An ordered perspective
on a chaotic system,
words and sentences,
numbers and tables,
from raw
haphazard nature.

Patterns settle out
a desk, pen and paper,
and edit
making sense
at least superficial.

A changed perspective
on an ingenious system,
charts and graphics,
colors and references,
emerge to
curious humanity.

© Samuel Birrer and Serendipity, 2017.

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Phase Transition

Glass transition,
Sintering and liquefaction,
Substance changes
In extremis,
All predictions are but guesses.
These reveal what alteration
<> <> <>
Has taken place,
What new-formed face
Appears upon each change of phase.

© Samuel Birrer and Serendipity, 2017.

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A potential randomness (seeming…) gives way to order.

Points, angles, planes arranged in three dimensions
Like a freeze-frame of carefully-choreographed dance
I’d say “ideal” if that were true in fact –
Rather often bits and breaks occur (blemishes, some say)
But “defects” do not damage the design:
Each merely adds its own imprint
Presenting no broken building but
An architecture even more ornate,
With grandeur greater than what grew before.

Meddling, muddling minds
Struggle to see some sense in structures
Alighting on little lies to lead them along
From ignorance to appreciation
From misunderstanding to model
To hierarchies of half-truths.

A potential randomness gives way to order (meaning..?)



© Samuel Birrer and Serendipity, 2017.

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beginning buried in blackness,
bit by bit, bright beams breach the barrier,
thoughtfully shining thread-like through the silence.
inside, in the center, something stirs.

a love lay listlessly in languishing twilight,
till finally, freed by phantom faerie force,
a soul sparks and sputters, struggling to survive,
a life lifted, laved in glowing lamplight
from a far, fair, friendship felt afresh.

a will with wonder wakens,
where will it wend, by what winding ways?
resolved and restless, reaching,
fearful, fumbling fingers find the fleeting fault
carrying caution, catching the crevice.

seldom-flexéd sinews start to stretch,
wresting walls away to reach the well whence
the daring daylight dripped into the dark.

scraping, straining, strewing stones aside,
a creature climbs from a cloistered cavern,
singular sight, shimmering in the sun,
brought into being, blessed, beatified
by the being who believed and, breaking bonds,
let light and love unleash a lonely life.

a beginning behind,
adventure ahead,
the arisen rests,
and softly sleeps.

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The Crying Echoes

break great ragged holes
in the foggy dew,
prayers and protests rise from precious snow,
the blood of men
mingling with the blood of the land,
echoes in their descendants
lament lost cities –
cry, the beloved country,
for what might have been
cannot now be
instead, this.


Acknowledgement:  The phrase ‘cry, the beloved country’ is taken with gratitude from the 1948 novel of the same title by Alan Paton.  It is a favorite book of mine.

I would also like to include a link to the song referenced in line three.  The song and its historical context are the primary inspiration for this poem.

© Samuel Birrer and Serendipity, 2017.

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What is most beautiful
Is what you cannot quite make out

The purest of harmonies
Lives just on the fringe of silence

What joy can be found
With sorrow close by its side
These two hold hands

The answer is often found
Before the question is asked
We ask it anyway

What do such things mean?
Is this what it is
To have a human heart?


© Samuel Birrer and Serendipity, 2017.

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As Through Fire

destroying flames
in a reddish sky
warnings of a failing future
throes of a dying past

purging flames
in the corridors of the mind
letting old thoughts
reduce to welcome nothingness

leaping flames
consuming the heart
eating away but
reaching to touch the stars

licking flames
threatening safety
mesmerizing the gaze
like a game

searing flames
burning away
long-held personhood
giving way to a soul

dancing flames
forging something new
maybe good
from misshapen wreckage of the old

© Samuel Birrer and Serendipity, 2017.

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A hundred raindrops
falling on the just and the unjust

A hundred fingers
tapping thoughtfully at window panes

A hundred miles
walked to a holy place

A hundred voices
speaking softly from the heart

A hundred kisses
blossoming briefly, never forgotten

A hundred words
conversing quietly to save a life

A hundred strokes
painted lovingly on expectant canvas

A hundred moments
passing as awareness finds them

A hundred thoughts
forming, falling, finally disappearing

A hundred notes
played in patterns soft, sweet and sad

A hundred souls
side by side, touching, joining and parting

A hundred somethings more
awaited by tomorrow


© Samuel Birrer and Serendipity, 2017.

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Thoughts on a Blackboard

faded memories
particles clinging for a time
forming meaning
in words and shapes
bullet points or diagrams

a beautiful mess
barely readable – yet
worth the understanding

a landscape left
or a portrait
fit for the Louvre or the Met
lingering till next class
gentle outlines remaining
for whoever sees

rude comments forgotten
replaced with encouragement
in exclamation marks
and simple smiling faces

treasures left
by pseudonyms
and the odd proud author

quotations coming
from the venerable pens
of Einstein, Napoléon, Shakespeare
attributed and misattributed
by some modern wit

in quarter-hour blocks
marked off by tired-eyed proctors
for students just as dazed

a few hours break
professor J. using the projector
and “MATH 110 WILL MEET IN 315”

brilliant dusty hands transcribe
fallacies unnoticed
and truths unrecognized

thoughts scribbled by many hands
and erased
despite the desperate DNE
scrawled in a corner

and all this
just scattered memories
retained in fractions by
an unspecial handful of humans

© Samuel Birrer and Serendipity, 2017.

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Die Geheimnisse der Zukunft

Werd’ ich rein wie Edelstein,
Einmal in der Zukunft sein?

Oder frei wie Falken fliegen,
Über dunkle Wolken siegen?

Wozu werd’ ich endlich werden,
Wie lang stehe ich noch auf Erden?

Werd’ ich meine Teufel umbringen,
Bevor sie selbst auf mich eindringen?

Im Spiegel scheint die Augen aschig,
Und die Haut ist blass und graulich.

Wie weiß man ob ‘ne Seele sitzt,
Versteckt im Herz, aus Elfenbein geschnitzt..?



The Secrets of the Future (personal translation)

Will I be pure as a gemstone,
Some time in the future?

Or fly, free like the falcons,
Win victory over dark clouds?

What will I finally become,
How long will I stand on this Earth?

Will I slay my demons,
Before they close in around me?

In the mirror, my face looks ashen,
And my skin is pale and greyish.

How do you know if a soul sits,
Hidden in the heart, carven of ivory..?


© Samuel Birrer and Serendipity, 2017.

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