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The Physics of Grass
by Dahl Clark
October 22, 1998
I saw a single blade of grass
Atop a hill of frozen snow
Where had the others gone? Alas!
Surely, this must be known!
I saw a hill of frozen snow
And soaring in the sky a bird
Voicing not a single word.
I saw this bird high in the sky
And just then I wondered why
This single bird had to fly
Against the currents in the sky
Led aloft by far-bourn air
Sweeping o'er ground, by and by
To any where, had not a care
Saw nothing through its eye
Save me on ground below
Walking o'er fields of frozen snow
But with fire in the sky
Eight light-minutes arriving nigh
And thermal energy at my side
The air was forced to part
The ice began to melt
Around me in a belt
on the ground
This single bird swooped down
Low towards the ground
And took a drink of water
Wherefore once had stood the mound
Quenched and happy as can be
He flew upwards, far and free
Spread his wings without a sound
And left me standing on the ground.
This is the lesson of energy
Or rather the theory, that is, you see:
No matter the forces in Universe
There is one that demands a verse
(Or verses) All to itself. The theory decrees:
That as far ago as man can see
All the forces were once "gravity"
In that great singularity
Perhaps some ten to the minus forty-three
Seconds after Creation.
There's also conservation
Of momentum, energy, and mass
And oh, just one more thing, alas
Each thing exists because it has
A simple "gravitation"
Of the atoms and particles inside
From energy these were derived.
Physics explains this all (perhaps)--
Can it also explain why this feathery chap
Graced my presence once before flying high
To leave me staring down past my lap?
Can it explain why a single blade of grass
Chanced to be left exposed
Above a cover of ice and snow
And not smothered in repose?
Can it explain why I--
Upon seeing that single bird
Began to think physics in my head
When said had not been a single word?
I leave this question for physics teachers to decide
(For me to solve this question, t'would take infinite time).
Our knowledge of physics is so advanced
And yet our knowledge spans but a single blade of grass.
This single leaf stands atop a hill
Kilometers wide, kilometers still--
A field of grass lies beneath
But at this time is beyond our reach.
Perhaps using the things we already know
And a bit more help, we can hope to free
Another needle of knowledge from beneath the snow
And physicists then we all will be.