A Certain Thought


Former scientist turned actor, poet and playwright, Vivienne Glance is currently undertaking a PhD in Creative Writing, researching science in performance, and writing a play on the promise of immortality through biomedicine. 

Vivienne Glance

He published at fifty,
decades and oceans after
that youthful scramble over rocks,
with his careful store of
              cold feathered bodies in annotated boxes
              pressed petals and seed pods stacked between leaves.
After swaying nights in that ship’s cabin
tossed by torrential thoughts,
his scratching pen shaped on the page
that first thought.
Firmly back on land,
mild Kent evenings of yellow light
              and family times
did not stop his mind
swaying like his sea legs.
He ambled along metaphysical paths
              laid down highways of concrete thought
              reasoned their cause
changed forever our answer.

Before the hand of God was swept away
              no one questioned His plan
              but embraced the serenity of certainty;
now contained in reason’s coils
              the small part he grasped
              the sample he chose
              from the vastness of everything
cannot be freed again.
He conjured a theory that still cracks tarmac as sure as summer heat and buried like an IED in a curve of the road puts speeding fundamental wheels into a spin draws into the open the ringing notes of AK47 repetition cuts down the ranks of
‘Think as I think or else…’

Still, his thought is with us:
              our solace.
We believe with the same fundamental fervour
of those he defeated, in the survival
of the fittest thought.
But this solid reason of flesh and bones
              (after all, genetics is assured)
is sea mist cut by the Beagle’s bow
              feathers swept up to invisibility on a thermal.
              dusty imprints of ancient leaves,
it shimmers when I ask why I
              love sunlight on a speck, floating in this room,
              crave grass-shadows in a Spring breeze,
              seek certainty in chaotic words?