Oh science. My darling.
I don’t remember when we met
But you’re with me now.
Making sense of time and space
The human race
The turning Earth
The rocks and trees and shifting seas.
The beasts with fur and scales and wings
The minuscule things
Planets and moons and the stars that go with ‘em
My four-chambered heart and its galloping rhythm.
Life, the universe and everything.
No matter what I want or mean,
Or think I might have seen,
Without you it’s all just faith and guesses
And shrug-shouldered reckons.
With you the present progresses
And the future beckons.
By knowing only what can be seen, heard, felt and measured
My senses are pleasured.
You melt my will as though with drinks
You don’t care what the public thinks
You drew me in with your premises.
Of rocket boots and flying cars
A holiday resort on Mars
Robocops and time machines
And designer genes.
And now, like Skinner’s pigeons, I can’t get enough.
You set me abuzz like a Faraday cage.
You fill me with life like a Cambrian age.
This love is no miracle, it’s strictly empirical
Bypassing my heart and my soul for my mind,
It’s hot and cold and cruel and kind
We haven’t had a perfect run:
The Piltdown Man was embarrassing
And that Manhattan Project thing.
Thalidomide was not much fun.
But you never meant to hurt anyone.
Oh science, I’m not like those others
Who love you just for a little while
And wear you like a shawl
Of substance . They might be tender
for a minute
but their heart’s not in it.
They take what they want then run a mile
When you don’t fit their agenda
Like some factoid-fetching booty-call.
You know the ones.
They love you when you make iPads work and aeroplanes fly
And babies live and mosquitoes die.
But when you tell them fossil fuels
Can mess with how the planet cools
And you want to build a wind farm in their town
Or bring the population down
Or modify the food they eat
They’re not so sweet.
They don’t know
That you’re the reason they don’t have polio.
You’re what fizzes their beers,
Changes their gears
And makes their toilets flow.
But me? I’m sticking around
‘Cause you’re the best way humankind has found
To know the truth.
You strip away the layers of doubt
Until all that’s left hanging out
Is what’s what.
And that’s hot.