You there, yes, you,
checking out your hairdo
with your books begging to the opened
or your totes from Thomas’
cutting across this triskeled campus,
teacher or seeker or refugee looking for a rest
along the rocky road of resistance,
stand still for a moment and see beyond yourself,
your day, your demands, beyond all these fleeting reflections,
stand here, in the stillness of our spinning space
and see Einstein’s apple orbiting all that has now become known as Nobel,
in the almost saturated silence listen out to the whispers
that first became wit and then became wonder,
that gave Walton reasons to ponder.
See multiples of yourselves
in these spheres as singular blocks
building on our ability to be better beings,
to give more meaning to all this matter, here,
in these courtyards of conversations
housing halls now held in high esteem.
Can you see, within these curves of light leaning,
along these lines of longitude cutting through latitudes,
the circles through which we navigate,
the atoms, the Adams, the objects,
the Eves, the masses pushing outwards,
the energy pressing inwards, the people passing on.
Stop, for a moment and release all that you were
and make a place for all that you will become.

The atoms came first and then we bit into the apple.
I wonder if it made us any brighter, lighter?
When you look into these globes, do you see a reflection
of all our energy or is it a projection of what is still to come?

All words by Damien B. Donnelly

Photograph taken from the internet of Apples and Atoms, a sculpture by Eilís O’Connell at Trinity College, Dublincommemorating Ernest T S Walton (1903-95), physicist and Nobel laureate and the first person in history to artificially split the atom.


8 thoughts on “ATOMS

  1. I’m sure much of this is way over my head but I enjoyed the energy of the poem and the pausing to take stock. I also liked the assertive call-out at the beginning! Thanks Dami, I enjoyed it!

    • Thank you Liz, I think I thought the idea of writing about this sculpture was also over my head too! Glad you
      Liked my call out for attention at the beginning. Thomas’ refers to our posh Brown Thomas department store just across from trinity college where everything comes wrapped in a perfectly decorated and expensive tote bag. Best wishes to you and Nigel

  2. This is surely one of my favorites. How long does a poem like this take you to write? The alliteration, the dual meaning, the play on words…it’s magical and simply brilliant. You sir, are a star.

    • Oh my Lordy! I am now floating after reading this message Alison. Thank you so much. This was one that I thought you get overlooked but it’s always the ones you never consider. I think there was a competition in Ireland to write something about this sculpture but I missed the deadline along the way. This was a metro thought out poem, so 15 minutes in the morning for a few days and it unfolded but again, I really wasn’t sure it was any good. I am so happy you like this one. I should read it again myself. Hope you are keeping well, dami xx

  3. I love your words and all that lies within.

    Googling had to be done re ‘triskeled ‘ and now I understand, or think I do.

    Not that many years ago, I signed up to an email pen friend site as I love interacting with others, widening my horizons. As I am female (and never check my hairdo – who gives a damn – I don’t) my chosen new friends were male. How vacuous is life out there – a lot – for males preen too, all in an effort to impress. I will never forget one prat, whose opening lines were of: I weary of quotidian…

    We are all false, including me, hoping to impress, and in doing so, do not realise we leave ourselves wide open…

    Anna :o]

  4. I like poems about science, but I didn’t know anything about this sculpture, so I’m glad you added the note. 🙂 I particularly like the last stanza.

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