Paul Hartal

Richard Feynman's Woodpecker

Under a cloudy sky
A hammering woodpecker
Drilled and drummed
On a tree branch
With her chisel-like bill tip.

Then a physicist stepped out
Of his house into the haze
Billowing over the street.

He scratched his bald head
And brooded and pondered
Contemplated and thought
Of the opaque secret of light.

Well, he said, nowadays
Of course we already know
That light can be
Both a particle and a wave,
A stream of arcane photons
Or a recondite river of rays:
Electromagnetic radiation.

But I still
Do not understand it,
He muttered,
For this whole damned thing
Remains elusive and mysterious.

The problem is, he said,
That while sound waves
Propagate through the air
And surface waves in lakes
Or oceans travel in water,
Light can traverse through
Intergalactic nothing
Moving in straight lines
In the vacuum
Of empty space
Without a medium
As electromagnetic waves.

Now, how does this
Silly light do it?
How can it propagate
Without a medium?
And how does it know
Which way is straight?

And why is it a constant?
He asked, and nothing
Can travel faster
Than the speed of light,
That is to say almost
300,000 km per second.

And he suddenly
Remembered that once
Richard Feynman said:
Physicists do not
Really understand physics,
They just get used to it.

And so the physicist just kept
Wondering and scratching
His bald head
Under a cloudy sky.

A dense gray mist
Billowed then over the street
And a hammering woodpecker
Drilled and drummed
On a tree branch
With her chisel-like bill tip.

Submitted: Saturday, October 08, 2011
Edited: Saturday, October 08, 2011
Listen to this poem:


Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Richard Feynman's Woodpecker by Paul Hartal )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. If, Rudyard Kipling
  4. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  5. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  6. Tonight I can write the saddest lines, Pablo Neruda
  7. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  8. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  9. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  10. QUARTER! 2015 Australian Open: Djokovic .., Vincent Wendele

Poem of the Day

poet Oliver Wendell Holmes

WHAT flower is this that greets the morn,
Its hues from Heaven so freshly born?
With burning star and flaming band
It kindles all the sunset land:
...... Read complete »


Member Poem

New Poems

  1. i'm on duty!, Alvin Word Speaker Tatlhego
  2. Battle Of Hard Knocks, Lyn Paul
  3. Expectancy ..(A Senryu w/ Haiku Syllabic.., Frank James Ryan Jr...FjR
  4. Esprit de corps, Naveed Khalid
  5. Almost A Decade, Rimni chakravarty
  6. A Visit To Your Home Amongst A Field of .., Frank James Ryan Jr...FjR
  7. The Cavern by the Sea, Martha Lavinia Hoffman
  8. Of The Second Presage..., Frank James Ryan Jr...FjR
  9. A Smile!, Avinash Nair
  10. mGIC TREE, oskar hansen
[Hata Bildir]