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Thursday, 7 January 2010

Time Rotates But There Is Only One Season


.


File:Coriolis effect16.gif





The October light falls cold, and number 53
Steps across the infield toward his destiny.

The April light is sullen, and number 54
Walks to the mound once more. Now he knows the score.

Out beyond the stars the universe watches,
Counting beats of strange hearts between pitches.





File:Moving target.gif






Coriolis effect (schematic representation of atmospheric inertial oscillation): image by Cleon Teunissen, 2005
Moving target (Coriolis effect): image by Cleon Teunissen, 2005

25 comments:

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Lovely poem Tom, the Hot Stove League already started up, April light soon, January light going on and on (in our parallel universes). . . .

1.7

first grey light in fog against invisible
ridge, white half of moon next to leaves
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

light, lines of perspective
evidently on the spot

inscribed in being, the way
writing is, withdrawn

white moon in pale blue sky on horizon,
sandstone-colored cliff across from it

gamefaced said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3YiZXfA-is

Joe Safdie said...

Fabulous. Wrote this yesterday . . .

Late Call

James I created more knights
in his first four months as king

than Elizabeth had done
in her entire 45-year reign

standards were obviously slipping
but nobody can fault the decision

to finally put The Hawk
in the Hall of Fame

Annie said...

pretty fly

zevstar said...

41 days til pitchers and catchers;
(shameless and informal use of the multi-versal cinquain)


late winter ball

the stars
are expanding
the field so bright dissolves
in the specific sunlight of
fast ball.
curve ball
condenses eye
hand turns over the bat
and pure matter energizes spacetime.
arise
and roar the ball
soaring flashing white laced
red turning entraining us to
the stars.

u.v.ray. said...

I like the gentle intimation, drawing a comparison between the game and the machinations of the solar system.

Heartbeats pulsing in tune with an impartial universe; watching, detached. What will be, will be. The trajectory is all mapped out.

TC said...

Stephen,

"Lines of perspective," all right. The vivid chromatic "set" here -- white moon emerging from fog, against pale blue sky, with sandstone-hued cliff en face -- reminds me that what keeps your sequence fresh every day are the colors of the world. Always in season.


Joe,

Well, "standards" are indeed always relative. No quarrel about A.D., but James I would probably also have knighted Roberto Alomar. And who's perfect, anyway? (I have always thought Fame and Morality to be entirely separate universes.)


Annie,

Gee whillikers, I thought I'd seen everything, but no: a blog devoted (almost) exclusively to haiku about the Cubs. One long sequence of seventeen-syllable elegies. Like:

A Chanukah gift?
Perhaps it's a miracle
Milton Bradley's gone

Those Cubs fans are always looking for somebody to blame it on. For a while it was that fellow Steve Backman with his Awful Espontaneo, ruining the Cubbie Universe.

Back in the day when I was a Wrigley Field usher, there was none of that precious fatalistic self-pity. So okay, the Cubs always lost 106 games. But the environment was always, or anyway usually, lovely. Losing? No bother. The Ernie Banks reply was: "Let's play two."

(And by the by, a small prediction, one of these years the poor much-maligned Milton Bradley is going to come back to haunt somebody's Chanukah.)


Zev,

Your keen poetic awareness of the countdown encourages me to believe there may indeed be something cosmic and eternal in these seasonal cycles.

It has long seemed to me there are two theories of this: 1) The season is like life, it is sweet to us because we are able to believe that it will always return in the Springtime and thus will, for all intents and purposes, last forever; and 2) The season is like life, it is sweet to us because we know it inevitably must end.

"Time rotates..." appears to subscribe to the former theory. But I am conscious also of the possibility that the second theory may be the more accurate one, and that in any case there is A Difference.


Ray,

Well, you've encapsulated this poem into a few words so beautifully -- "intimation", "machination", "pulsing", "impartial", "detached", "trajectory all mapped out" -- no poet could do it better, so I'd better not try explaining about inertial fields and Coriolis effects. (Sometimes even the village explainer must take a break.)

Pops into mind the Fifties film (I believe it was Pillow Talk) in which Doris Day sings (to Rock Hudson, yet) "Que será, será, whatever will be will be..."

Life in the multiverse, that endlessly mysterious infinite/finite game.

TC said...

...OMG, how can I have missed this out?

Gamefaced has left us the key to all this, it was always right there before (or between?) our eyes...

Bob Arnold / Longhouse said...

Good morning Tom (or good night)?

Not long ago I wrote a little something from Vermont distance about Philip Whalen passing away and mentioned his bed of "strawberries". Someone closer to the event, and knowing what I didn't know, growled back in an email (unsigned) one word: "Raspberries".

Okay. I like answers.

