Posts Tagged ‘chaos theory’


I want to toss golden leaves
at your feet, golden leaves
on your shoulders, golden leaves
in your opening hands. Gold in the wheat,
gold in the field, I want to spill
the rich amber into your thoughts. And this scent
of the world as it changes, this deep
sweet dusk of earth perfume,
I want to swirl it in eddies around you,
everywhere you walk. The luminous
red hue of the berry bush outside my window,
the bush I always notice but cannot name,
I want to give you the morning light
that gathers in its branches and makes
scarlet worship along the edges of the leaves.
The edges, love, that’s where
the meaning gathers. Like the Mandelbrot set or
the Koch Curve, what appears
to be a limited space or line contains
an infinite pattern that unfolds and unfolds
and unfolds. A never-ending story in finite time,
a boundary we can walk forever.
Perhaps love is like the edge of a leaf,
a fractal, beautiful in its immeasurable
breaking and endless remaking, beauty
far beyond what we see. But I digress.
I was giving you gold, remember,
and the loamy bouquet of change, and
and the ecstasy of sun in autumn,
and here, while we’re at it, the sky.

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Predictability: Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?
—Edward Lorenz, title of a paper presented at the 139th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (29 Dec 1979), in Essence of Chaos (1995)

Let’s say the rainbow
lands in a field. The woman
watching it knows her treasure
is elsewhere. Still, she takes it
as a sign. Sure, there are other signs.
The beetle in the screen door. Two
white feathers. A cloud in the shape
of a shoe. Everything means
what she wants it to. She remembers
the words of Edward Lorenz: how the present
determines the future, but
the approximate present does not
approximately determine the future.
In the field, there are no butterflies
present, at least none that she can see.
Sensitivity to initial conditions,
she whispers under her breath,
wondering if just that tiny puff
of memory is enough to create
the next storm. There are rainbows
everywhere, she says to herself.
Where will the next one land?

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If a butterfly flutter in Brazil
can cause a Texas tornado
no wonder
I felt on the wind today
your hands

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