The Higgs Boson


“Expanding, contracting, killing, giving life – such is its subtle function.”

[Zen Master Yuanwu, author of The Blue Cliff Record]

At the Large Hadron Collider they accelerate particles round and round a seventeen kilometre tunnel to meet each other coming the other way in a kiss throwing out a starburst of fizzing debris. They want to find out what is hidden inside. There must be something else. They think it will be the Higgs boson. This, dear one, is our Anniversary Metaphor.

The Higgs boson has revealed itself to the Collider’s detectors, but in a teasing flash of thigh.  The Higgs is laughing at them, balanced between Supersymmetry theory and Multiverse theory, where it should not be, where it confirms neither theory, and where it should be unstable. Could the whole subatomic realm collapse?

O the sun burns!

This mountain was syrup

flowing under my feet

Imagined numbers explain the laws of nature to us, but we don’t know if we discovered mathematics or made it up, whether it is out there or in here.

Always roaring

the echo in me

of the wind between the stars

The Higgs refuses to reveal whether the universe was born, or born again and again, or inflated as a bubble in a multiverse of infinite bubbles.

Beginningless kalpas of time perhaps

to the Big Bang

of this ripe nectarine

Gravity is weaker than the delicate tension in finger and thumb pulling skin off a ripe peach. Like Higgs, it is not the power it ought to be, and won’t fit into the theory. Perhaps it is not even a force, just dimples in space. And perhaps the exploding universe is really sitting still. While space inflates. Maths gives us the speed and strength and size, but of what?

Fractals in sand

the ebbing tide

knows how

At the Hadron Collider nature is being mysterious. You have got the best answer.

For the unloved

an immense night sky

creamy with stars

The stars are mother and father to us.

Farmyard flints

through the soles of my shoes

the Milky Way

Outer and inner cannot be distinguished.


She licks her kittens

and her fur

as if it were all the same

We may be particles, we may meet, but there’s something else hidden in or around us which may or may not be dark energy or something Higgs-like.

The feeling’s my hand,

your skin, our bothness


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