The Periodic Table of Elements
Introduced to the Periodic Table of Elements I was dismayed to discover that it listed more and less than earth, wind, fire and water. One hundred and eighteen elements (and counting) arranged by atomic number in an obscure scheme of electrons and abbreviations. An exposition of all that matters about matter that left me confused and deflated unable to fathom the information held in its drab squares. Like a Soviet-era tractor a table devoid of any art no pandering to the eye no space to give pause to reflect on sodium or potassium or Byzantium no flair, no mystery, no poetry nothing, for me. The Periodic Table of Elements and I have gone our separate ways. The decree absolute of our divorce delivered with my chemistry exam results. It was never meant to be and what the table ever saw in me I’ll never know. I was never destined to add to its numbers.
Bruce Greenhalgh is a fitness instructor and writer of poetry. He attends poetry readings around Adelaide. In August 2015 he was the Adelaide City Library’s Poet in Residence, and in 2016 the winner of Friendly Street’s Nova Prize.