A poem by Jonathan Taylor

 
Exposition du Système du Monde

My daughter’s blah-blah babbles coalesce
into proto-words, “hiyas” and “mamas”
condensing from the nebular static,
planetesimals amongst the diffuse
molecular cloud

                             sucked inwards over
what must seem to her millions of years by
gravity towards a centre round which –
as if she were acting out Laplace’s
equations – particles spin towards one
another,

                an accretion leading to
planets and moons locked in a mécanique
céleste, which might seem a clockwork, rule-bound,
equilibrium,

                    till you remember
the comets, their tails like poetry.
 
(originally published in Poetry Scotland)
 
Jonathan Taylor is the author of the novel Entertaining Strangers (Salt, 2012), and the memoir Take Me Home: Parkinson’s, My Father, Myself (Granta Books, 2007). His poetry collection, Musicolepsy, will be published by Shoestring Press in early 2013. He is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at De Montfort University, and co-director of arts organisation and small publisher Crystal Clear Creators.