Fall 2015, Volume 19

Poetry by Christopher Buckley

God Particle Post Script from the Large Hadron Collider

Whereas we once believed,
                                    we now know—
                                                        at the LHC,
they have finally managed
                                   to track down the stray bits
and left-overs
                     of the photons in that head-on crash . . .
and they confirm the invisible
                                        background that effects
the way waves propagate—
                                     (the packets of light Einstein saw
flip-flopping through an amorphous veil
                                                    and generating masses,
and mass differences
                             in other elementary particles)
and thus the Higgs Boson,
                                   endowing all matter with mass. . . .

It’s just a shade
                       over the line
                                        that makes up the vacuum,
the lowest energy state
                                 where there are no particles, but where
there’s something. . . .
                               Elementary bits
                                                    (leptons and quarks)
that constitute all matter
                                  are fermions;
                                                    whereas bosons—
such as the God Particle—
                                    are force-carriers,
                                                             the “glue”
holding all the bits together—
                                        present everywhere
there’s something there.
                                  And if this sounds slightly familiar—             
              out of nothing,
                                  giving mass to matter
                                                                so that
the rest of everything
                              will not be nothing)—
                                                           no shred of evidence
has yet surfaced
                        suggesting that photons have               
                                                                 even the slightest
religious intention. . . .

                               And now a new collider team
is challenging the single God-
                                       Particle observation,
proposing that
                    the Higgs is five different particles in one—
same mass,
                different charges—
                                         a small statistical result
that nonetheless
                       amounts to more
                                              than when you crank up
all the previous whirligigs
                                  and gears,
                                                 read-outs and
unraveled representations in dust
                                             to get at the mystery
a little more,
                 prying another theoretical finger
                                                             into the dark,
into the locked
                     cabinet of the void,
                                                into the harmony,
and illusion of the universe.




Christopher Buckley's 20th poetry book is
Back Room at the Philosophers’ Club Stephen F. Austin State Univ. Press, 2014. Third nonfiction book, Holy Days of Obligation, Lynx House Press, 2014. Editor On The Poetry of Philip Levine: Stranger to Nothing. “Our Own Philip Levine” essay in memoriam in June 2015 issue of FIVE POINTS. Recipient of a Guggenheim in Poetry, two NEAs, Fulbright Award in Creative Writing, four Pushcart Prizes; 2013 winner of the Campbell Corner Poetry Contest.