Zumwalt Poems Online

On an afternoon

On an afternoon

On a breezy summer afternoon
two universes, once far apart,
approached each other
and drawn by forces
not easily understood,
and created the beginnings
of a universe
with different rules and circumstances
than the previous two.

Dense and hot,
close and furious,
with energy beyond any expectation
this new universe started,
establishing first an identity
and then a history.

Heat gave way to growth
and sometimes we gave way to each other.

Attraction resulted in collisions
and each left their own marks on the other.

I once knew another universe
so different
but not so long ago.
Now there is only this one
with its own rules
and strange little quarks.

I once grew in another universe
with not such clear boundaries.
It was less predictable
and less complicated
without any out-of-equilibrium decay scenarios
or unexpected violations of time inversion symmetry.

This universe
gave us the nursery:
each star more important
than the universe itself
but adding to and altering its very fabric.

Yet, how could I not notice
that each star had its very own universe
and paid little attention to the grander scheme.
Envious, I was, like the biker who sold his Harley
and had to watch it be driven off the lot.

This universe gave us grandchildren:
each one more precious than any law of physics.

Yet, how could I not note that this
was the measurement of time.

I cannot escape this universe,
I cannot go back to the one I had.
I do not know the difference between you and I
or the underlying nature of this universe itself.

I do not know where your universe went
or what part it played in the one we share.
I cannot see how this universe ends
or if it still depends on you and I.

On a breathtaking, brilliant summer afternoon
two independent universes, each with its own part,
appropriated each other
and created new forces
not easily withstood,
and then guided the beginnings
of a universe
with different composition and consequences
than the previously predominate two.

— Zumwalt (2011)


Comments on: "On an afternoon" (29)

  1. wooowww!! awesome!! I especially love this part
    “This universe
    gave us the nursery:
    each star more important
    than the universe itself
    but adding to and altering its very fabric”

    It just has a meaning to me that soothes me..:-)


  2. Why do things have to change, we just get used to things and then all is different! I love this poem , it flows beautifully. it definitely says something to me.


  3. Very deep. I like how you talk about the universe. I don’t often see people use that in there poetry.


  4. abchica, willowd0t21 and redhibiscusflowers,

    Thanks so much for the comments!


  5. I can so relate to this – great metaphor, nicely done!


  6. This is very insightful and poignant. Beautifully written πŸ™‚


  7. establishing an identity and a history..love the metaphor of the universe how you paint it here..and i much like the biker who sold his Harley…so unexpected..so fresh..


  8. Betty, Poetry & Icecream and claudia,

    Thanks so much for reading and commenting!


  9. Beautiful imagery. Sharing this on my Crazy Chicks FB page.


    • Lafemmeroar,

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Especially thanks for sharing on Facebook. That definitely is a been a great driver of traffic for this site. When someone shared “Science Delivers” on their Facebook a while ago, there was a very nice surge in traffic. Appreciate it very much! Also feel free to click the LIKE button on Zumwalt’s Facebook page over in the lower portion of the right hand column of these pages.


  10. Your poetry is quite excellent. I enjoy reading your pieces =)


  11. Very good analogy of we humans, and the atmosphere around us. Love the comparisons, and the culmination of two becoming one most of all.

    The Harley Sell thing really took me for a ride into the not so distant past…when I stood watching my bike ride away. I don’t think the emotion I felt at the time( and still suffer from on occasion, like NOW)!!! was envy as much as self pity maybe. But, I certainly can see where the two emotions stem from the same root. Or, should I say the same universe.

    Great writing as always.
    Bless You


    • sonsothunder,

      Glad you like this Zumwalt — I can understand you not necessarily being keen on the Sassoon Collection Poems — although, in my mind, some of them are quite good — particularly when viewed in conjunction with original Sassoon poems.

      I can see that type of Harley experience being accompanied by a range of emotion depending on the circumstances — one situation may cause more anger, another grief, another self-pity and another envy — and I suppose there could be scenarios where one is relieved — though harder to imagine!

      Thanks for visting, reading and your comments!


  12. Hello and Hi Zumpoems. I really like this poem, ‘On an Afternoon’. It whispers to me of Nature and the Universe, a Matrix larger than ourselves of wonder and change. Nature is the imagination of Matter, a unique ‘Flesh’ all its own. Thank you for reading my poem, I am an Author and new member here at wordpress; however I hope to inspire Thought. I’m not sure of all the rules and functions, but I’m Learning. I have seen a follow option\icon, may I follow your website here at WordPress?


    • sburton36,

      Thanks much for visting and your comments! Like your point “Nature is the imagination of Matter” — that is very beautiful and profound! You should copyright that as quote before someone elst takes it….

      Yes — always feel free to choose follow at people’s websites! I think that is part of the culture of WordPress and no one will ever mind being followed. For my part, very glad when someone decides to follow this site. I always hope that means they enjoy these poems and get value out of them!


  13. Hello and Hi there again Zumpoems. Thank you for clearing up the ‘Follow’ function. I’m still learning all about the Internet, please forgive my not knowing. Is it true that people can\will steal quotes, phrases, and stories through the Internet; to the point of requiring copyright before Blogging\Posting? I have a book due out this month, however my ideas aren’t from the copyrighted book. Is there more than One way to copyright?


    • sburton36,

      I think there are several options for copyrighting, but I know next to nothing on this topic. Try the following search on google:
      “copyrighting blog content”

      It will give you back several links that I think will help you.


    • Search for ‘creative commons.’ Lots of online licenses to choose from.


  14. establishing first an identity
    and then a history<——-You know someone is a good poet..when you wish you had written something they wrote and now you can't. lol. Amazingly good poem. I am now going to have to come back again and again.


  15. Wonderful, Zum! 1 + 1 always (usually?) = more than 2. I love the “grandchildren … more precious than any law of physics”. However, as I told my son when he was learning to drive – you can’t change the laws of physics! Perhaps you can, but not while driving. I love the big and small of this poem.


  16. Monica,

    Thanks for visiting once again! Great line for a learning driver! Thanks much for the comments.


  17. The astral allusions are stellar. I adore the connecting of relationships and universal elements. Then, the reiteration of the initial imagery at the end closes the thought so immaculately. Wonderful work!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Really enjoyed reading this.

    Great work here.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. All I can say is…Wow! Wonderful imagery and metaphor! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  20. An inspiring poem that touches the heart in so many ways. It made me think of my very life and the days I go through. Beautiful post. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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