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Sodium thiosulphate simmers
In a clear blue stream of bunsen flame
That whispers round the test tube glass
Like a hush or a wish.
Sodium thiosulphate cools
In a plastic dish which its heat
Will disorder as its molecules array.
A seed crystal falls;
The dish buckles.
The microscope focuses now.

Beneath these binocular lenses,
With white extending arms encompassing space,
With the certainty of this morning's dawn,
A matrix grows -

To see a crystal grow is like
Seeing a star as a sun
For the very first time or like
Finding a painting as truth -
It is like your very first wipeout
In jumbles of sea
With the sun
At the surface.

Copyright © 1978, 2003 Hugh Cook

Picture of front cover of ARC OF LIGHT poetry collection by Hugh Cook.

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