At school I understood none of the nucleus,
And little of the nature of Elementary Science;
Each new week the Monday Timetable,
Reserved triple periods of soul-less ‘Science.’

In the ambience of beakers, bell jars and bunsen-burners
With sulphuric, nitric, and hydrochloric acids;
Ingredients like potassium chlorate and magnesium dioxide,
I learned the properties of chemicals;
Distinctions as between heat, Latent and Specific;
And how the relationship between air and weight and pressure,
Were endorsed by the Laws of Boyle and Charles.

But, the ‘ratio decidendi’ eluded me,
Until, like the poet Keats, on looking into ‘Chapman’s Homer’,
I found a specific text, entitled …’The Practical Science of Homebrew’
So, observing the rules of fermentation and atmospheric pressure,
With the addition of unwanted fruits, yeast and sugar
In a demijohn I conducted my first successful experiment;
With the air-trap chortling like an hour-glass clock;
And particles in parabolic formation, like a micro-cosmic galaxy,
In due time the effervescence declined;
The liquor slowly cleared of sediment,
And I conducted the final rite of Decantation. …’in vino Veritas’

© Noel Mulqueen 2012.

Micro-physics” appeared in the 13 January 2012 edition of the Clare Champion.

No photograph of Noel Mulqueen available