Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The science of the pool table

National Science Week was back in August. As part of this, submissions had been called for a poetry anthology with the theme of science. The organisers showed distinct taste and wisdom in ignoring all three of my submitted poems as they were utter rubbish. However I found myself doing part of the hosting duties for a function in Canberra as part of the national launch of the resulting three chapbooks. I also found myself down as one of the readers as part of the 'entertainment' for the evening.

Needing something appropriate for the theme and in an attempt to be 'entertaining', I penned the following in a few minutes the day before. It seemed to go over fairly well.

The Science of the Pool Table

The bar, it had fallen silent
Wagers, there were a stack
Only two balls upon the table
The white cue ball and the black

I picked up my pool cue
As the butt drooped from my lip
And while I stared down at the felt
I asked 'anyone got a tip?'

Izzy Newton on his bar stool
Rubbed his head the apple had swollen
Downed the last of his schooner
And said 'Remember my laws of motion.

For every action that occurs
There is an equal reaction
So to drop the black into the pocket
The right force will make it happen.'

Pythagoras, he wasn't having that:
'He has to know how far to hit 'em
And for him to work that out
He needs my bloody theorem.'

So I calculated all the angles
And gave the ball a weighted smack
But instead of winning the game
I fouled the white in off the black.

My opponent Einstein he took my money
and declared in tone so negative
'Don't worry about losing again my friend,
Cos everything is relative.'