Google Honors Hertha Marks Ayrton



At fifteen, I found the portal to another world,
standing in the dark, watching strobe-lit standing waves
magically hold their place in a Plexiglas tank
of water in Mr. Wylie’s physics class.
Let loose by a light switch, they marched in rows,
and then were reflected, refracted, split.
This was not a woman’s world
in those days; my girlish delight, a curiosity.
Long fascinated by clouds, stars, lava, oceans,
I found the patterns of flow and wave formation
mesmerizing. That demonstration was the beginning
of my lifelong calculation that exquisite secret codes
are hidden within science in a language
that explains all we experience as natural beauty,
that the foundational knowledge of water and air,
flow and fluids, waves and particles
had for centuries been hidden from girls
by men who deemed facts were masculine.
That wave tank gave me a glimpse
of the divine artist’s universal patterns;
it was an anointing that propelled me
into a life of physical science epiphanies.
Decades later, now a middle-aged poet
staring at length into a backyard pool
where breeze-lifted ripples drift and crisscross,
I call down the spirits of gifted women
whose insights preceded mine, whose courage
proved the possibilities of women’s inventive minds…
as I watch my three wiggly granddaughters
find, rub and categorize dozens of rocks
before tossing them into the water,
to invent their own wondrous geometries.

News Links (find out more): Google, The Telegraph, Wikipedia

Audio Link (hear Anne read the poem): Soundcloud

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Poet with a Press Pass features original poems written by poet, speaker and peace advocate Anne McCrady in response to news stories and world events. The series is produced by InSpiritry. More about Anne McCrady and InSpiritry can be found at