Circa Circumfrence

ancient of days
The Ancient of Days by William Blake


Circa Circumference

And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other…and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.
                                                                                                                                        1 Kings 7:23

There’s so many reasons for faulting the Bible,
From cud-chewing hares to the gross genocides.
There’s so many reasons, it’s scarcely a libel
To call God a fool, and a mean one besides !
There’s so many reasons for calling it tribal,
And local and ancient – the worst-of-all guides.

So many bloopers and so many slayings,
Just so many errors and terrors astounding –
Why do you focus on one of its sayings,
By claiming the value of pi is worth hounding ?
You won’t get the faithful to doubtings and swayings
With petty point-scorings that don’t allow rounding.

Felis schroedingi

cat in box


Felis schroedingi

I burrow through the wicker bin
Beside your desk, a-froth therein
With pencil shavings, strüdel crumbs,
And paper balls of failed sums.
I’m rubbing up against your socks,
Or sharp’ning claws against your box,
Or lis’ning to your strange device
That clicks and squeaks like frightened mice.

But I don’t like the vial with the strong, sharp smell
And why have you a hammer, and a pivot-rig as well ?
You’re planning for some trial – uncertain times ahead –
Wearing is this clamour, and I’m feeling quite half-dead.

I mean, just what is life , anyway ?
I mean, crystals grow and all, don’t they ?
And viruses, they can even multiply,
And sperm can even swim, and twisters fly
And thinking machines – how do they fit in ?
And when does life end, and when does it begin ?

But you ain’t thinking ’bout any of this, are you ?
You’re thinking I have it and lost it, and both are still true
Not in any biological sense,
But only in a philosophic pretence.
Well, get over yourselves, it’s all down to chance:
My existence does not revolve around your ignorance.

I am not quantum.
There are not two of me.
I have not become
An equation or postulation or theory,
Some waveform waiting to collapse,
A merely-possible-perhaps,
Or psi-functional mixture of states
In decoherence to my many-worlds’ fates.

No, I am simply a cat,
Possibly dead, or otherwise alive,
And it really doesn’t matter how I come to arrive
In my present condition (thoroughly discretely –
Cos I’m one or the other, and that one completely),
For no thought-experimenting’s gonna alter that.



Chromium Dreams

Vintage Sci-Fi
Vintage Sci-Fi by Josh Newton


Chromium Dreams
They promised us of Things To Come:
The Future’s oscillating hum,
When dreams of Progress are unfurled
And pitched to claim this Brave New World.

We always knew it’s coming soon,
Those holidays upon the moon,
The robots, ray guns, rocket boots,
The purple hair and silver suits.

But look at what infact we get:
The wind-farm and the internet.
Organic foods, not protein pills,
And terrorists, not air-raid drills.

We never got to live like gods
In fully-automated pods,
We never got to touch the stars
In UFOs and flying cars.

There’s no-one chilled in cryo-sleep,
There’s no-one dreams electric sheep,
There’s no-one swashes laser-swords
To saves the Earth from Martian hordes.

We’ve waited, just to find, too late
The Future now is out of date,
Yet still unripe its promised plums –
Alas, Tomorrow never comes.



The Elephant in the Time Machine

animal eye
Photo by Flickr on


The Elephant in the Time Machine

Suppose I were to travel back a day
To when you tossed a dime,
And watch in secret as you flip the coin
To see if you and helpless fate should join.
I, of course, already know the way
It came to land that time;
If I don’t tell, and you don’t know,
Then is your will still free, or just for show ?

And if I travel back a thousand-fold
To watch, and watch, and watch.
I would, I bet, observe the constant threads,
The endless runs of heads, heads, ever heads.
So does your ignorance then not withhold
Your destiny one notch ?
You are a puppet, acting out a script;
And so, I think, must I be likewise gripped.

But no !  For we’re all chrononauts aboard
The Tachyon Express;
Speeding sixty-secs-per-minute forth,
And always quad-dimensional due-north.
For time is just our name for this vast hoard
Of causes and effects.
Through endless seas of future we must plough,
Surfing on the ever-later Now.



Like Lockwork



Like Lockwork

You slide your shank in slow and smooth,
To dock upon the centre-post;
And now a gentle twist affords
To ease your teeth between my wards.
Your bit precise in ev’ry groove,
Your diamond-pick a torsion ghost:
A skeleton to probe my fob,
And whispers through – an inside job.

You push your shaft deep in the plug,
And stroke my barrel from within.
My tumbler spins, my cams engage,
My deadbolts throw and springs assuage.
My keyway holds your bittings snug
To activate each driver-pin
To line the shear as each is shipped –
Then enter in –  my locks are tripped.



Newton’s Cradle

Isaac Newton as a Child


Newton’s Cradle

A child is born in dead of winter,
Child to bring the summer in:
He teases rainbows from the sunshine,
Lets enlightenment begin.
He brings us universal laws:
For as above, then so below;
He shows the path that we must follow,
Teaches how the heavens go.

Brightly shines his star above
In both his eyepiece and his eyes;
His clockwork earth perturbs the sun,
His motion never dies.
He shows us how all things must love:
We all attract and all obey.
So promises the savant one
Who’s born on Christmas Day.

A child is born in dead of winter,
Child to set the world alight:
He mechanises all our fluids,
Magnifies the heavens bright.
He stands atop the giants’ shoulders,
Calculates the cosmic story –
From the leastest fractions upwards,
His the powers and the glory.

He wants to save the human genus
From the couterfeiter’s haul.
Apples are the fruit of learning:
Worlds shall rise to meet their fall.
He shows us how the warmth between us
Never really goes away;
Hark the one who keeps us burning,
Born on Christmas Day.