Free Radical


The idea that life unfolds to a pattern laid down by gods or fate or whatever has never appealed to me. Whenever people – worse still, peoples – believed they had a pre-ordained destiny, it was bad news for indigenous races and minority groups. Modern science has replaced the model of a clockwork machine universe with something much more fluid and dynamic and, yes, exciting. My poem explores this idea of a creative potential that is the polar opposite of passive acceptance. Only as free individuals can we become one people.


                 Thinking Out Loud

The particle collider in our head
Holds fragments of the past that whirl around
In circles, frozen orbits of the dead
Through inner space. They never make a sound.

When silence grows too loud we open wide
Perception's doors and welcome in the new,
Observing past and present worlds collide
In teasing spiral glimpses - all too few -

Of what's to come. They crash and burn,
Though not before the camera of our mind
Snaps every possibility in turn
As if the future's there to be divined.

But how could everything be stuck that way?
We generate the world afresh each day.

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8 thoughts on “Free Radical

  1. I really like this. It’s not often that poetry takes much notice of science, at least the poetry that I’ve come across on the Internet. Like you, I’m not sorry that the concept of a clockwork machine universe has been overturned.


    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I used the science as a metaphor for human change because I think we need to feel part of nature rather than some kind of special creation. I’m always on my soapbox these days …

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Me neither – such ideas seem to knock the legs from under us. Strikes me we all need to step up to the plate, take responsibility and see where collective action will take us … or is that hopelessly idealistic?


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