Stephen Hawking, tectonic plates, and going with the Buttercup.

On a brilliant summer afternoon I am reading Stephen Hawking. OK, perusing. Who ever reads Hawking except Hawking? And I am wondering what part of my brain is missing as I work my way through it. His observations are uncanny, wondrous. To wit, here’s classic Hawking:

“If the rate of expansion one second after the “big bang” had been smaller by even one part in a hundred million million, the universe would have re-collapsed.”

On that comforting note… And what to do with it?

Well, one thing I did was write this poem, “Why Worry.” Actually, I do find these lofty pronouncements comforting in an odd way.  I don’t know what it is about looking at the bigger picture for me. I do it a lot, as witnessed below. Instead of troubling me it gives me solace. Perhaps because it reminds me how miraculous it is that time and tide conjoined to bring me here at all. To bring each of us here.

And it reminds me how unimportant it is whether I go with the Highland Cream or the Buttercup paint, although I am leaning toward Buttercup.

Here, then, I ask: “Why Worry?”

We sit on vast tectonic plates equivalent in thickness

to the skin of an



a vast pool of molten rock, magma

so hot it burns

clear through the Earth’s crust up to the surface. Volcanoes erupt.

Did you hear me? The skin of an apple

determines our fate. We are powerless.

We tread on the

filament of a spider’s web.

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Writer and Poet

Tricia McCallum profile

Tricia McCallum

Always be a poet. Even in prose.
Charles Baudelaire.

In essence I am a storyteller who writes poems. Put simply, I write the poems I want to read.[…]

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