No Straight Lines in Nature

Spherical earth rotating

sun circulating.

Rotund moon held tightly

in ring-shaped trajectory.

Electron spin

atomic, molecular orbitals.

Sound waving gently through the air

light bending with the squeeze of gravity.

Dingy shaped red blood cells floating

in plasma streams and rivers.

Heart, hugs, thought bubbles

soft curve of lips and skin.

Lost girl stumbling in the dark

finds herself back where she started.

No straight lines in nature.

If you think you see one,

crystals spring to mind,

take a look closer

and you’ll find it’s gone.

Mandelbrot’s theory of fractals

Look intimately at a spider web

to see a straight thread

between two points

that’s not straight.

Human-made straightness

illusory of course

requires extra energy

nature

the greatest conservationist.

If there are no straight lines in nature

is time straight?

Madeleine L’Engle

crinkled in time.

crumples, crinkles, dips

waves, ripples, loops

stringy twirls

oscillating tendrils

a wheel in time.

breath ceases

the first cry of a baby

life circulating

non-linear time?

Who knows!

21 thoughts on “No Straight Lines in Nature

  1. What a cool poem with its tender tendrils, curls of language, thankyou. Sound waving, thought bubbles, crumples crinkles dips, all wonderful.

    “A theme often implied and occasionally explicit in L’Engle’s works is that religion, science and magic are simply different aspects of a single seamless reality.” Wikipedia.

    It is always a pleasant surprise to find that we are not the only ones in the universe to think about these type of things.

  2. You’re welcome. I didn’t know that about L’Engles works but it sounds like a fabulous theme. I’ve only read ‘A crinkle in time’ and that was at school. Science fiction, like Dr Who and other time travelling stories, often visit this idea. But it doesn’t often come up in day to day conversation – and when I mention it I usually get a blank stare and the thought bubble ‘Gabe is off again with the fairies’.

  3. I was researching the Dervishes in Turkey recently for something and was interested to read that they believe that in dancing they are mirroring the revolving of everything, that we all revolve, sun, planets, stars, atoms, the universe…

  4. no straight lines, it is so true. No straight lines on a sphere and straight roads are curved.
    With all these conversations, I am starting a list of what to read, today “a wrinkle in time” by Madeleine l’Engle”, the other Day from Aletha I got “Pilgrim at Tinker creek” by Annie Dillard. Now I need time, parallel or not to actually read.

        1. It was fun writing this one – not as depressing as my usual stuff, so I must be lighting up in my later years. I wrote it quickly (as you can see if you read the comments – I wrote crinkle instead of wrinkle in time). I usually sit on poems for a while but not this one.

    1. No, the internet is not natural but definitely a lot of fun and it got you straight here, so that’s good. The question ‘is there straight lines in nature’ is a bit like ‘how long is a piece of string’.

  5. Your poem is so beautiful that it gave me the shivers. And yes, isn’t it a delight to know there are others who think about these things.

    I like “crinkle in time”, too! 🙂 And I adore Madeleine L’Engle’s work, especially A Wrinkle In Time. I highly recommend that you read it — you’d love it, and I recommend you share it with your sweet kiddos. I read it for the first time when I was a kiddo, and it absolutely blew me away on a fantastic whirl of imagination.

    1. Thanks TL, this poem just seemed to come out of nowhere (which happens sometimes). Maybe because I’ve been thinking about time for decades – ha! I have read ‘A wrinkle in time’, many years ago and I loved it, and I will let the kids in on it too! I just hadn’t read the explanations for her work – about magic, religion and science being as one, as Paul noted. I haven’t read any other of her stuff – any recommendations?

  6. I amazes me is that the people who think about these things, in this wide world, recipients of the blank-stare-off-again looks, manage to find each other! Another circularity? Or form of gravity?

  7. Radii

    It’s always a piece of a circle
    That makes it beautiful
    Silky contrast to a rigid simple connection of two dots
    Curving towards and into while dipping down
    Moving closer and further away on at least 2 planes
    At the same
    It’s always a piece of a circle
    That makes it beautiful
    .
    .
    .
    Well, really I guess it is usually several pieces of several circles and of course there are spiral curves but I dont like to mention them because I have flashbacks of my time surveying for the government.

    I like the lines about the thought bubbles and the lost girl the best but it is all wonderful.

    thanks for this

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