She whispers my name... Only I can hear

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The secret purpose

The Sun
Energy supply for almost all life on earth

We all draw our energy from the Sun
Through the grace
Of the living green plants

They use photosynthesis
To turn sunlight, Carbon and Water
Into complex molecules
Which we like to call

And Oxygen also
To power our world
And the cells within us
With Fire

Sunlight drives the weather
Feeds the oceans
And the forests
Keeps us warm
Illuminates our world
With color
And lifts our spirits
By defining the darkness
And holding it
At bay

Now the Earth has a secret energy of her own
Deep inside
She holds the fire
Of her turbulent beginnings
But it is the heat
From decaying isotopes
That keeps her molten

Greedy atoms
Desperately holding
An extra neutron
Or two…

Failing in this
They break
Releasing the energy
Of an ancient star
To the secret fire
Within the Earth

This Nuclear energy is the Earth’s own life-force
The continents
The atmosphere
And, to a large degree
The oceans

Nuclear energy provided the stage…
Solar energy transformed the Earth
Into an environment where life can thrive and grow

Evolution does the rest
Giving life the opportunity for unending variety and limitless potential

All of this created
From an immense cloud of hydrogen
Leftover from the big bang
And mixed with debris

From our sun’s ancestors

Huge stars
Gone supernova
Long ago

Leaving behind
A mix
Of all the other atoms beyond hydrogen

There are no new atoms here

They have all come from the big bang
Or are leftovers from stars long gone

For every star harbors a secret within
The light they provide
And their generous warmth
Are just byproducts

Every star is in fact a factory

Where deep within
Hydrogen atoms are fused into helium atoms
By the stars immense gravity and heat

Helium is then fused into Carbon
Then Oxygen
And so on

The bigger the star
The more kinds of atoms it can make
And the bigger stars will return these atoms
Back to the universe
To be used again

Every atom on earth

Indeed in the whole solar system
That is not a hydrogen atom
Was made deep within the heart
Of an aging giant star long ago

The biggest stars explode when they get old
In an astounding event called a supernova

The exploding star ejects the atoms
That it has been secretly making
For billions of years
Back into the primordial cloud of hydrogen from which it came

Thus changing the mix
From which new stars will arise

Indeed all of the atoms from cobalt to uranium
Are created in the instant
Of the supernova itself
And thus are much less abundant
Than the atoms from helium through Iron

The idea of recycling is not a new one to the universe

It is the fundamental process that has given to us this planet
Which we inhabit

Why therefore cannot mankind learn the benefits of this simple yet profound concept?

Truly we are stardust
The Sun
The Earth
The Air
The Water
And every living thing

Every atom that makes up you
Was made in the fire
Of a burning stellar factory
Long ago

As the maker of light
And food

The Sun provides for us every day

Yet it does so only as a byproduct
As it tirelessly goes about
Its furtive business
Fusing hydrogen
Into helium
For its own secret purposes

Long after mankind has come and gone
The sun will reveal its secrets to the universe

In a mighty explosion
The products of its long labor
Will be returned to the cloud of hydrogen
That gave birth to her

The atoms, which the sun builds today
While providing us with light
Energy and food
Will be added to the mix


Honour said...

"leftovers from stars long gone" ... i like to think, as you say, "truly we are stardust" ... it puts things into perspective, brings us all from the same place - to the same place. so, is that our secret purpose then ... to just be part of it all?

Bobbb - Citizen of Earth said...

Just be a part of it all

I like that

And it doesn't have to be a secret
For us

Though the Sun may not care
What we do

The fire within her
And the fire within us
Are akin

And just as we have ancestors
And will have descendants

So do the stars

The Photo in the text
Is of a part of the Eagle Nebulae
Known as “The Pillars”

The tiny projections you see near the tops of them
Are Stars
Being born
And emerging from the cloud
Flung by their own gravity

Most have not become hot enough
To fuse hydrogen to helium quite yet
But at the crowns of the pillars
You can see the bright yellow light
Where hundreds of infant stars
Have just begun to shine
For the first time

A stellar nursery
Very much like the one
That gave birth to our own solar system

human being said...

A wonderful work!
You are a great teacher, Bobbb.

I started with lots of questions when I was a kid... one of my questions that made my teacher very angry was:
You say there was nothing at the beginning... then... in what place or thing was all the universe created? What was that nothingness and how from nothingness does something come to being...?

Years later I came to know not to question some of the things, as e.e. cummings suggests...or to find the answers by myself...

But now i think if teachers were like you, and kids asked more and more questions... things would be a bit different...
And sometimes a bit holds a lot...

Kuan Gung said...

Great stuff!

Anonymous said...

Amazing ... I loved your creation of tea ..Thank you ...

You are really into the earth ..I love how you mixed the science with poetry

Hopper said...

In some ways these stars are like flowers... waiting to be polinated by some bee... and we... we are the negotiation between those two points of life for a star... we are a byproduct... and so goes this telescopic view of the world... all things a part of another... the only question is scale and how each part appreciates time...


Bobbb - Citizen of Earth said...

Yes HB
Sometimes a bit holds a lot
And that is enough
To keep me going

There is much more to the story of course
But I keep it simple
Basic thoughts
In basic terms

The rest is out there
For those whom kindle
To the flame and want more

Thank You

Kuan gung
Thanks for the praise
I will visit you

I connected to your post right off
So I left words
I am glad you liked them

Being a man of science
I never thought of myself as a poet
But at some point
Science became as poetry to me

And so I do my best
To share that concept

The “Big Picture”
Is certainly
A beautiful one
Put in the right words
It is easy to understand
As I stand in awe of it all
I invite all to join me
In that understanding

The scale may be infinite
As time itself
Is a part of it all too

Who is to say
If the byproducts
Were not the intention?

human being said...

yes the rest...
and it is always there...

thanks you, Bobbb

Crafty Green Poet said...

star factories and cosmic recycling, nice post. Thanks for the poem that you left in the comments on my blog...

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