George Young

Science and Poetry


They say
a rainbow is only bright
sunlight splintered by water droplets into the visible
spectrum of colors. It’s really not there.
But we also have Elizabeth Bishop’s
rainbow bird from the narrow bevel of the empty mirror
waiting to fly. Both, equally exquisite—
a prismatic light,
a lovely bird to the human eye.


a lesson in entropy:
catch a falling snowflake on your tongue,
bringing chaos
to all those water molecules
that had become (but alas, gone too soon) a perfectly
designed, hexagonal crystal—
in all the universe.


One of
the most famous photographs
ever taken by the Hubble is of three monstrous
glowing-red pillars in The Eagle Nebula
where new stars are being born.
Each atom in your body was made in such stars—
then flung out by super novas into space.
Go outside tonight, look up, feel those stars
glittering in your bones.


George Young is an internal medicine physician living in Boulder, Colorado, who has published two full-length collections of poetry: Spinoza’s Mouse, Washington Prize given by Word Works, and The Astronomer’s Pearl, Violet Reed Haas Prize given by Snake Nation Press. Retired now, he enjoys traveling (to add to his life-list of birds), working crossword puzzles and reading philosophy and great poetry.