"Que será, será, whatever will be will be..." = The Man Who Knew Too Much (second version) in case you want to watch it again with A and the kitkats.

TC said...

Whoa dude, Doris Day had no idea.

TC said...

...And by the by, while we're (not) on the subject of inertial fields and the Coriolis effect: there remains the crabbed question of whether toilet and bathtub drain-swirls rotate in opposite directions in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres... I suppose the sensible thing would be to enquire of Southern Hemisphere guests... but then how would they know which is the "right" direction (the classic test is to float a small piece of light wood in the drain and see which way it swirls... this is just to give the full empirical experience... it's said the Stuart monarchs secretly employed this test as a qualification for knighthood...)

Joe Safdie said...

Actually, they had the Groom of the Stool do that . . .

aditya said...

Fabulous, as Joe said.

The beginning and the end are indistinct as we move along the tracks of these loops, our trails overrun by staccato drips of a certain uncertainty moving in. On us. Us chasing. Chased.

Thank You for the mention in the 1st January post.

zevstar said...

tom,

once
as a kid
i hit a ball
with my 'lil roberto'
louisville slugger
it was still going up
as it rotated and sang
out of the yard
over the bushes
thru the green leaves
of the apple orchard trees
towards the pale blue pittsburgh sky.
we knew that ball was gone
instantly.
didnt even look for it.
i still have the bat.

zevstar said...

"A Difference" is beautiful.
the best part of "the last fly ball" and what makes it bearable is knowing that the first pitch is only a winter away.

TC said...

Zev,

Let us hold our collective breath, then.

(Forgive me for betraying my anciency, but the older one gets, the more drama there is in awaiting the annual seasonal return of... well, anything!).

TC said...

Aditya,

"...our trails overrun by staccato drips of a certain uncertainty..."

I couldn't have said it better. So I won't even try.

And speaking of only one season and the drama of awaiting it, I had my superannuated heart set on trying to locate a stream to watch Liverpool see off Spurs today... but no dice. That nasty cold snap.

(Possibly those beings with strange hearts are rigging the English weather in a strangely merciful way, so as to permit me to get a bit of sleep for once...?).

aditya said...

Hahah .. Yeah. They did not let me sleep but, without getting the news of my beloved Red Devils crashing to a draw. And I thought every match had been canceled mercifully.

Interesting ... to know you don't have a phone. You live all alone??

TC said...

Aditya,

Well, it was terrible weather to play in, and Birmingham has been difficult for everybody lately.

Scholes as usual tried to make up for everything by doing, or overdoing, everything. Greater love hath no man.

To paraphrase MacBeth, football hath ruined sleep, all too often, over the years.

No, I live with one human (she has an antiquated land line phone, for emergencies, neither of us has a mobile) and a flock of cats (the cats do not have phones -- though, if we are to believe that blinding genius Julio Cortazar, cats ARE telephones).

TC said...

Here, Aditya, is a bit of Cortazar's Cat Telephone.

SarahA said...

Ha ha h aha ha Oh my! Thomas! I can't remember what I was going to say now. I am laughing so much, my sides ache from such.It's the 'the cats do not have phones -- though' I am seeing them clearly using them. Little things please little minds; right? Ha!

SarahA said...

Ok what I was going to say is (beffore I read the comments of the cats), I am not sure what this is actually refering to (I can not lie or even pretend I do),but I am thinking it is a game of 'Baseball' or somewhat and then there is this parallel to the universe. Am I close?
I am liking that 'making my brain think' and try to connect things and see the comnparisons between such. Which I can , with your words written.
BTW Sometimes, just sometimes; you are too funny Thomas.

Annie said...

Milton Bradley, Ghost of Chanukah Future

As the dreidel spins:
from martyr-cum-pariah
to Sailors' own messiah?

Annie said...

Apparently dogs have radar that allows them to lock onto the signal of a soft touch. A small spaniel mix literally ran into Chris as he walked home in pouring rain on Boxing Day, and has moved in. No collar, tags or chip, no owner's response to postings. Benevolent Quincy has accepted Mojo as only a former knight of the road can...May Milton find Junior so magnanimous. Yes, it IS all connected. Eventually.

TC said...

SarahA and Annie,

Sitting here in the dark with a stray cat (begged his way in) on my lap, all the other furred and non-furred creatures sleeping, cold, I can feel the planet rotate (not)...

Let me assure everyone that of all games my favourite is the infinite game, life; of all planets my favourite is this one we are spinning around on; and of all the many dots that are undoubtedly spotting up the vision of our extraterrestrial viewers at this moment, I can connect not one to another, if ever I could.

But I believe a telephone must be ringing in the dream of this stray cat on my lap, for he is making small whistling sounds in his sleep.

('Tis consoling to have such excellent friends, furred and non-furred, to share one's nocturnal inanities with.)