Swallowtail Catastrophe with a nod to Rene Thom
Dilemma: In the schoolyard perimeter the paper plane is made up of three surfaces of folds, which meet in two lines, which in turn meet at a single swallowtail bifurcation point. Then it crashes.
Formula: V = x5 + ax3 + bx2 + cx
Elucidation: It’s one thing to see a stuffed polar bear, moth eaten and dusty, its neck wrapped in beads and a silly hat on its head. Another to meet a real bear in the woods while oblivious to territorial claw marks but open to surreal wilderness experiences. Yet another to have your photo taken on Dali’s lip couch in the courtyard of his villa under the scorching Costa Brava sun with the Michelin man standing guard. And later, alone in the swimming pool back at the modest hotel observing wave patterns, angles of index and refraction, minimum-maximum pairs, and wondering about lost chances when a swallow dives just above your head, fanning its tail as if to say Follow me! What have you got to lose if you go with the dark Basque stranger to his parakeet sanctuary in the dusty hills? Your heart, your life, your plane ticket home?
Notation: Where V is the tip of the Swallow’s tail, x the object of attraction, a the direct route home, b the branching behaviour, and c the traveller.
Delighted to have three poems published in the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics recently alongside so much insightful and inspiring work. Thanks Gizem et. al.
Listen ear to heart thumb to Vega nervous
oscillations simply mechanical and fine
machinery of body parts of quasiparticles.
The problem is complicated. Squealing frequency
of acoustic phonons due to elastic deformation.
Imprints on skin white or red depending upon
thermal fluctuations at room temperature
or some kind of violation. The literature filled
with erroneous formula, tongues embedded
in a solid matrix such as glass, sheets littered
with charged particles. Noble metals in particular,
sound speeds varying drastically with direction.
Remove the ring and this won’t matter. Take off
the watch and you won’t hear a thing.
From CosmoSonnets (JackPine Press, 2007)
Sun licks twisted bark,
melting primordial knots
on bony shoulders.
Sudden hollow snap overhead
more like tongue click –
thogngnk to the left,
to the right,
woods alive with tongue clicks of trees
heralding warmer weather.
– from Suicide Psalms (Anvil Press 2008)
Try building a universe from scratch
quarks on up, it’s true they travel in packs
of threes, red green blue, inseparable
as adolescents in coordinated fleece,
bound by gluons they eventually become one
proton or neutron with no colour at all. White
Madonna in need of a partner. Boys lined up
against the gym, buddies/anti-buddies growing
unstable, mesons that like to mess around
turn into electrons and nefarious particles, spin
girls on their heels, carry them off by force.
Attraction electromagnetic they orbit around her
make a quantum leap to the heart’s core
emitting a whoop and a photon of light.
– from CosmoSonnets (JackPine Press, 2007)
Finally, a site up and running! Now I just need to link to my own URL… Much more to come, like sample poems, musings, rants, errata, so please check back soon.