Noel Williams



The physics of hippogriffs

Horse-eagled lion – it flies because we wish it.
One thing I’ve never understood:
if, as science has it, possible worlds are infinite
are there more imagineable than we can imagine?

In one, hippogriffs turn airy cartwheels, buzz
the vineyard, sneak olives from their stakes
then wing it over the alternative Aegean
to squeeze into cracks inaccessible in Parnassus,
clustering warm in feathered clumps of dung.

But in another, QED, hippogriffs wear business suits
host chat shows, wage war on potato blight
and at weekends plant plastic crosses, ankhs and knives
hoping for salvation.
Count to infinity. Add one.

Somewhere there’s imaginary physics,
a world where Einstein the Hippogriff
inscribes on clouds how creatures of myth
exceed the speed of light, glimpsed only by
imaginary telescopes.





Noel Williams is co-editor of Antiphon ( and associate editor of Orbis. His poetry has appeared internationally and won several prizes. His collection Out of Breath was published by Cinnamon Press in 2014. Blog at:

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