Dark Matter poetry

Poets have long been stargazers, moved by the strange infinities of the universe to translate them into metaphor and song. For ‘Dark Matter’, the third in the Gulbenkian Foundation s trilogy of poetry and science anthologies, leading poets were commissioned to create new work inspired by their discussions with eminent space scientists. Their meditations on the light and dark matters of the skies have been challenged and shaped by their encounter with the critical investigations of astrophysics, whether it s John Kinsella reflecting on the light echo of supernova 1987A, Antjie Krog recreating the symmetry of the HH212 gas jet or Paul Muldoon s jaunty take on the expanding universe. The commissioned works are complemented by the editors selection of well-known and lesser-known poems from across the ages: John Donne and Emily Dickinson share the stratosphere with Philip Larkin and Adrienne Rich in their explorations of the spaces beyond our world, their ability to make sense of these and to create art from the unknown.

Dance of the Unsquared Circles

To lure the taste of chocolate
out of chocolate, add salt.
It’s not the old equation,

only a recipe for sensibility.
Opposites don’t attract, just end up
like the couple that set fire to civility

and chalked a faultline down the center
of possession. Or it’s the other way around—
two people wearing their anger inside out

for twenty years—all that electricity
trapped behind a flickering of false lives.
Call it cold fusion, or misery, or lightning

minus light. Call it whatever you like.
The trick is to find out what charges what—
to know the differences that revolve

in imaginary spaces—
Andromeda and The Milky Way
caught in a waltz of mutual gravity.

Let cardinals bring out the snow in snow.
Let the tree behind bullet-proof glass,
its leaves spindling toward sun,

make you crave an infinity of ocean.
If you want me to love you
write a graffitti of rain-slick roads

across the Sahara of my distance,
tattoo a dusting of particles
onto the terra incognita of my fear.

Why I Love the Moon


I love her best when I catch her

dreaming her private dreams

aloof, a distant Buddha

far enough to tempt to fancy

near enough to cast her anchor

hard in our hearts.

We adore her, poised against endless night

magnet to immensities beyond us.


Janet Butler relocated to the Bay Area in 2005 after many years in central Italy.  She teaches ESL in San Francisco and lives in Alameda with Fulmi, a lovely Spaniel mix she rescued in Italy and brought back with her.  Some current or forthcoming publications are The Blue Bear Review, The Chaffey Review, Miller’s Pond, Town Creek Poetry, and Red Ochre Lit. Her most recent chapbook is “Searching for Eden” from Finishing Line Press.




Up close,
Most of an atom is
Ether. Through space
Unending, dark
Matter dominates.
The tangible is tenuous
And lonely;

And so we seem
To see that if we
Speed on, heedless,
We may dodge through
Walls and galaxies, without

Truth, like the wind,
Finds form in
What is moved.
There is so much
That is nothing, we can
Barely believe
That we may

Vacuity by Steve Broidy.


Its grain widening
fills with islands and tides
-sandpaper alone! a beach
and the light that found its way home
grows heavier :each morning

I polish a wood bowl
the way the mist will wait
face up for water almost tissue paper
innocent, smelling from acorns and Fall
and my hands, once grasses and clumps.

The sun must be wood
made from an old sea left out to dry
never sure it will burn
or why the air somehow shines

-I have to hold it close
and the horizon so smoothly
into dust and emptiness
I have to slow the rim, my tears
already falling through the afternoon light
–I dread rainbows! hate flowers
–only sand, sand and worn down paper.


Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, The New Yorker, and elsewhere.


The Importance of Re-Inventing Time

There’s this relationship,
This inherent love, between space

and time – as if they’re folded
in on each other like linen place-settings.

Really, though, it’s more like French bread
sliced up by vectors and velocities.

And it occurs to me that things happen
not at the same time, but in the same planar moment.

Right now, we’re sitting outside
of Les Deux Magots, wondering

if we’ll ever be in this place again.
But we’re so quick to forget

that time and space do not run
like a projector or a slide panel

or some ubiquitous hologram. Someone
somewhere – neither in the past, present, nor future –

is painting, so deftly, a scene of
us on the canvas of the cosmos,

and as I down the last of my Bordeaux, I smile as
your form is watermarked into the setting of the sun.



Jack Foster is a Ted Pugh Poetry Prize winning author from Southern California where he serves as the production editor for A Few Lines Magazine and the lead editor for Wormwood Chapbooks. His work can be found in various journals such as The Adroit Journal, Pomona Valley Review, Cavalier Literary Couture, and Yes, Poetry.


The Neighbor’s Cat

I am not Homer, but
I am blind.
My neighbor Schrödinger
told me he has no cat.
I hear the cat, though.
My neighbor insists,
insists, yes,
insists that if I cannot
the cat, there is no cat.

I have named
the nonexistent cat Pandora.
I call to her when my neighbor
slides into another neighborhood.
I hear her plaintive reply,
distant, muffled,
tangled in the ticking of
a Geiger counter.
My ears observe her
I think: perhaps
he should change her box.

Billie Duncan has had a long and varied career as an author, reporter, entertainer, photographer, artist and political activist. She is the author of three full-length books of poetry and is included in many journals and anthologies.Her first book, Beneath the Desk, was chosen for inclusion in the Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays at Brown University. She is currently working on an art series based on Hugh Everett’s many-worlds interpretation (MWI) of quantum physics and on a book-length epic poem about the LaSalle expedition to the Texas Gulf Coast.

Between the Raindrops

What is said between the raindrops?
What is uttered ‘neath those spheres?
And above the falling droplets
What timeless mystery plucks the ears?

At the crossroads and the inbetween
Is where our life is living
At the chink & in the seam
both the parting and the giving

Can you sound the depth of silence?
and to that rhythm dance unfeigned?
Hum the hush that, uncreated,
between life and death remains?

At the crossroads and the inbetween
Is where our life is living
At the chink & in the seam
both the parting and the giving


The Crackling

The crackling of old wood consumes
the silence of my weaving room
My heart, strung tight across the loom
Must let the shuttle’s work resume

Black shuttle weaves through brilliant hues
in patterns that I cannot choose
Let it’s rhythm somehow soothe
the pain of all I’ve had to lose

Let colors of the deep unseen
Dye the fibers of my being
Braid me with the timeless stream
where love and life are evergreen

You didn’t leave without a trace
I find a thread in every place
Though these arms yearn for your embrace
Your life in mine is interlaced

Your smile I may not gaze upon
Your laughter lingers far beyond
and like some lonely vagabond
My gift to you? To travel on

To firedance upon the frozen
Destiny to be engrossed in
To be the weaver and the woven
knitting choice with the unchosen

Two poems from Victoria Chadwick


Source – darkmatterjournal.org

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