One of my habits during long meetings (particularly those of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research [CIfAR] Quantum Materials program, where my brain's digestive capacity was frequently exceeded) was to write haiku about the speaker's topic and/or my own state of mind. Here are a few. ARPES photons knock me out, leave behind the energy […]
Pain! Searing, visceral, unendurable pain. Terrifying pain, and then an end to endurance... I die. And yet I am still here. What is "here"? Think. What came before the pain? I was testing the new Transporter... Oh my god, the Transporter must have malfunctioned! But none of the birds and dogs showed the slightest discomfort […]
A poem written by Jess H. Brewer on the occasion of Erich W. Vogt's retirement party, 31 March 1994. Born on the prairies in TRIUMF tradition, the second of six Vogt family additions, Erich soon showed that he loved competition, conceived an interest in nuclear fission and set out to overcome all opposition. Erich […]
Surge and sag, rising across the Earth's crust; reward yearnings of the Moon. Falling forever frozen to a distant Sun; gas tail all alight. Wet specks merge and stick, relax into bigger bags and fall, jiggling. Clear spheres drag apart the colours from white and send circles to centre. Love is to be cool water […]
She merges, slowly blinking Buddha, into a less wise world. God bless the revelation in her eyes and open them again for her if ever magic hides. Written on the occasion of our daughter's birth at Seibo Byoin Hospital in Tokyo, 15:16 local time, Japan, May 4, 1983.
(Apologies to Robert Service) A poem written on the occasion of John B. Warren's retirement party. John Warren was a great physicist, a good friend and a nice man. The world is less for his passing. This poem was written for his official retirement from UBC around 1980, a few years after his retirement as […]
J. Reginald Richardson: he was born on the Prairie and raised by the Sea; but it was down South in the Land of the Free that he learned the fine art of knob-twiddlery. At Berkeley and later at UCLA, devices with dials would all do as he'd say. The technique that he used is […]
"Ladies and gentlemen, please. You can continue this discussion later if you see fit, but don't you think it would help us to know the whole story first?" Murmurs of protest. "No, no, we all know the facts; I submit that they are hardly relevant. What matters is not so much what happened as […]
I think it must have coalesced out of the Soup. Something like that. All I know is, for a long time there was just the Soup, nice and simple. Well, actually I don't remember much about that time -- no detail, anyway. You know; what's to remember? But then suddenly I was aware of it. […]
Wild as a watermelon feast, red-ripe in the summer rains, making the very most at least, gorging sweet ill-gotten gains, I sit bloated to inaction, spitting seeds in satisfaction.
One day a crew of professional land-clearers came in and uprooted the oaks and magnolias, and there was a dust of old moss and tree-ferns in the air, smelling shocked at having been so jarred after an age-long rest. Bright, calloused sunlight shone directly on the ground which had been shaded cool for a foot-thick […]
Ford was infinitely disgusted with the world; he had just finished reading "Lolita", and couldn't help being a little depressed, as a normal result of being disgusted with the world. "How," he thought, sipping a warm, hour-old whiskey sour and slapping the book down on the grass, "how could anyone write something as gross as […]