyming pentameter.
I have chosen to revisit it and edit sections as stand-alone poems. This is the second in the series, inspired by the wealth of bird life living on the South Shore.

Read at Tree Reading Series 13 December 2011
http://www.treereadingseries.ca/videos/open-mics/bryan-cook-13-dec-11


Metal Scrap Yard: A Recycler’s Saga

Relics of a pioneering toil,
Cast iron stove and harness chains;
Jumbled with electronic chassis and
Alloy bric-a-brac of fleeting gains.

Keepsakes of generations,
In barn and garage troven;
Conjuring memories and ghosts,
Guardians of infinite possession.

All now are gutted for their precious ores,
Pig iron, copper, brass, aluminum and steel;
Silent are the motors that once drove the electric age,
Batteries no longer spark life to the wheel.

From showroom pride to muddy charnel pit,
Crushed carcasses mountain high in bales,
Their guts eviscerated into rusting piles,
Amid the City’s rotting bones of sewer pipes and rails.

Surveying all his hellish abyss
Towers a Giant, open jawed;
Archangels feed his infinite appetite
Ceaselessly craning steel into a grinding, fuming maw.

He belches steam and groans as knives grind cars to shreds,
Bolts and metal shards fly from his head
As shrapnel on the killing fields of war,
Beware all those brave to venture near; hasten or be dead.

A sixteen wheeler rumbles in with more corpses for the auto pile,
Battered pickers’ trucks deliver scavenged loads for meagre gain.
The weigh scale converts intrinsic value to raw poundage,
A lady at the front desk gives little cash for all your pain.

Bryan D. Cook October 2010

Context for Metal Scrap Yard: A Recycler’s Saga

On Friday October 15, 2010, I took a trailer load of scrap metal to recycle it at Bakermet Scrap Metal Buyers and Recyclers at 2555 Sheffield Road, Ottawa, Ontario. The scrap yard is dominated by a 4 story steel shredding tower fed by articulated cranes. I was hit on the head by shrapnel from the tower (see the attached photo). Fortunately, my safety helmet saved me from serious injury though I was stunned for a minute or so. The dominant material being recycled is automobiles. This poem describes my impressions of the yard.....with abject apologies to Milton!

Read at Tree Reading Series 10 October 2011
http://www.treereadingseries.ca/videos/open-mics/bryan-cook-10-oct-11

Cliff Top Reflections

Gazing far beyond the misty headland, eyes teared with sorrow, love and joy,
Aged, beloved Aunt Elizabeth has died so far across the sea.
Her passing evokes childhood memories of her welcoming embrace
Of how she wakened in my heart a love for natural grace.

Holidays in rocks and sand beside the Northern Sea,
The gritty miner’s row house where Eliza served high tea.
Allotments rimmed with pigeon lofts and summer pigs in sty,
A hot coal fire to boil the crab and air the washing dry.

Images of parents flood my mind,
My mother’s reassuring touch, her resolution steeled by matrimony;
My father’s guiding hand, his nervous practicality punctuated by elation.
Deep is my longing that they too could join me on this cliff of contemplation.

A warming sun now dries my eye with promises of discovery,
A freshening breeze has scudded white sails into a bluing sky.
A morning chorus sings an anthem to resurrected light,
My soul is soothed with peace and calm at Nature’s sight.

Bryan Douglas Cook P.E.I. August 2010

Context for Cliff Top Reflections


Tanya and I vacationed from August 1 to August 22, 2010 in a small rented cottage (an old relocated ferry station) at Nine Mile Creek on the Northumberland Strait, South Shore of Prince Edward Island. I wrote an extended poem “South Shore Holiday, Prince Edward Island” which related events almost chronologically as they happened during the holiday. As the first poem I had ever written, I later found it uneven and still somewhat of a slave to romantic rhyming pentameter.
I have chosen to revisit it and edit sections as stand-alone poems. This is the first in the series.
Cliff Top Reflection relates my thoughts while seated on a red sea- cliff looking out over Hillsborough Bay. I reflect on the news of the death of my Aunt Elizabeth in Barnsley, Yorkshire England. The reference to Eliza is to Eliza Cook, my paternal grandmother with whom I often vacationed as a child in Newbiggin-by-sea, Northumberland, England.The photos are of the coal fireplace,range and drying rack, and of Aunt Elizabeth (left) and Grandma Eliza Cook