Friday, December 30, 2016

Rubin's Rubric: Dark Matters - poem in honor of scientist Vera Rubin

"Science is competitive, aggressive, demanding.
It is also imaginative, inspiring, uplifting." - Vera Rubin

I felt compelled to write this poem after hearing about the death of Vera Rubin.

A legendary astronomer, she discovered dark matter. Nominated but never awarded a Nobel prize, she received numerous other awards for her life's work.

From her we learn, "Dark matters".

Rubin's Rubric: Dark Matters

Vera watched a life's worth of decades.
Stars swirl by her window sill.
Year after year, galaxies whirl and rotate
Until she stands next to Ford at Mellon,
Wondering why planets don't loosen and ovate.
Instead, they watch Andromeda strain against itself
Then she remembers: Coma's gravity was so great
It clustered. Fritz Zwicky confirms as much himself.

Strong enough, yet unseen, almost forgotten.
It lassoes the stars, reigns over them,
Corralling the light into submission.
Unexpected, like a cosmic Black Bart:
Fourth walls broken into seeming mayhem
A force so dark, moving into a Wilder direction.

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