by John C. Mannone
I see glorious light—a gamma ray annihilating in the presence of a heavy nucleus to take care of that extra angular momentum—turn into a couple of rest mass electrons: pair production. And even as it flashes from the east all the way to the west, my burdens are lightened, it’s easy in Father’s house where there are many places of rest—mansions. I’m flying to the gold and sapphire blue throne with the photons where all time stops. I rest from inexorably unaccelerated inertial processions all the way from the cradle to my grave. And I rise, lift my voice with the singing stars. My tired heart rests, it is no longer troubled.
John C. Mannone has poems in North Dakota Quarterly, Poetry South, Windhover, Braided Way, Spirit Fire Review, Credo Espoir, Heart of Flesh Literary Journal, and Scriblerus Arts Journal. He won the Impressions of Appalachia Creative Arts Contest in poetry (2020) and the Carol Oen Memorial Fiction Prize (2020). He was awarded a Jean Ritchie Fellowship (2017) in Appalachian literature and served as celebrity judge for the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (2018). He has three poetry chapbooks, and four full-length collections: Disabled Monsters (Linnet’s Wings Press, 2015), Flux Lines: The Intersection of Science, Love, and Poetry (Linnet’s Wings Press, 2022), Sacred Flute Iris Press, 2022), and Song of the Mountains (Middle Creek Publishing, forthcoming 2023). He’s been nominated for Pushcart, Rhysling, and Best of the Net awards. He edits poetry for Abyss & Apex, Silver Blade, Liquid Imagination, and American Diversity Report. A retired professor of physics, he lives in Knoxville, Tennessee.