Jan 30 Frederick Seidel: The Cosmos Poems

Today’s poem is inspired by my reading from Richard Dawkins’ “The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing” an anthology of science writing as collected from the textbooks and books written by scientists. It’s a nice sampling of the scientist’s point of view.

In a forward taken from a book titled “Just Six Numbers” by Martin Rees, an interesting question is asked: “Can we understand why there is so much beyond our Solar System?”

I should think that that is the one thing we understand best – I think that it is something embedded in our subconscious, something in the DNA of our souls. Didn’t the ancient peoples have myths of the great out there, the infinity? Of creatures and gods far beyond our powers who lived endless eternal lives? I think that somehow we’ve always known that there was something beyond our earth and this earthly plain whether it was heaven and it’s heavenly spheres or galaxies, black holes and nebulae seems the concept is the same to me; it is the great out there beyond who we are at this moment in this place.

I think that this understanding is the thing that divides us from the animals, the thing that our animal selves once understood the moment are brains developed enough to that capacity, the moment we took a bite from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Which begs the question: is knowledge a great burden or a great blessing? Science in its all its wonderful capacity doesn’t have an answer for that, just gauges the universe – it abides just as the stars burn fuel and shine brightly.

The Cosmos Poems

by Frederick Seidel






Into the emptiness that weighs
More than the universe
Another universe begins
Smaller than the last.


Begins to smaller
Than the last.
Do not yet exist.


My friend, the darkness
Into which the seed
Of all eleven dimensions
Is planted is small.


Travel with me back
Before it grows to more.
The church bell bongs,
Which means it must be noon.


Some are playing hopscotch
Or skipping rope during recess,
And some are swinging on swings,
And seesaws are seesawing.


That she is shy,
Which means it must be May,
Turns into virgin snow
And walking mittened home with laughing friends.


And the small birds singing,
And the sudden silence,
And the curtains billow,
And the spring thunder will follow—


And the rush of freshness,
And the epileptic fit that foams.
The universe does not exist
Before it does.








A can of shaving cream inflates
A ping-pong ball of lather,
Thick, hot, smaller than an atom, soon
The size of the world.


This does take time to happen.
Back at the start
Again, a pinprick swells so violently
It shoots out


Hallways to other worlds,
But keeps expanding
Till it is all
There is. The universe is all there is.


Don’t play with matches.
The candle flame follows her
With its eyes. The night sky is a mirror
On a wall.


What she stands in front of are the roaring afterburners
Of the distant stars a foot away
Leaving for another world. They have been summoned
To leave her


For another girl
In another world who stands there looking
In a mirror full of stars
At herself in her room.


The room is not really,
But it might be. If there is
Something else as beautiful
As this snow softly falling outside, say.


The universe begins
With a hot ball of lather expanding
In a hand
That should be in her bed asleep.

About penneloppe

I like to write horror, dark fantasy and crime fiction. Sometimes, I'll write science fiction, but usually I like to write science fact. I also write screenplays and stage plays. My day job is office work. I live in Seattle and I have a cat.
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