Friday, 9 March 2018


Another offering from the Darn-Poor Rhymer. Hat tips to Aristophanes for his comedy “The Frogs,” and to Murray Gell-Mann who found the word “quark” in James Joyce’s “Finnegan’s Wake.”

For we’re elementary Quarks,
We sing in croaks, chirrups and barks;
We first found our voice
In the works of James Joyce,
And we follow the doctrines of Marx.

You’ll never find one of us free;
We’ve only one pronoun, that’s “we.”
Throughout the infinity
We’re found as a trinity;
We’re three in one, and one in three.

We’ve one-third or two-thirds the charge
Of electrons or protons at large;
And our antiquarks fine,
Though of negative sign,
Can reside with us in our ménages.

We come in six different flavours,
And these are the names Gell-Mann gave us:
Down and up, charmed and strange,
Top and bottom. Our range
Is like minims, to crochets, to quavers.

Our colours are red, green and blue;
But we don’t show our colours to you.
We always self-tether
In groups that together
Are colourless. Flavourless, too!

We’re like Aristophanes’ Frogs,
Who inhabit the marshes and bogs.
“Brekekex” is our cry;
We go forth, multiply,
Then we’re everywhere. Even on blogs.

A jocular lot, are we Quarks.
And one of our favourite larks
Is in chorus to shriek
As we holler, in Greek,
“Brekekex! Brekekex! Quarks! Quarks! Quarks!”

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